What Does a Help Desk Specialist Do?
Help desk specialists provide technical assistance and support for computer systems, software, or hardware. They serve as the first point of contact for users with technical difficulties or who need help with software apps or hardware. Working in an organization’s information technology (IT) department, they communicate and provide service through various channels, such as phone calls, emails, or chat systems. Core responsibilities include diagnosing issues, walking users through problem-solving processes, and escalating more complex issues to senior IT personnel when necessary.
Help desk specialists need to have a broad knowledge of information technology, including knowledge of operating systems, software applications, and peripheral devices. This role requires excellent communication skills, as explaining technical terms in an easy-to-understand manner is commonly needed. Good problem-solving skills are also essential, as users must understand and resolve issues quickly. To summarize, a help desk specialist helps end-users accomplish their tasks efficiently and effectively with minimal technical disruption by solving problems and providing guidance.
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National Average Salary
Help desk specialist salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Help Desk Specialist is:
Help Desk Specialist Job Descriptions
The first step in finding a great candidate is a well-crafted help desk specialist job description. Below are real-world examples to help you succeed on your recruiting journey.
Junior Help Desk Specialist
Help desk specialist needed to work at [Your Company Name]. We seek professional and outgoing help desk specialists to join our call center workforce. This position is remote and full-time. In-house training and common question scripts are provided.
You are expected to have good communication, the ability to speak for long periods during the day, as well as a basic knowledge of computer troubleshooting. Experience related to computer troubleshooting, previous technical positions, or similar call center work is beneficial but not required. The ideal candidate will be helpful, friendly, and outgoing. Must be able to commit to a long-term position. If this position sounds like you, please apply!
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Respond to emails from employees and customers seeking help with software or computer-related issues
- Learn the functions and back end of your company’s software program so you can walk users through steps to achieve specific goals
- Aid the development team in conceptualizing updates and upgrades that will enhance users’ experience
- Maintain a high level of courteous customer service at all times
Education and experience
A high school diploma or GED is required for this position (an associate degree is preferred).
Required skills and qualifications
- Some experience in an IT-related position
- Excellent customer service skills
- Strong verbal communication and problem-solving skills
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
- Familiarity with project management software is a plus
Senior Help Desk Specialist
- Maintain and upgrade desktop PCs, thin clients, peripherals, and laptops with hardware and software
- Provide technical support to customers including file permissions, folder permissions, account permissions, security groups, password resets/unlocks, network connectivity, VPN, and remote desktop support
- Maintain an accurate asset inventory system that includes scanning and tagging technology assets
- Provide ongoing technology training to internal customers and facilitate technology orientation
- Manage tickets in a ticket management system by investigating, troubleshooting, and maintaining accurate records
- Implement process improvements across the department to ensure efficiency, consistency, and accuracy
- Providing feedback and mentorship to the team on Service Level Agreements (SLA)
- Handle multiple projects and inquiries with minimal supervision, establishing priorities and managing multiple projects
- Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology or other technical degree program
- 5+ years’ experience in a help desk or service desk environment
- Excellent communication skills, with a strong focus on customer service
- Positive, energetic, and professional with the ability to multitask and think critically
- A stable work history and excellent professional references
Help Desk Specialist (engineering)
- Diagnoses and troubleshoots end user desktop application issues and provides appropriate solution. Able to troubleshoot complex technical issues and develop easy to understand solutions
- Follow-up with end users to provide status updates
- Performs account management and maintenance for various applications and systems (e. g., creates or modifies user accounts and permissions, and performs password resets)
- Communicates with customers at all levels of technical and non-technical
- Works collaboratively with people across the organization
- Support for PCs, laptops, printers, cell phones, tablets, etc.
- Supports end users in their use of applications such as Microsoft Office, Deltek, Ultipro, CAD Software (i.e., Autodesk Bentley, etc.) including installation, modification, and repair
- Troubleshoots networks, servers, hardware systems, operating systems, and application technical issues
- Creates and manages technical documentation
- Assists the engineering team with project implementation
- Ensures compliance with all Policies and Procedures
Education and requirements
- Minimum of 3-5 years experience in MSP field or technical support level 2 or higher
- Minimum of 3-5 years experience in System Administration, Switching, Compliance, Microsoft Active Directory, and MSP related service offerings
- Professional, teachable, willing to learn, and open minded
- A team player, courteous, pleasant to work with
- Experience with installation and support of various CAD applications (i.e., Autodesk, Bentley, etc.)
- Demonstrated knowledge in Microsoft server configuration and administration including Active Directory
- One or more of the following certifications: A+, MS Desktop Administrator, Network+
- Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills (both oral and written) and experience with direct client communication
- Experienced in performing needs-assessment and making solution recommendations
- Ability to work in a team environment and demonstrate strong problem-solving skills
- Ability to multi-task and work multiple projects/issues simultaneously
- Some physical work required such as installing and managing cables
- Able to lift up to 50 lbs. servers
- Availability to work weekends
- Must be able to work in the US
- Valid Driver’s License
- Ability to travel
- A team player, courteous, pleasant to work with
- Professional, teachable, willing to learn, and open-minded
- Intermediate experience in System Administration, IT Security, VPN Configuration, Routing and Switching, Compliance, Virtualization, Microsoft Active Directory
Help Desk Specialist (networking)
- Troubleshoot hardware, software, and network issues, as well as provide expert technical assistance.
- Identify and resolve technical issues efficiently, minimizing disruptions to clients’ operations.
- Communicate with clients via email, phone, or ticketing system
- Monitor client networks to identify and resolve potential issues before they impact performance.
- Work with senior network engineers to escalate complex problems.
- Document client interactions, technical issues, and solutions.
- Respond promptly and professionally to inquiries from clients
- Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, or a related field is preferred, but not required.
- 2-5 years help desk experience
- Expertise in troubleshooting network hardware, software, and connectivity issues.
- CompTIA Network+ or Cisco CCNA certifications are preferred
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, with the ability to convey technical information clearly and concisely.
- The ability to think logically under pressure as well as solve problems effectively.
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- CCCP – Certified Contact Center Professional. This certification is great for help desk or call center specialists. It covers relevant etiquette and communication tactics for help desk specialists including understanding how to resolve issues, how to communicate and how to leave the customer with a positive experience.
- CSR – Certified Service Representative. The Certified Service Representative certification is a common and useful certificate for a help desk specialist.
- Security 5 Certification. The Security 5 certification is a common certification for understanding the basics of troubleshooting and networking, as well as computing basics. This certification will come in handy for a help desk specialist who focuses on troubleshooting or computer issues.
Sample Interview Questions
- How did you get into IT?
- What strategies do you use to troubleshoot and resolve issues for computer users?
- What steps do you take to ensure that issues are addressed promptly in a fast-paced help desk environment?
- Have you ever had to escalate a technical issue to a higher level of support, and what steps did you take to resolve the problem?
- Do you keep up with technology trends and changes, and how does it affect your work?
- Do you use ticketing systems or other help desk software to manage and track support requests?
- What strategies have you found to be most effective in providing excellent customer service to users?
- Have you ever had to adapt to a new or unfamiliar technology, and what steps did you take to learn and master it?
- To defuse difficult situations, how do you deal with frustrated or upset users due to technical issues?
- What are some trends you see in IT that will affect the industry?