Help Desk

Job Description

The vast majority of jobs in the 21st century can’t be done without a computer. When users have an issue with their computer hardware or software, a Help Desk Technician is always there to come to the rescue. A Help Desk Technician provides remote technical support and troubleshooting help to users with their IT hardware and software. They help people get IT equipment back up and running.

Strong communication skills are vital for Help Desk Technicians, as they have to clearly provide instructions to colleagues and clients with varying levels of technical expertise about how to solve technical issues. A Help Desk Technician can either work on the vendor side, working to support customers who have purchased particular IT products or for a particular company, working to assist employees with their IT issues.

Help Desk Technicians must have an in-depth knowledge of computer hardware and software to properly assist clients and users. It’s also essential to have a methodical sense of problem-solving, patience, and a desire to teach and help others understand how to use their IT equipment.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Take initial telephone or email inquiries and troubleshoot and manage standard hardware, software or network problems
  • Perform remote troubleshooting through diagnostic techniques and pertinent questions
  • Determine the best solution based on the issue and details provided by customers
  • Direct unresolved issues to the next level of support personnel
  • Pass on any feedback or suggestions by customers to the appropriate internal team

Education and Background

This position requires an associate or bachelor’s degree in IT, computer science, or a relevant field.

Certifications like COMPTIA A+ Certification or Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) are strongly preferred.

Skills and Competencies

  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in a team environment

Compensation

According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Help Desk Technician with

1 Year of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $39,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $36,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $46,000
  • Miami, Florida: $43,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $42,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $47,000
  • Houston, Texas: $48,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $46,000
  • New York City, New York: $51,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $50,000
  • Overall: $46,000

5 Years of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $40,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $50,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $52,000
  • Miami, Florida: $46,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $46,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $55,000
  • Houston, Texas: $52,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $50,000
  • New York City, New York: $59,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $54,000
  • Overall: $55,000

Similar Job Titles

  • Help Desk Coordinator
  • Help Desk Representative
  • Help Desk Support
  • Customer Help Desk Technician
  • Help Desk Analyst
  • Help Desk Technical Support
  • Technical Analyst
  • Support Specialist
  • User Support Specialist
  • Technical Support Specialist
  • Service Desk Associate
  • Technical Service Representative
  • Remote Desktop Support
  • Computer Support Engineer
  • IT Support Specialist

Career Path

Help Desk Technician positions are often the entry-level step for people beginning a career in the IT field. Working at a help desk is a great way to gain knowledge of various hardware and software platforms, as well as develop problem-solving and communication skills. Patience, resourcefulness and a desire to help others are considered valuable soft skills for candidates applying to Help Desk Technician positions.

Though a bachelor’s degree is not often required to become a Help Desk Technician, people who want to pursue a four-year degree are encouraged to study disciplines like computer information systems (CIS), help desk administration, technical support, and network administration. Some candidates can be hired as Help Desk Technicians with just a specialized certificate in PC repair or IT/help desk support, instead of a formal degree. Candidates with industry certifications in IT infrastructure like CompTIA Server+ or specific platforms like Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) are often considered attractive for Help Desk Technician positions.

Working as a Help Desk Technician is considered a great jumping-off point for a career in IT. Many Help Desk Technicians go on to positions as Database Administrators, IT Security Specialists, or Network Administrators. Other Help Desk Technicians remain in the support aspect of the IT field and become Help Desk Managers.

Position Trends

Nearly every organization has technology needs, and whether the organization has an in-house IT department with its own support staff or relies on support from its IT equipment and software vendors, the need for Help Desk Technicians will exist for years to come. However, some industry analysts foresee an increase in the use of chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) to take care of simple support needs.

However, according to the trade publication CIO, the transition to the use of some automated help desk applications doesn’t mean that the need for human Help Desk Technicians will go away. Instead, it could merely divert humans to doing the things humans are uniquely good at, like troubleshooting complex issues and providing exceptional customer service to users and clients.

While technical expertise will always be valuable to a Help Desk Technician, soft skills like communication, patience, and the desire to help people are also of value to companies when they look to hire a Help Desk Technician. Many industry observers see the technical support field drastically shifting to a more customer-focused model in the years to come.

Job Outlook

As companies rely on technology more and more, the need for workers who can assist users and clients isn’t going anywhere. The demand for Help Desk Technicians is expected to grow.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Computer Support Specialist field is expected to grow by 10 percent between 2018 and 2028, which is considered faster than average.

Typical Hours

The typical work hours for a Help Desk Technician can vary, especially if they work for an organization with 24-hour support services. That means Help Desk Technicians could work varied shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays.

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster 
  • IT Career Finder

Are You Interested in Becoming a Help Desk Technician?

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