The vast majority of jobs in the 21st century can’t be done without a computer, and when employees have an issue with theirs, a Desktop Support Technician is there to come to the rescue. A Desktop Support Technician provides technical support and troubleshooting help to users with their IT hardware and software. They help get IT equipment back up and running to keep the business operating smoothly.
Strong communication skills are vital for a Desktop Support Technician, as they have to clearly provide instructions to colleagues and clients with varying levels of technical expertise about how to solve technical issues. A Desktop Support Technician can either be remote, working to support customers who have purchased particular IT products, or on-site, working to assist employees in a specific organization with their IT issues.
Desktop Support Technicians must have an in-depth knowledge of computer hardware and software to properly assist clients and users. Also, some Desktop Support Technicians are called upon to assist with groundwork, installation, and maintenance of computer equipment and other IT hardware.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Walk customers through installing applications and computer peripherals
- Conduct remote and in-person troubleshooting
- Customize desktop applications to meet user needs
- Evaluate new applications and software patches
- Record technical issues and solutions in logs
Education and Background
An associate degree in Information Technology or a relevant field is required for this position.
Certifications like COMPTIA A+ Certification and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) are strongly preferred.
Skills and Competencies
- Hands-on experience with Windows/Linux/Mac OS environments
- Ability to perform remote (and face-to-face) troubleshooting and provide clear instructions
- Expertise in customer service
- Excellent problem-solving and multitasking skills
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Desktop Support Technician with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $43,000
- Tampa, Florida: $36,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $43,000
- Miami, Florida: $45,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $44,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $44,000
- Houston, Texas: $46,000
- Los Angeles, California: $48,000
- New York City, New York: $52,000
- Seattle, Washington: $50,000
- Overall: $45,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $46,000
- Tampa, Florida: $50,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $47,000
- Miami, Florida: $50,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $50,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $56,000
- Houston, Texas: $48,000
- Los Angeles, California: $50,000
- New York City, New York: $58,000
- Seattle, Washington: $57,000
- Overall: $54,000
Similar Job Titles
- Desktop Support
- Desktop Support Analyst
- Desktop Support Specialist
- Desktop Systems Supervisor
- Desktop Technician
- IT Desktop Support
- Remote Desktop Support
- Help Desk Technician
- Technical Support Specialist
- Computer Support Engineer
- IT Support Specialist
- Field Service Technician
Desktop Support Technician positions are often the entry-level step for people beginning a career in the IT field. Working in desktop support 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 for Desktop Support Technician positions.
A bachelor’s degree is not often required to become a Desktop Support Technician. However, 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 a Desktop Support Technician 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 operating systems like Oracle are often considered attractive for Desktop Support Technician positions.
Working as a Desktop Support Technician is considered a great jumping-off point for a career in IT. Many Desktop Support Technicians go on to positions as Database Administrators, IT Security Specialists, or Network Administrators. Other Desktop Support Technicians remain in the support aspect of the IT field and become Help Desk Technician Managers.
Nearly every organization has technology needs. Whether a company 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 Desktop Support Technicians will exist for years to come. However, some industry analysts see 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 Desktop Support 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 expertise in technical issues will always be essential for a Desktop Support Technician, soft skills like communication, patience, and the desire to help people are also of value to companies when they look to hire for this position. Many industry observers see the technical support field drastically shifting to a more customer-focused model in the years to come.
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 Desktop Support 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.
The typical work hours in an office setting for a Desktop Support Technician are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, remote Desktop Support Technicians could also be employed by technology vendors with 24-hour support services, so some Desktop Support Technicians could work varied shifts, including nights, weekends and holidays.
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