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Become A Desk Support Technician

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Working As A Desk Support Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $48,620

    Average Salary

What Does A Desk Support Technician Do

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Duties

Computer network support specialists typically do the following:

  • Test and evaluate existing network systems
  • Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly
  • Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems

Computer network support specialists, also called technical support specialists, usually work in their organization’s IT department. They help IT staff analyze, troubleshoot, and evaluate computer network problems. They play an important role in the routine maintenance of their organization’s networks such as performing file backups on the network. Maintenance can be performed daily, weekly, or monthly and is important to an organization’s disaster recovery efforts. Solving an IT problem promptly is important because organizations depend on their network systems. Network support specialists may assist the organization’s computer users through phone, email, or in-person visits. They often work under network and computer systems administrators, who handle more complex tasks.

Computer user support specialists typically do the following:

  • Pay attention to customers’ descriptions of their computer problems
  • Ask customers questions to properly diagnose the problem
  • Walk customers through the recommended problem-solving steps
  • Set up or repair computer equipment and related devices
  • Train users to work with new computer hardware or software, such as printers, word-processing software, and email
  • Provide other team members and managers in the organization with information about what gives customers the most trouble and about other concerns customers have

Computer user support specialists, also called help-desk technicians, usually provide technical help to non-IT computer users. They respond to phone and email requests for help. They can usually help users remotely, but they also may make site visits so that they can solve a problem in person.

Help-desk technicians may solve a range of problems that vary with the industry and the particular firm. Some technicians work for large software companies or for support service firms and must give instructions to business customers on how to use business-specific programs such as an electronic health records program used in hospitals or physicians’ offices. Sometimes they work with other technicians to resolve problems.

Other help-desk technicians work in call centers, answering simpler questions from non-business customers. They may walk customers through basic steps in re-establishing an Internet connection or troubleshooting household IT products such as a Wi-Fi router.

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How To Become A Desk Support Technician

Because of the wide range of skills used in different computer support jobs, there are many paths into the occupation. A bachelor’s degree is required for some computer support specialist positions, but an associate’s degree or postsecondary classes may be enough for others.

Education

Education requirements for computer support specialists vary. Computer user support specialist jobs require some computer knowledge, but not necessarily a postsecondary degree. Applicants who have taken some computer-related classes are often qualified. For computer network support specialists, many employers accept applicants with an associate’s degree, although some prefer applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.

Large software companies that provide support to business users who buy their products or services often require a bachelor’s degree. Positions that are more technical are likely to require a degree in a field such as computer science, engineering, or information science, but for others, the applicant’s field of study is less important.

To keep up with changes in technology, many computer support specialists continue their education throughout their careers.

Certification

Certification programs are generally offered by vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates the knowledge of and best practices required by computer support specialists. Companies may require their computer support specialists to hold certifications in the products the companies use.

Advancement

Many computer support specialists advance to other information technology positions, such as network and computer systems administrators and software developers. Some become managers in the computer support services department. Some organizations provide paths for support specialists to move into other parts of the organization, such as sales. For more information, see the profiles on network and computer systems administrators and software developers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Computer support specialists must be patient and sympathetic. They must often help people who are frustrated with the software or hardware they are trying to use.

Listening skills. Support workers must be able to understand the problems that their customers are describing and know when to ask questions to clarify the situation.

Problem-solving skills. Support workers must identify both simple and complex computer problems, analyze them, and solve them.

Speaking skills. Support workers must describe the solutions to computer problems in a way that a nontechnical person can understand.

Writing skills. Strong writing skills are useful for preparing instructions and email responses for employees and customers, as well as real-time web chat interactions.

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Desk Support Technician Jobs

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Desk Support Technician Career Paths

Desk Support Technician
Information Technology Consultant Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Technical Manager Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Information Technology Consultant Director Of Information
Director, Technical Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Information Technology Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Engineer Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Systems Engineer Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator
Senior Network Administrator
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer
Senior Network Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Senior System Administrator
8 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Help Desk Specialist Network Administrator
Senior Systems Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Business Development Manager Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Desk Support Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
PC Support Analyst 3.1 years
Top Employers Before
Technician 4.9%
Consultant 2.7%
Top Employers After
Consultant 3.1%

Do you work as a Desk Support Technician?

Desk Support Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

79.2%

Female

18.7%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

58.7%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

9.6%

Unknown

4.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.3%

Chinese

8.0%

French

8.0%

Portuguese

4.6%

German

4.6%

Mandarin

4.6%

Cantonese

3.4%

Korean

3.4%

Japanese

2.3%

Russian

2.3%

Carrier

2.3%

Polish

2.3%

Lithuanian

1.1%

Filipino

1.1%

Dakota

1.1%

Armenian

1.1%

Thai

1.1%
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Desk Support Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.9%

Strayer University

10.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

6.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.7%

Kaplan University

4.7%

Irvine Valley College

3.9%

Temple University

3.9%

San Antonio College

3.9%

Austin Community College

3.9%

Western Governors University

3.9%

Colorado Technical University

3.9%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.9%

ECPI University

3.1%

Ohio University -

3.1%

Prince George's Community College

3.1%

Wake Technical Community College

3.1%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.1%

Ashford University

3.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.1%

Quinsigamond Community College

3.1%
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Majors

Business

16.0%

Information Technology

15.0%

Computer Information Systems

13.4%

Computer Science

11.9%

Computer Networking

7.6%

Electrical Engineering

5.5%

Criminal Justice

2.9%

Communication

2.7%

Computer Technical Support

2.7%

Management Information Systems

2.6%

Computer Systems Security

2.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.3%

Computer Engineering

2.3%

Information Systems

2.2%

Management

2.0%

Finance

2.0%

Computer Programming

1.6%

Education

1.6%

General Studies

1.5%

Project Management

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.5%

Other

25.5%

Associate

21.3%

Masters

7.0%

Certificate

5.1%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.1%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Desk Support Technician

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  1. Computer
  2. Desk Support
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted Customers with computer operation.
  • Provided computer help desk support remotely via telephone communications with end-users.
  • Worked in a team environment and was the only customer contact and technical support during the night shifts and weekends.
  • Supported customers remotely through phone and using remote access tools such as Microsoft SMS utility and Timbuktu Pro.
  • Updated old Computer Description in Active Directory Map Dive to install New Microsoft Software and Install on to users Laptops.

How Would You Rate Working As a Desk Support Technician?

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