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Become A Desktop/Network Support

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Working As A Desktop/Network Support

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $58,920

    Average Salary

What Does A Desktop/Network Support 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 Desktop/Network Support

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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Desktop/Network Support Jobs

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Desktop/Network Support Career Paths

Desktop/Network Support
Systems Engineer Project Manager Program Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Support Analyst Systems Analyst Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Senior Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Support Analyst Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Systems Administrator Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Network Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Desktop/Network Support?

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 3.8%
Internship 3.1%
Top Employers After
Consultant 3.7%

Do you work as a Desktop/Network Support?

Desktop/Network Support Demographics

Gender

Male

75.5%

Female

23.1%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

59.1%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

4.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.4%

French

14.3%

Japanese

7.1%

Carrier

4.8%

Hindi

4.8%

Mandarin

4.8%

Arabic

4.8%

Chinese

2.4%

Turkish

2.4%

German

2.4%
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Desktop/Network Support Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.0%

Strayer University

8.7%

Community College of the Air Force

6.7%

Kaplan University

6.0%

University of Maryland - University College

5.3%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.7%

State University of New York Stony Brook

4.7%

Capella University

4.0%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.3%

Monroe Community College

3.3%

Diablo Valley College

3.3%

Montclair State University

3.3%

Oakland University

3.3%

The Chubb Institute-Westbury

2.7%

Illinois Institute of Technology

2.7%

University of Cincinnati

2.7%

Kean University

2.7%

Villanova University

2.7%

George Mason University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

16.4%

Computer Information Systems

13.2%

Information Technology

12.9%

Computer Science

12.0%

Computer Networking

8.4%

Electrical Engineering

5.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.0%

Management

2.8%

Computer Engineering

2.5%

General Studies

2.3%

Information Systems

2.3%

Graphic Design

2.3%

Criminal Justice

2.2%

Computer Systems Security

2.2%

Management Information Systems

2.1%

Communication

2.1%

Psychology

2.1%

Accounting

2.1%

English

1.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.9%

Other

27.6%

Associate

19.9%

Masters

9.6%

Certificate

4.2%

Diploma

2.3%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Top Skills for A Desktop/Network Support

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  1. Computer
  2. Desk Support
  3. Remote Access
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted staff with the installation, configuration and ongoing usability of desktop computers and peripherals.
  • Provide support with documentation for maintaining network certification and accreditation for functions related to Tier 1 Help Desk support activities.
  • Serviced multiple LAN, PC, laptop and remote access clients for several administrative and training networks in a 24/7 support.
  • Re-imaged laptops and desktop for re-deployment and maintained hardware infrastructure.
  • Provided guidance and technical support to college user community.

How Would You Rate Working As a Desktop/Network Support?

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Top Desktop/Network Support Employers

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Jobs From Top Desktop/Network Support Employers

Desktop/Network Support Videos

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