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Become A Desktop Support Technician

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Working As A Desktop Support Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $60,726

    Average Salary

What Does A Desktop 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 Desktop 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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Desktop Support Technician Videos

How to become a Desktop Support Technician? Careerbuilder Videos from funza Academy

How to become a desktop support Consultant? : Careerbuilder Videos from funza Academy

Desktop Support Technician Jobs

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Desktop Support Technician Career Paths

Desktop Support Technician
Desktop Support Specialist Systems Administrator Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Technical Specialist Technical Support Specialist
Help Desk Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Technical Specialist Technical Support Specialist
Information Technology Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist
Level Senior Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Specialist
Senior Information Technology Specialist
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Help Desk Analyst Support Analyst
Senior Support Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Specialist Network Technician Support Specialist
Senior Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Senior Technologist Technical Support Technician
Senior Support Technician
5 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist
Senior Technical Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Human Resources Coordinator Technical Recruiter
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Analyst Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Instructor Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
LAN Technician 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Desktop Support Technician
Technician 3.0%
Top Careers After Desktop Support Technician

Do you work as a Desktop Support Technician?

Desktop Support Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

87.2%

Female

11.1%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

57.0%

Hispanic or Latino

17.7%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

9.1%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.0%

French

8.6%

Carrier

4.3%

Arabic

4.3%

Portuguese

3.8%

German

2.9%

Japanese

2.4%

Hindi

2.4%

Cantonese

1.9%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Cheyenne

1.4%

Dutch

1.4%

Russian

1.4%

Italian

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Hmong

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Bengali

1.0%

Braille

1.0%
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Desktop Support Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.5%

Strayer University

9.3%

University of Maryland - University College

8.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

7.8%

Western Governors University

7.0%

Kaplan University

4.4%

Community College of the Air Force

4.0%

American InterContinental University

3.7%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

3.5%

George Mason University

3.1%

University of Houston

3.0%

TESST College of Technology - Alexandria

3.0%

ECPI University

2.9%

Houston Community College

2.7%

Porter and Chester Institute

2.7%

Northeastern University

2.7%

Pennsylvania State University

2.6%

More Tech Institute

2.6%

The Academy

2.5%

New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

2.5%
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Majors

Information Technology

17.3%

Computer Science

15.3%

Computer Information Systems

15.1%

Computer Networking

11.1%

Business

9.8%

Electrical Engineering

4.9%

Computer Technical Support

3.1%

Information Systems

3.0%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.3%

Computer Systems Security

2.2%

Computer Engineering

2.1%

Communication

1.9%

Management

1.6%

General Studies

1.3%

Computer Programming

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.1%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.1%

Computer Applications

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.8%

Other

25.0%

Associate

23.8%

Masters

5.9%

Certificate

5.8%

Diploma

2.6%

Doctorate

0.2%

License

0.1%
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Desktop Support Technician Videos

How to become a Desktop Support Technician? Careerbuilder Videos from funza Academy

How to become a desktop support Consultant? : Careerbuilder Videos from funza Academy

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Top Skills for A Desktop Support Technician

  1. Computer
  2. Laptops
  3. Remote Access
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Applied computer security policies to safeguard systems and information.
  • Installed and configured disaster recovery laptops for end-user testing.
  • Identify secure network access problems involving but not limited to remote certificate authentication and client remote access services.
  • Resolve technical issues surrounding Windows XP, Windows 7 Professional, MS Office, e-mail, Internet connections and hardware/peripheral.
  • Deployed and supported network printers/scanners.

What is it like to work as a Desktop Support Technician

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March 12, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Desktop Support Technician.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Desktop Support Technician?

Figuring out difficult issues and dealing with people... Show More

What do you NOT like?

Outsourcing, contract jobs, low pay, lack of respect from management... Show More

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Top Desktop Support Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Desktop Support Technician Employers

Desktop Support Technician Videos

How to become a Desktop Support Technician? Careerbuilder Videos from funza Academy

How to become a desktop support Consultant? : Careerbuilder Videos from funza Academy

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