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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
  • $52,730

    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 jobs

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Desktop Support Technician Career Paths

Desktop Support Technician
Data Center Technician Data Center Engineer Data Center Operator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Specialist Network Administrator Director Of Information
Director, Technical Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Specialist Network Technician Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Information Technology Specialist Systems Engineer
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Systems Engineer Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology/Support Technician Information Technology Technician Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer
Senior Network Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Specialist Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Senior System Administrator
8 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Infrastructure Analyst Technical Support Specialist Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Lead Technician Technical Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Desktop Operator 5.3 years
Senior PC Analyst 3.6 years
LAN Analyst 3.4 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
Pc/Lan Analyst 3.3 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
Network Technician 3.1 years
PC Support Analyst 3.0 years
Help Desk Leader 3.0 years
Bench Technician 2.8 years
MIS Technician 2.7 years
PC Analyst 2.7 years
LAN Technician 2.7 years
Technician 2.6 years
Desktop Engineer 2.6 years
Helpdesk Lead 2.5 years
On-Site Technician 2.4 years
Support Specialist 2.3 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.1 years
Server Technician 2.1 years
Support 2.0 years
Support Associate 2.0 years
POS Technician 1.9 years
Help Desk Engineer 1.8 years
Service Desk Agent 1.7 years
Student Technician 1.6 years
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Imac Technician 1.6 years
Help Desk Agent 1.5 years
Dell Technician 1.3 years
Top Employers Before
Technician 3.0%
Top Employers After

Desktop Support Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

86.7%

Female

11.4%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

74.8%

Hispanic or Latino

12.9%

Asian

8.8%

Unknown

2.6%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.4%

French

8.3%

Carrier

4.1%

Arabic

4.1%

Portuguese

3.7%

German

2.8%

Hindi

2.8%

Cantonese

2.3%

Japanese

2.3%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Cheyenne

1.4%

Dutch

1.4%

Russian

1.4%

Bengali

1.4%

Italian

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Korean

0.9%

Armenian

0.9%

Braille

0.9%

Urdu

0.9%
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Desktop Support Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.2%

Strayer University

9.1%

University of Maryland - University College

8.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

7.6%

Western Governors University

6.9%

Community College of the Air Force

4.2%

Kaplan University

4.2%

George Mason University

3.5%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

3.5%

American InterContinental University

3.5%

ECPI University

3.1%

Northeastern University

2.9%

Houston Community College

2.7%

University of Houston

2.7%

Porter and Chester Institute

2.7%

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

2.7%

Prince George's Community College

2.7%

Pennsylvania State University

2.7%

More Tech Institute

2.7%

The Academy

2.6%
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Majors

Information Technology

17.2%

Computer Information Systems

15.1%

Computer Science

15.1%

Computer Networking

11.0%

Business

10.0%

Electrical Engineering

4.9%

Computer Technical Support

3.2%

Information Systems

3.1%

Management Information Systems

2.4%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.3%

Computer Systems Security

2.2%

Computer Engineering

2.1%

Communication

1.8%

Management

1.6%

General Studies

1.3%

Computer Programming

1.2%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.1%

Liberal Arts

1.1%

Education

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.1%

Other

24.8%

Associate

23.5%

Masters

6.0%

Certificate

5.8%

Diploma

2.6%

Doctorate

0.2%

License

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Desktop Support Technician

ComputerHardwareLaptopComputersNetworkPrintersPersonalComputersRemoteDesktopActiveDirectoryWindowsXPTroubleshootDesktopSupportSetupCustomerServiceTechnicalSupportVPNPCSBackupMacOSLan/WanUserAccountsEndUser

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Top Desktop Support Technician Skills

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Laptop Computers
  3. Network Printers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Install, modify, and repair computer hardware and software.
  • Repaired desktop and laptop computers with hardware resolutions.
  • Provided troubleshooting of Network printers when the users were unable to print to the printer.
  • Performed maintenance of personal computers and peripheral equipment, identifying problems and providing appropriate solutions.
  • Utilized Casper Suite and Apple Remote Desktop to diagnose computers remotely.

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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