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Become A Help Desk Analyst

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Working As A Help Desk Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $52,007

    Average Salary

What Does A Help Desk Analyst 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 Help Desk Analyst

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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Help Desk Analyst jobs

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Help Desk Analyst Career Paths

Help Desk Analyst
Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Information Technology Consultant Director Of Information
Director, Technical Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Support Analyst Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Engineer Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Business Analyst Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer
Senior Network Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Systems Administrator
Senior System Administrator
8 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Specialist Technical Support Specialist Systems Analyst
Senior Systems Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Lead Technician Technical Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior PC Analyst 3.6 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
LAN Analyst 3.4 years
Pc/Lan Analyst 3.3 years
Help Desk Manager 3.3 years
Computer 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
Help Desk Operator 2.9 years
MIS Technician 2.7 years
LAN Technician 2.7 years
PC Analyst 2.7 years
Desktop Engineer 2.6 years
Helpdesk Lead 2.5 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Computer Assistant 2.2 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.0 years
NOC Analyst 1.9 years
Help Desk Engineer 1.8 years
Network Assistant 1.7 years
Senior Help Desk 1.7 years
Service Desk Agent 1.7 years
Tier 1.6 years
Junior Technician 1.6 years
Help Desk Agent 1.5 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 3.0%
Technician 2.8%
Consultant 2.2%
Top Employers After
Consultant 2.9%

Help Desk Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

70.4%

Female

27.7%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

77.5%

Hispanic or Latino

11.2%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

2.4%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.9%

French

10.7%

Hindi

3.4%

Portuguese

3.4%

German

3.2%

Italian

3.0%

Arabic

3.0%

Carrier

2.5%

Russian

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Mandarin

1.8%

Chinese

1.8%

Urdu

1.6%

Cantonese

1.1%

Hebrew

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Korean

0.9%

Bengali

0.9%

Cheyenne

0.9%

Swedish

0.7%
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Help Desk Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.1%

Strayer University

12.5%

University of Maryland - University College

7.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

7.3%

American InterContinental University

5.1%

ECPI University

4.1%

Kaplan University

4.0%

Western Governors University

3.9%

Capella University

3.9%

Colorado Technical University

3.3%

University of Houston

3.1%

George Mason University

3.1%

Pennsylvania State University

2.6%

Virginia Commonwealth University

2.6%

Webster University

2.3%

Prince George's Community College

2.3%

Community College of the Air Force

2.2%

Wake Technical Community College

2.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

2.0%
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Majors

Information Technology

15.4%

Computer Information Systems

14.9%

Business

14.4%

Computer Science

14.0%

Computer Networking

8.5%

Information Systems

4.3%

Electrical Engineering

3.2%

Management Information Systems

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Computer Technical Support

2.4%

Computer Systems Security

2.4%

Management

2.2%

Communication

2.0%

Computer Engineering

2.0%

General Studies

1.6%

Psychology

1.6%

Education

1.5%

Accounting

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.5%

Other

23.8%

Associate

20.0%

Masters

9.1%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

2.5%

Doctorate

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Full Time
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Internship
Temporary

Real Help Desk Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
High Yield Desk Analyst Stifel Financial Corp. Greenwich, CT Aug 13, 2015 $150,000
Rmbs Desk Analyst Glenview Capital Management New York, NY Oct 26, 2016 $125,000
Rmbs Desk Analyst Glenview Capital New York, NY Aug 07, 2016 $125,000
Center of Expertise SCM/TM Analyst Meadwestvaco Corporation Richmond, VA Jan 14, 2015 $110,313
Support Center Analyst III INX, Inc. Lewisville, TX Oct 01, 2011 $85,000
Execution Desk Trader/Analyst Tradelink LLC Chicago, IL May 07, 2016 $82,000
Global Markets Finance Tech Help Desk Analyst State Street Bank and Trust Company New York, NY Jul 31, 2013 $79,100 -
$82,400
Technical Support Center Analyst CD Group, Inc. Norcross, GA Sep 11, 2012 $75,000
Analyst-Corporates Desk Natixis North America LLC New York, NY Apr 11, 2013 $70,000
Analyst-Corporates Desk Natixis North America LLC New York, NY Nov 01, 2013 $70,000
Engine Support Center Business Analyst Paccar Inc. Renton, WA Aug 18, 2014 $69,098 -
$80,500
Analyst, Center of Expertise Steelcase Inc. Grand Rapids, MI Oct 01, 2012 $66,000
Help Desk Analyst Logic House Ltd. Raleigh, NC Jul 02, 2012 $64,697
Analyst-Corporates Desk Natixis North America LLC New York, NY Mar 11, 2013 $64,000
Help Desk and Programmer Analyst Amarex Clinical Research, LLC Germantown, MD Sep 10, 2015 $62,000
Helpdesk Analyst Systems Task Group International, Ltd. Edison, NJ Oct 01, 2011 $62,000
Scandesk Analyst Coalfire Systems, Inc. Redwood City, CA Oct 01, 2014 $61,200
Helpdesk Technician Info 2 Extreme Los Angeles, CA Aug 03, 2016 $54,662
Helpdesk Analyst Client Network Services, Inc. Rockville, MD Apr 20, 2015 $51,500
Help Desk Analyst Citigroup Global Markets Inc. NY Sep 01, 2015 $50,500
Helpdesk Analyst Client Network Services, Inc. Gaithersburg, MD Jul 16, 2013 $45,000
Help Desk and Programmer Analyst Amarex Clinical Research, LLC Germantown, MD Sep 02, 2015 $45,000 -
$62,000
Help Desk Analyst Ciber, Inc. Washington, DC Aug 30, 2011 $44,938
Sales Force Help Desk Analyst American It Solutions Manchester, NH Oct 28, 2011 $41,740
Broker/Analyst-Japan Desk Newedge USA, LLC Chicago, IL Aug 21, 2014 $40,000 -
$65,000
IT Help Desk Analyst Valor Christian Schools Highlands Ranch, CO Sep 22, 2015 $40,000
Help Desk Analyst Logic House Ltd. Raleigh, NC Jul 10, 2012 $39,653
Help Desk Analyst Logic House Ltd. Nashville, TN Aug 15, 2011 $39,653

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Top Skills for A Help Desk Analyst

HardwareIssuesRemoteAccessActiveDirectoryHelpDeskRemoteDesktopTroubleshootPhoneCallsEmailTechnicalSupportNetworkPrintersVPNHelpdeskSupportWindowsXPResetPasswordsCustomerServiceLaptopsCitrixDeskSupportSetupInternetExplorer

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Top Help Desk Analyst Skills

  1. Hardware Issues
  2. Remote Access
  3. Active Directory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Communicate with the proprietary technicians/programmers, examine software errors/hardware issues and recommend alternatives and or improvements to the proprietary programs performance.
  • Provided desktop application support for MS Office, Lotus Notes, Win 2000, Remote Access users.
  • Administered user accounts using Active Directory.
  • Logged Help Desk calls and their resolution to Remedy ticketing system.
  • Maintained computer systems via Remote Desktop, installing Windows Update patches on a weekly basis.

Top Help Desk Analyst Employers