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Become A Help Desk Manager

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Working As A Help Desk Manager

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $94,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Help Desk Manager 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 Manager

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 Manager Career Paths

Help Desk Manager
Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Service Delivery Manager Regional Service Manager
Area Service Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Operations Manager
Assistant Vice President Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Senior Accountant
Audit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Writer And Editor
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Data Center Manager
Data Center Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Service Delivery Manager
Director, Service Delivery
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Global Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Operations Manager
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Information Systems Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Service Manager Account Manager
Key Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Assistant Vice President
Risk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Lead Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Plant Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Service Manager Technical Support Specialist
Supervisor, Technical Support
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Help Desk Manager 3.0 years
Help Desk Operator 2.8 years
Help Desk Leader 2.7 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.1 years
Senior Help Desk 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Help Desk Manager
Manager 4.0%
Consultant 3.3%
Top Careers After Help Desk Manager
Consultant 5.3%
Manager 4.5%

Do you work as a Help Desk Manager?

Help Desk Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

69.3%

Female

29.2%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.5%

Black or African American

12.7%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.7%

German

8.7%

French

8.7%

Cheyenne

5.8%

Russian

5.8%

Italian

5.8%

Portuguese

2.9%

Japanese

2.9%

Hindi

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Romanian

1.4%

Cherokee

1.4%

Carrier

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%
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Help Desk Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.4%

Strayer University

9.7%

University of Maryland - University College

8.0%

Community College of the Air Force

6.4%

George Washington University

4.7%

Liberty University

4.3%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.3%

Webster University

4.0%

American InterContinental University

3.7%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.3%

American University

3.3%

Villanova University

3.0%

Pennsylvania State University

3.0%

Syracuse University

2.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.7%

Western Governors University

2.7%

Northeastern University

2.7%

University of North Texas

2.3%

Montgomery College

2.3%

Regis University

2.3%
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Majors

Business

24.1%

Computer Science

12.5%

Information Technology

10.4%

Computer Information Systems

10.4%

Information Systems

4.6%

Project Management

4.0%

Electrical Engineering

3.8%

Management

3.7%

Computer Networking

3.5%

Management Information Systems

3.2%

Communication

2.9%

Psychology

2.4%

Education

2.3%

Criminal Justice

2.0%

Finance

2.0%

Political Science

1.9%

Marketing

1.7%

Accounting

1.7%

General Studies

1.5%

Human Resources Management

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.7%

Other

23.7%

Masters

17.2%

Associate

12.7%

Certificate

4.4%

Diploma

1.2%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.1%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Help Desk Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Global Help Desk (IT) Manager Sigue Corporation Selma, CA Sep 12, 2014 $113,867
Global Help Desk Manager Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Cheshire, CT Oct 01, 2012 $90,000 -
$110,000
Help Desk Manager/Programmer P&S Construction, Inc. Chelmsford, MA Apr 22, 2013 $55,806
Help Desk Manager Mercury and Earth, LLC. New York, NY Jan 01, 2013 $53,280
Help Desk Manager Mercury and Earth, LLC. New York, NY Jan 03, 2013 $53,280

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Top Skills for A Help Desk Manager

  1. Technical Support
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide guidance to staff in resolution of difficult questions to ensure accurate technical support information.
  • Prepped, assembled, and installed computer hardware for distribution to include blackberries, printers, computers, and computer peripherals.
  • Implemented quality control methods by monitoring standard operating procedures and providing follow-up reports to department managers.
  • Implemented and enforced SLA, generating customer/end-user surveys to evaluate effectiveness and quality of customer service.
  • Configured remote access on laptops for users utilizing PointSec.

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