What is a Help Desk Specialist

Help desk assistants are responsible for providing technical assistance and support for customer issues related to computer systems, hardware, and software. They also write training manuals, train computer users, and perform daily maintenance of computer systems.

Help desk assistants support customers by responding to email messages of customers seeking help, asking questions to determine the nature of the problem, walking customers through problem-solving processes in diagnostic programs, and following up to ensure the issue has been resolved.

Some of the skills needed for a role as a help desk assistant include an advanced knowledge of help desk software and remote access systems, the ability to troubleshoot complex hardware and software systems including databases, office applications, and operating systems, and excellent analytical, diagnostic, communication, and customer service skills, as well as patience and understanding.

Help desk assistants need a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. They typically earn about $49,218 per year, which breaks down to $23.66 per hour. The career is expected to grow by 10% between 2018 and 2028, creating 83,100 new jobs.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Help Desk Specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.68 an hour? That's $49,254 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 10% and produce 83,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Help Desk Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many Help Desk Specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Customer-service skills, Listening skills and Speaking skills.

Learn more about what a Help Desk Specialist does

How To Become a Help Desk Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a Help Desk Specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 48.2% of Help Desk Specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.7% of Help Desk Specialists have master's degrees. Even though most Help Desk Specialists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Help Desk Specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a Help Desk Specialist, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Help Desk Specialist resumes include High School Diploma degrees or Master's Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Help Desk Specialist. In fact, many Help Desk Specialist jobs require experience in a role such as Technical Support Specialist. Meanwhile, many Help Desk Specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as Computer Technician or Help Desk Analyst.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Dell Jobs (30)
  2. IBM Jobs (63)
  3. Unisys Jobs (34)
  4. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Jobs (24)
  5. Bank of America Jobs (29)
Average Salary
$49,254
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
10%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
110,657
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Help Desk Specialist

Help Desk Specialists in America make an average salary of $49,254 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $66,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $36,000 per year.
Average Salary
$49,254
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12 Help Desk Specialist Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Help Desk Specialist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Help Desk Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Help Desk Specialist Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Dell Jobs (30)
  2. IBM Jobs (63)
  3. Unisys Jobs (34)
  4. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Jobs (24)
  5. Bank of America Jobs (29)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Help Desk Specialist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Help Desk Specialist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Help Desk Specialist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Help Desk Specialist Resume
Help Desk Specialist Resume
Help Desk Specialist Resume
Help Desk Specialist Resume
Help Desk Specialist Resume
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Help Desk Specialist Resume
Help Desk Specialist Resume
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Help Desk Specialist Demographics

Help Desk Specialist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
79%
Female
Female
21%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Help Desk Specialists, 20.6% of them are women, while 79.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Help Desk Specialists is White, which makes up 58.9% of all Help Desk Specialists.

  • The most common foreign language among Help Desk Specialists is Spanish at 55.8%.

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Help Desk Specialist Education

Help Desk Specialist Majors

13.5 %

Help Desk Specialist Degrees

Bachelors

48.2 %

Associate

34.9 %

High School Diploma

5.0 %

Top Colleges for Help Desk Specialists

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

4. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

7. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,880
Enrollment
6,590

8. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,230
Enrollment
12,161

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. Saint Ambrose University

Davenport, IA • Private

In-State Tuition
$30,894
Enrollment
2,289
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Online Courses For Help Desk Specialist That You May Like

Help Desk Analyst
udemy
4.3
(314)

Boost your career with this course, pass the e-Learning course, and achieve your Help Desk Analyst certificate...

IT Help Desk for Beginners
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The essentials to become an IT Help Desk Technician...

IT Help Desk Professional
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Get Hands-On Experience on Helpdesk Skills, Learn, Master & Troubleshoot All What It Takes To Get You a Job...

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Top Skills For a Help Desk Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.7% of Help Desk Specialists listed Customer Service on their resume, but soft skills such as Customer-service skills and Listening skills are important as well.

Best States For a Help Desk Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Help Desk Specialist. The best states for people in this position are New York, Delaware, New Jersey, and Oregon. Help Desk Specialists make the most in New York with an average salary of $65,382. Whereas in Delaware and New Jersey, they would average $63,884 and $61,967, respectively. While Help Desk Specialists would only make an average of $60,666 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Delaware

Total Help Desk Specialist Jobs:
167
Highest 10% Earn:
$91,000
Location Quotient:
1.06
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Alaska

Total Help Desk Specialist Jobs:
139
Highest 10% Earn:
$66,000
Location Quotient:
1.33
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Help Desk Specialist Jobs:
533
Highest 10% Earn:
$79,000
Location Quotient:
1.03
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Help Desk Specialists

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Top Help Desk Specialist Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Help Desk Specialists and discovered their number of Help Desk Specialist opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Robert Half International was the best, especially with an average salary of $41,399. TEKsystems follows up with an average salary of $42,415, and then comes IBM with an average of $76,972. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Help Desk Specialist. The employers include KeyBank, Randstad North America, and Bend Memorial Clinic

Most Common Employers For Help Desk Specialist

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Help Desk Specialist SalaryAverage Salary
1$80,527
2$76,972
3$76,936
4$72,319
5$66,805
6$61,517

Help Desk Specialist Videos

Becoming a Help Desk Specialist FAQs

How much do help desk specialists make?

A help specialist makes $46,000 yearly ($22.13 hourly). This can range, however, from as little as $26,000 a year to as much as $70,000 a year. Factors such as location, industry, and experience all impact how much you can make in a help desk job.

Highest paying cities for help desk specialists:

  • Washington, DC averages $68,374 a year ($32.87 an hour)

  • New York, NY averages $66,851 a year ($32.14 an hour)

  • San Francisco, CA averages $59,080 a year ($28.40 an hour)

  • Boston, MA averages $58,502 a year ($28.13 an hour)

  • Baltimore, MD averages $51,396 a year ($24.71 an hour)

  • Charlottesville, VA averages $44,927 a year ($21.60 an hour)

  • Grand Rapids, MI averages $42,879 a year ($20.61 an hour)

  • Minneapolis, MN averages $42,232 a year ($20.30 an hour)

  • Cornelius, NC averages $41,425 a year ($19.92 an hour)

  • Denver, CO averages $41,324 a year ($19.87 an hour)

Years of experience and salary for help desk specialists:

  • An entry-level position (less than one year experience) averages $15.75 an hour.

  • An early career (one to four years of experience) averages $17.28 an hour.

  • A mid-career (five to nine years of experience) averages $19.87 an hour.

  • An experienced career (ten to 19 years of experience) averages $20.96 an hour.

  • A late-career(20 or more years) averages $23 an hour.

Industry types and average help desk specialist salary:

  • Manufacturing: $61,719 a year

  • Finance: $54,553 a year

  • Professional: $52,897 a year

  • Technology: $51,482 a year

  • Health Care: $50,648 a year

  • Government: $46,702 a year

What certifications do you need for an IT help desk?

The certifications needed for an OT help desk include CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications.

For IT help desk technicians, certifications offer a great alternative to a traditional accredited degree program. CompTIA's A+ and Network+ certifications can be an ideal place to start, as they introduce the essential IT domains and provide valuable insight into IT infrastructure.

CompTIA A+ is a good entry-level certification for those entering the IT help desk and hardware support professions. Also, it's an ideal foundational certification for candidates pursuing a wide range of other IT certifications.

The A+ is another good certification for those working in IT help desks. It is recognized by the Department of Defense and is a service technician requirement for many enterprise-level companies, including Dell, HP, and Intel.

A+ credential holders are support technicians, either in-house or field techs, who can install, configure and maintain PCs, laptops, printers, and mobile devices.

Other certifications that help IT help desk professionals include the mastery of a popular operating system, such as Microsoft's MCSA: Windows and MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure credentials.

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