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.

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.

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Help Desk Specialist Job Description

A help desk specialist is a trained customer service professional in charge of providing technical assistance to clients with issues regarding hardware and software. Their duties include responding to queries, carrying out customers' requests, and assisting junior members of the team.

Learn more about Help Desk Specialist Job Description

Help Desk Specialist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Help Desk Specialist

Help Desk Specialists in America make an average salary of $51,065 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $73,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $35,000 per year.
Average Help Desk Specialist Salary
$51,065 Yearly
$24.55 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Help Desk Specialist

The role of a help desk specialist includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general help desk specialist responsibilities:

  • Answers, evaluates, and prioritizes incoming telephone, voice mail, e-mail,
  • Develops best practices for processes and procedures (itil process environment). ; supports operating systems: windows xp/2000/nt/98/95, microsoft exchange, novell, dos, tcp/ip, unix; erp software/tools, ms office suite 2000/2003 (including ms publisher
  • Troubleshooting and solving escalated tickets for windows pc operating environment image laptops/desktops

There are several types of help desk specialist, including:

Help Desk Analyst


A help desk analyst is a customer service agent, helping customers with technical IT problems they can not resolve on their own. They support clients over the phone, via email, live chat, or remote-controlled screen sharing. The role of a help desk analyst is divided into tiers, and they escalate issues from one tier to the next, based on the complexity of the problem.

A good help desk analyst is rare. To be able to hold the position, the first thing you need, of course, is computer literacy. Apparently, being good at small talk is a big plus as well. Empathy and not pretending to be more knowledgeable than you actually are also goes a long way, but this kind of applies to any human interaction.

So to sum it up, help desk analysts need to be good at being human. This is a position with a high turnover because, well, being human is exhausting. Plus, there is a good chance that if you do well on the job, you will be able to move on to a better position fairly soon.

  • Average Salary: $37,318
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Desktop Support Technician


There are people with a natural gift for anything related to technology. These are the people who can easily understand tech-related stuff. Their learning agility when it comes to programs, systems, and networks is high. It's a bonus if you have a gift for technology and you can provide excellent customer service. If you fit this category, companies would surely want to hire you. One of the on-demand jobs for this type of person is the desktop support specialist. In this role, you will be on standby to help with ticket requests related to the users' computers. This may involve program, application, or network support needs. As such, if you wish to make a career in this role, you need to have patience. You should also know how to walk clients through solutions in case you won't be able to attend to their concerns physically.

Typically, information technology professionals are paid better than their peers in other fields. This role is no exception. So if you want a fulfilling role with lucrative pay, this would be the best for you!

  • Average Salary: $41,792
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Desktop Support Consultant


The role of a Desktop Support Consultant is to provide excellent technical support in a way that makes it simple for the user to understand. They are generally tasked with troubleshooting various user troubles, testing and examining the software for security and system issues, occasionally training new employees, doing maintenance and implementing various updates as necessary, doing paperwork and other administrative tasks, and furthering their learning and understanding of various techniques, software, and other products, as well as user support and sales skills.

The education requirements vary from one employer to the next, but it is generally preferred or necessary that a candidate for this position has a Bachelor's degree in a field relevant to the position, such as Information Technology or Computer Science, as well as some experience in a related field. Due to the nature of the job, the Support Consultant must have good written and oral communication skills, alongside analytical and problem-solving skills.

  • Average Salary: $46,733
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Help Desk Specialist Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active help desk specialist jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where help desk specialists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Help Desk Specialist Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
5New York1,512$69,048
9North Carolina1,082$42,519
16New Jersey788$66,866
25South Carolina467$36,092
37New Hampshire214$54,401
38New Mexico214$48,939
44Rhode Island146$59,632
46West Virginia138$47,810
47North Dakota126$51,964
49South Dakota100$43,476

Help Desk Specialist Education

Help Desk Specialist Majors

13.5 %

Help Desk Specialist Degrees


48.2 %


34.9 %

High School Diploma

5.0 %

Top Colleges for Help Desk Specialists

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




6. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




8. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Saint Ambrose University

Davenport, IA • Private

In-State Tuition




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, 12.7% 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.

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.

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Help Desk Specialist diversity

Help Desk Specialist Gender Distribution


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 55.0% of all help desk specialists.

  • The most common foreign language among help desk specialists is Spanish at 55.8%.

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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 Alaska, New York, Delaware, and New Jersey. Help desk specialists make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $70,472. Whereas in New York and Delaware, they would average $69,048 and $67,979, respectively. While help desk specialists would only make an average of $66,866 in New Jersey, 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. Alaska

Total Help Desk Specialist Jobs: 139
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Delaware

Total Help Desk Specialist Jobs: 167
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. District of Columbia

Total Help Desk Specialist Jobs: 501
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Help Desk Specialists

How Do Help Desk Specialists Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Help Desk Specialist Employers

Most Common Employers For Help Desk Specialist

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
3DXC Technology$72,495$34.8525
4Lockheed Martin$72,047$34.6460
7Northrop Grumman$65,595$31.5429
9U.S. Bank$61,980$29.8025
10General Dynamics$61,169$29.4133

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.

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.

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