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Become A Help Desk Specialist

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Working As A Help Desk Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $58,920

    Average Salary

What Does A Help Desk Specialist Do

A Help Desk Specialist is responsible for providing technical assistance and support regarding computer systems, hardware, or software. They also write training manuals and train computer users.

How To Become A Help Desk Specialist

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 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 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.


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 Specialist jobs

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Real Help Desk Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Desktop Support Engineer/JR. Systems Administrato Omidyar Network Services LLC San Francisco, CA Feb 03, 2014 $100,000
SR. Desktop Support Engineer (Computer Software EN Technicolor Inc. Burbank, CA May 21, 2010 $95,000
Computer and Network Technologist University of California at Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA Oct 19, 2016 $93,000
Computer and Network Technologist University of California at Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA Jan 09, 2016 $92,000
Video Production & Desktop Support Engineer Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $86,892
Video Production and Desktop Support Engineer Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $79,522
Desktop Support Engineer Unique Comp, Inc. Washington, DC Sep 30, 2013 $70,491
Desktop Support Engineer Junior Unique Comp, Inc. Washington, DC Sep 30, 2013 $70,491
Desktop Support Engineer Junior Unique Comp, Inc. Washington, DC Oct 03, 2012 $70,491
Desktop Support Engineer Senior Unique Comp, Inc. Uniondale, NY Oct 01, 2012 $70,000
Desktop Support Engineer Align Communications Inc. New York, NY Nov 08, 2015 $65,000
Senior Desktop Support Engineer Bill, Hilary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $62,050
Desktop Support Engineer I Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. Rockville, MD Nov 28, 2011 $56,680 -
Senior Desktop Support Engineer William J. Clinton Foundation New York, NY Feb 10, 2012 $55,200
Desktop Support Engineer VR Networks Inc. New York, NY Aug 31, 2016 $51,000
Computer Network/Main. Tech Lutheran Homes, Inc. Fort Wayne, IN Oct 01, 2008 $50,171
JR. Help Desk Specialist Advanced Software Systems, Inc. Baltimore, MD Aug 17, 2012 $50,000
Computer and Network Technician JSN LLC VA Jul 25, 2011 $49,650
Help Desk Specialist Burson-Marsteller LLC Washington, DC Sep 30, 2012 $44,000

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Top Skills for A Help Desk Specialist


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Top Help Desk Specialist Skills

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Desk Support
  3. Phone Calls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Purchased, configured, and installed new and recycled computer hardware, upholding corporate standards for system compatibility and stability.
  • Help Desk Support - Responsible for answering calls and fixing desktop problems.
  • Receive phone calls for end users who require technical assistance for an array of different issues.
  • Support for servers, exchange servers, desktops, laptops, remote sites.
  • Utilized Remote Desktop / PC Anywhere to remotely resolve client issues.

Top Help Desk Specialist Employers

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