The primary role of help desk specialists is to maintain relationships between the company and its customers. Their duties and responsibilities include responding to guests' queries, providing technical computer support, and maintaining computer systems' performance. Help desk specialists are also responsible for following up with customers to resolve issues and train computer users. There are several requirements to be qualified for this position, which include having relevant customer service experience, problem-solving and analytical skills, and the ability to prioritize vital tasks.

Help Desk Specialist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real help desk specialist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage network software deployment, imaging/backup and unattend OS installations
  • Migrate and manage business email accounts between several domains without data loss.
  • Develop, implement, and support customized manage VPN solutions for customers.
  • Manage office backup and recovery procedures in correlation with project data retention requirements.
  • Ensure that employees used network and Internet privileges appropriately and manage network bandwidth requirements.
  • Install windows base PC's per the client companies requirements to make sure that they are complete per the work order.
  • Maintain hardware inventory lists and warranty/maintenance information on all network and PC equipment.
  • Support CITRIX by resolving connectivity issues when problems are reported.
  • Provide basic UNIX support such as obtaining IP address, hardware support.
  • Used SCCM to find objects that are not pulling updates and possible security risks on the network.
Help Desk Specialist Traits
Customer-service skills involve listening skills that allow you to communicate efficiently and respectfully with a customer.
Listening is an important part of the communication process as it allows you to understand information.
Speaking skills is important to being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Help Desk Specialist Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a help desk specialist is "should I become a help desk specialist?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, help desk specialist careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 10% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a help desk specialist by 2028 is 83,100.

Help desk specialists average about $22.13 an hour, which makes the help desk specialist annual salary $46,030. Additionally, help desk specialists are known to earn anywhere from $36,000 to $57,000 a year. This means that the top-earning help desk specialists make $21,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

It's hard work to become a help desk specialist, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming an information technology/support technician, desktop support consultant, desktop support technician, and information technology specialist.

Help Desk Specialist Jobs You Might Like

Help Desk Specialist Resume Examples

Help Desk Specialist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 11% of Help Desk Specialists are proficient in Customer Service, Technical Support, and Email. They’re also known for soft skills such as Customer-service skills, Listening skills, and Speaking skills.

We break down the percentage of Help Desk Specialists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Customer Service, 11%

    Identify opportunity for process improvements targeting improved customer service and organizational efficiency

  • Technical Support, 8%

    Worked as tier II/III technical support representative helping customers troubleshoot hardware/software problems in high volume call center.

  • Email, 7%

    Assisted and trained coworkers by passing along my knowledge of network troubleshooting approach and Outlook email configurations/troubleshooting.

  • Troubleshoot, 6%

    Conducted day-to-day operations, implemented, troubleshoot optimized, maintained and ensured operational integrity and availability of customer's networks.

  • Hardware, 5%

    Sole hardware and software research/recommendations/acquisition/distribution/installation/setup.

  • Desk Support, 4%

    Coordinate efforts with the network monitoring and management vendors help desk personnel by communicating issues and sharing information.

"customer service," "technical support," and "email" aren't the only skills we found help desk specialists list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of help desk specialist responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a help desk specialist to have happens to be customer-service skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "computer support specialists must be patient and sympathetic" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that help desk specialists can use customer-service skills to "executed seamless active directory monitoring controls to meet customers systems needs. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many help desk specialist duties rely on listening skills. This example from a help desk specialist explains why: "support workers must be able to understand the problems that their customers are describing and know when to ask questions to clarify the situation." This resume example is just one of many ways help desk specialists are able to utilize listening skills: "communicated with customers via mail, email and phone regarding policy forms requiring signatures or further follow up. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among help desk specialists is speaking skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a help desk specialist resume: "support workers must describe the solutions to computer problems in a way that a nontechnical person can understand." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "configured routers and then verified that each computer was dhcp addressed. "
  • In order for certain help desk specialist responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "writing skills." According to a help desk specialist resume, "strong writing skills are useful for preparing instructions and email responses for employees and customers, as well as for real-time web chat interactions." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "provided onsite technical support for 400+ claims and underwriting employees for all general and computer/network issues and industry-specific software applications. "
  • As part of the help desk specialist description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "problem-solving skills." A help desk specialist resume included this snippet: "support workers must identify both simple and complex computer problems, analyze them, and solve them." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "performed diagnostics and troubleshooting of system issues, documented helpdesk tickets/ resolutions, and maintained equipment inventory lists. "
  • See the full list of help desk specialist skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a help desk specialist. We found that 48.2% of help desk specialists have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 4.7% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most help desk specialists have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every five help desk specialists were not college graduates.

    Those help desk specialists who do attend college, typically earn either a computer science degree or a computer information systems degree. Less commonly earned degrees for help desk specialists include a business degree or a information technology degree.

    Once you're ready to become a help desk specialist, you should explore the companies that typically hire help desk specialists. According to help desk specialist resumes that we searched through, help desk specialists are hired the most by ActioNet, Unisys, and General Dynamics. Currently, ActioNet has 16 help desk specialist job openings, while there are 8 at Unisys and 7 at General Dynamics.

    If you're interested in companies where help desk specialists make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at NTT Data International L.L.C., Levi, Ray & Shoup, and Lockheed Martin. We found that at NTT Data International L.L.C., the average help desk specialist salary is $78,850. Whereas at Levi, Ray & Shoup, help desk specialists earn roughly $75,935. And at Lockheed Martin, they make an average salary of $62,645.

    View more details on help desk specialist salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at IBM, EDS Electronic Financial Services, and TEKsystems. These three companies have hired a significant number of help desk specialists from these institutions.

    In general, help desk specialists fulfill roles in the technology and finance industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the help desk specialist annual salary is the highest in the manufacturing industry with $61,719 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the finance and professional industries pay $54,553 and $52,897 respectively. This means that help desk specialists who are employed in the manufacturing industry make 32.2% more than help desk specialists who work in the government Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious help desk specialists are:

      What Information Technology/Support Technicians Do

      An information technology (IT) support technician is a professional who is responsible for providing support and troubleshoots software and hardware problems faced by customers. As for larger organizations that have their own IT department, technicians must work together internally with their IT staff members. IT support technicians are involved in inspecting and resolving minor local area network and wireless network issues, which include TCP/IP, DHCP, and VPN. They are also required to obtain an associate's degree in computer science or related field.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take information technology/support technician for example. On average, the information technology/support technicians annual salary is $4,305 lower than what help desk specialists make on average every year.

      Even though help desk specialists and information technology/support technicians have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require customer service, technical support, and email in the day-to-day roles.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a help desk specialist responsibilities require skills like "problem resolution," "level support," "personal computers," and "local area." Meanwhile a typical information technology/support technician has skills in areas such as "database," "backup," "computer software," and "thin clients." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      On average, information technology/support technicians reach similar levels of education than help desk specialists. Information technology/support technicians are 1.4% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.0% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Desktop Support Consultant?

      The duties of a desk support consultant vary on their line of work or industry of employment. Most of their responsibilities are likely to revolve around reaching out to clients through calls and correspondence, answering inquiries, troubleshooting, and providing corrective measures, all to attain customer satisfaction. Moreover, a desk support consultant may devise strategies to better communicate with clients, produce progress reports, and maintain accurate records of all transactions. Furthermore, it is essential to adhere to all policies and regulations at all times.

      Next up, we have the desktop support consultant profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a help desk specialist annual salary. In fact, desktop support consultants salary difference is $3,768 lower than the salary of help desk specialists per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Help desk specialists and desktop support consultants both include similar skills like "customer service," "technical support," and "email" on their resumes.

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real help desk specialist resumes. While help desk specialist responsibilities can utilize skills like "desk support," "phone calls," "password resets," and "problem resolution," some desktop support consultants use skills like "backup," "new equipment," "mcafee," and "bloomberg."

      It's been discovered that desktop support consultants earn lower salaries compared to help desk specialists, but we wanted to find out where desktop support consultants earned the most pay. The answer? The finance industry. The average salary in the industry is $58,184. Additionally, help desk specialists earn the highest paychecks in the manufacturing with an average salary of $61,719.

      On the topic of education, desktop support consultants earn similar levels of education than help desk specialists. In general, they're 0.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Desktop Support Technician Compares

      A desktop support technician is responsible for troubleshooting defective computer systems, affecting its performance and efficiency. Desktop support technicians must be highly familiar with the technology systems and programming codes to navigate system applications and locate the discrepancy of the system. They keep documentation of the ticket issue and the resolution for reference and quality improvement. A desktop support technician also configures and updates computer systems and networks for better optimization, as well as conducting regular inspections and monitoring the efficiency of installed programs and patches.

      The desktop support technician profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of help desk specialists. The difference in salaries is desktop support technicians making $7,035 lower than help desk specialists.

      Using help desk specialists and desktop support technicians resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "customer service," "technical support," and "troubleshoot," but the other skills required are very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from help desk specialists resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "email," "desk support," "phone calls," and "problem resolution." But a desktop support technician might have skills like "backup," "new equipment," "thin clients," and "altiris."

      Desktop support technicians make a very good living in the manufacturing industry with an average annual salary of $53,128. Whereas help desk specialists are paid the highest salary in the manufacturing industry with the average being $61,719.

      Desktop support technicians are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to help desk specialists. Additionally, they're 3.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Information Technology Specialist

      An Information Technology Specialist, also known as a Computer Professional or IT Specialist, is responsible for the computer support of an establishment or individual. Most of the duties require extensive and proactive knowledge of Information Technology, such as in the aspects of network and systems administration, security and information, hardware and software management, troubleshooting, and more. The tasks of an IT Specialist are diverse. It is not limited to installation or activation, as it also involves monitoring, management, and analyzation.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than help desk specialists. On average, information technology specialists earn a difference of $23,541 higher per year.

      While both help desk specialists and information technology specialists complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like customer service, technical support, and troubleshoot, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      Each job requires different skills like "email," "phone calls," "end user," and "password resets," which might show up on a help desk specialist resume. Whereas information technology specialist might include skills like "information technology," "procedures," "assurance," and "database."

      In general, information technology specialists make a higher salary in the manufacturing industry with an average of $82,547. The highest help desk specialist annual salary stems from the manufacturing industry.

      Information technology specialists reach higher levels of education when compared to help desk specialists. The difference is that they're 6.7% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.7% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.