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.

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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
  • Develop, implement, and support customized manage VPN solutions for customers.
  • Work as tier II/III technical support representative helping customers troubleshoot hardware/software problems in high volume call center.
  • Support CITRIX by resolving connectivity issues when problems are reported.
  • Assist clients with Cisco VoIP, or Cisco AnyConnect troubleshooting, and escalation to higher tiers, as necessary.
  • Repair PCs and printers install software supervise interns
  • Configure and troubleshoot wireless connections and TCP/IP connectivity.
  • Enhance company collaboration by upgrading telephony system to VoIP.
  • Develop, implement and monitor gateway-to-gateway and client-to-gateway VPN solutions.
  • Create and maintain documentation of incident status in remedy ticketing system.
  • Report weekly to management with SLA statistics and recommendations for improvements.
  • Investigate technical errors, prioritize issues, advocate for resolution within SLA
  • Coordinate with internal security team to remedy security vulnerabilities occurring on classify and unclassify networks.
  • Assist information technology administrators in identifying computer hardware malfunctions and resolving UNIX operating system issues.
  • Install and configure software applications for new user PCs using the established standards and procedural documentation.

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 $24.55 an hour, which makes the help desk specialist annual salary $51,065. Additionally, help desk specialists are known to earn anywhere from $35,000 to $73,000 a year. This means that the top-earning help desk specialists make $30,000 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.

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Help Desk Specialist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 13% of Help Desk Specialists are proficient in Customer Service, Troubleshoot, and Technical Support. 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, 13%

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

  • Troubleshoot, 8%

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

  • Technical Support, 6%

    Provide exceptional local/phone/remote technical support while troubleshooting and fixing any software/hardware problems to desktop and network issues.

  • Desk Support, 6%

    Supplied computer help desk support via telephone communications to approximately 200 end users daily.

  • Phone Calls, 5%

    Answered telephone calls to assist computer users encountering problems and user inquiries regarding computer software or hardware operation to resolve issues.

  • Client Facing, 4%

    Analyze trends of issues, and posting urgent notifications to client facing products.

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Some of the skills we found on help desk specialist resumes included "customer service," "troubleshoot," and "technical support." We have detailed the most important help desk specialist responsibilities below.

  • Customer-service skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a help desk specialist to have. According to a help desk specialist resume, "computer support specialists must be patient and sympathetic" help desk specialists are able to use customer-service skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "provided excellent customer support and time management skills to refresh computers without disrupting normal day-to-day operations. "
  • 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: "earned 100% marks in all categories (communication/listening skills, problem resolution and politeness). "
  • Speaking skills is also an important skill for help desk specialists to have. This example of how help desk specialists use this skill comes from a help desk specialist resume, "support workers must describe the solutions to computer problems in a way that a nontechnical person can understand." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "addressed email and phone calls as requested by crew members in a timely manner to ensure minimal delays. "
  • A help desk specialist responsibilities sometimes require "writing skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "strong writing skills are useful for preparing instructions and email responses for employees and customers, as well as for real-time web chat interactions." This resume example shows how this skill is used by help desk specialists: "provided onsite technical support for 400+ claims and underwriting employees for all general and computer/network issues and industry-specific software applications. "
  • Yet another important skill that a help desk specialist must demonstrate is "problem-solving skills." Support workers must identify both simple and complex computer problems, analyze them, and solve them. This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a help desk specialist who stated: "troubleshooted and resolved hardware issues escalated from customer support department. "
  • See the full list of help desk specialist skills.

    We've found that 48.2% of help desk specialists have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 4.7% earned their master's degrees before becoming a help desk specialist. While it's true that most help desk specialists have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every five help desk specialists did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    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've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a help desk specialist. We've found that most help desk specialist resumes include experience from NSC Global, Thomas, and Reed Smith. Of recent, NSC Global had 66 positions open for help desk specialists. Meanwhile, there are 31 job openings at Thomas and 22 at Reed Smith.

    Since salary is important to some help desk specialists, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Schulte Roth & Zabel, ServiceNow, and Instinet Incorporated. If you were to take a closer look at Schulte Roth & Zabel, you'd find that the average help desk specialist salary is $125,341. Then at ServiceNow, help desk specialists receive an average salary of $104,795, while the salary at Instinet Incorporated is $95,324.

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

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a help desk specialist include IBM, TEKsystems, and Robert Half. These three companies were found to hire the most help desk specialists from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

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

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    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 $5,474 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, troubleshoot, and desk support 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 "technical support," "client facing," "remedy," and "provide technical assistance." Meanwhile a typical information technology/support technician has skills in areas such as "database," "computer software," "thin clients," and "phone system." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Information technology/support technicians receive the highest salaries in the technology industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $53,210. But help desk specialists are paid more in the technology industry with an average salary of $60,916.

    The education levels that information technology/support technicians earn is a bit different than that of help desk specialists. In particular, information technology/support technicians are 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a help desk specialist. Additionally, they're 0.1% less likely to earn 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.

    Now we're going to look at the desktop support consultant profession. On average, desktop support consultants earn a $4,332 lower salary than help desk specialists a 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," "troubleshoot," and "technical support" on their resumes.

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that help desk specialist responsibilities requires skills like "desk support," "phone calls," "client facing," and "pcs." But a desktop support consultant might use skills, such as, "desktop support," "pc," "laptop computers," and "encryption."

    Desktop support consultants may earn a lower salary than help desk specialists, but desktop support consultants earn the most pay in the finance industry with an average salary of $51,314. On the other side of things, help desk specialists receive higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $60,916.

    In general, desktop support consultants study at similar levels of education than help desk specialists. They're 1.9% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.1% 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 third profession we take a look at is desktop support technician. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than help desk specialists. In fact, they make a $9,273 lower salary per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several help desk specialists and desktop support technicians we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "customer service," "troubleshoot," and "technical support," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    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 "desk support," "phone calls," "client facing," and "provide technical assistance." But a desktop support technician might have skills like "desktop support," "laptop computers," "user data," and "hardware support."

    Desktop support technicians make a very good living in the finance industry with an average annual salary of $49,591. Whereas help desk specialists are paid the highest salary in the technology industry with the average being $60,916.

    When it comes to education, desktop support technicians tend to earn similar education levels than help desk specialists. In fact, they're 1.4% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.1% less likely to graduate with 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.

    Now, we'll look at information technology specialists, who generally average a higher pay when compared to help desk specialists annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $30,176 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, help desk specialists and information technology specialists both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "customer service," "troubleshoot," and "technical support. "

    Each job requires different skills like "phone calls," "client facing," "remedy," and "provide technical assistance," which might show up on a help desk specialist resume. Whereas information technology specialist might include skills like "database," "dod," "system software," and "provides technical support."

    In general, information technology specialists make a higher salary in the technology industry with an average of $84,905. The highest help desk specialist annual salary stems from the technology industry.

    Information technology specialists reach similar levels of education when compared to help desk specialists. The difference is that they're 3.7% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Help Desk Specialist Does 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.

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