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Become A Senior Help Desk Technician

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Working As A Senior Help Desk Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $71,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Help Desk Technician Do

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Duties

Computer network support specialists typically do the following:

  • Test and evaluate existing network systems
  • Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly
  • Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems

Computer network support specialists, also called technical support specialists, usually work in their organization’s IT department. They help IT staff analyze, troubleshoot, and evaluate computer network problems. They play an important role in the routine maintenance of their organization’s networks such as performing file backups on the network. Maintenance can be performed daily, weekly, or monthly and is important to an organization’s disaster recovery efforts. Solving an IT problem promptly is important because organizations depend on their network systems. Network support specialists may assist the organization’s computer users through phone, email, or in-person visits. They often work under network and computer systems administrators, who handle more complex tasks.

Computer user support specialists typically do the following:

  • Pay attention to customers’ descriptions of their computer problems
  • Ask customers questions to properly diagnose the problem
  • Walk customers through the recommended problem-solving steps
  • Set up or repair computer equipment and related devices
  • Train users to work with new computer hardware or software, such as printers, word-processing software, and email
  • Provide other team members and managers in the organization with information about what gives customers the most trouble and about other concerns customers have

Computer user support specialists, also called help-desk technicians, usually provide technical help to non-IT computer users. They respond to phone and email requests for help. They can usually help users remotely, but they also may make site visits so that they can solve a problem in person.

Help-desk technicians may solve a range of problems that vary with the industry and the particular firm. Some technicians work for large software companies or for support service firms and must give instructions to business customers on how to use business-specific programs such as an electronic health records program used in hospitals or physicians’ offices. Sometimes they work with other technicians to resolve problems.

Other help-desk technicians work in call centers, answering simpler questions from non-business customers. They may walk customers through basic steps in re-establishing an Internet connection or troubleshooting household IT products such as a Wi-Fi router.

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How To Become A Senior Help Desk Technician

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

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

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.

Advancement

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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Senior Help Desk Technician Career Paths

Senior Help Desk Technician
Level Senior Technician Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Level Senior Technician Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Level Senior Technician Information Technology Manager Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Manager Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Manager Project Manager Technical Project Manager
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Manager Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Technologist Lead Technician Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Technologist Senior Technician Specialist Senior Systems Engineer
Senior Network Administrator
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Technologist Senior Technician Specialist Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Supervisor
Help Desk Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Supervisor Service Desk Manager Support Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Supervisor Information Technology Operations Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Owner Maintenance Manager Material Manager
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Support Specialist Senior System Administrator Systems Manager
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Support Specialist Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Support Specialist Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Operations Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Support Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Help Desk Leader 2.7 years
Helpdesk Lead 2.5 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Senior Help Desk Technician
Internship 2.5%
Technician 2.2%
Manager 1.9%
Top Careers After Senior Help Desk Technician

Do you work as a Senior Help Desk Technician?

Senior Help Desk Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

72.1%

Female

20.8%

Unknown

7.1%
Ethnicity

White

58.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.7%

Black or African American

12.9%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.2%

German

8.3%

French

8.3%

Dutch

8.3%

Portuguese

4.2%

Chinese

4.2%

Russian

4.2%

Cheyenne

4.2%

Mandarin

4.2%
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Senior Help Desk Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.4%

Strayer University

8.8%

University of Maryland - University College

7.1%

Community College of the Air Force

6.2%

Prince George's Community College

4.4%

ITT Technical Institute-Earth City

4.4%

TESST College of Technology - Alexandria

4.4%

Kaplan University

4.4%

Park University

3.5%

Montgomery College

3.5%

University of Southern Mississippi

3.5%

Texas A&M University

3.5%

Capella University

3.5%

Bowie State University

3.5%

Western Governors University

3.5%

Colorado Technical University

3.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.5%

ITT Technical Institute - Indianapolis

2.7%

Alexandria Technical College

2.7%

Keystone College

2.7%
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Majors

Computer Information Systems

16.2%

Information Technology

15.0%

Computer Science

14.3%

Business

9.8%

Computer Networking

9.8%

Information Systems

3.7%

Computer Systems Security

3.7%

Management Information Systems

3.3%

Electrical Engineering

3.1%

Education

2.9%

Communication

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Management

2.1%

Psychology

1.7%

Computer Technical Support

1.5%

Computer Engineering

1.5%

History

1.5%

Accounting

1.5%

Project Management

1.3%

Music

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.0%

Associate

23.7%

Other

21.8%

Masters

8.1%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

2.3%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Senior Help Desk Technician

  1. Technical Support
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Network Printers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed highly effective technical support team to ensure first time resolution of customer problems.
  • Install, modify, and repair computer hardware and software.
  • Assist with setup and configuration of desktop hardware and software and local and network printers.
  • Provide technical desktop support for national IT infrastructure visiting the end user area to research and resolve hardware/software/connectivity issues.
  • Provided Administrative support to users accounts in Active Directory, providing telephonic support to client/end-user environment.

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