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Become A Service Desk Agent

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Working As A Service Desk Agent

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $77,800

    Average Salary

What Does A Service Desk Agent 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 Service Desk Agent

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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Service Desk Agent jobs

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Service Desk Agent Career Paths

Service Desk Agent
Service Desk Team Lead Service Desk Manager Technical Services Manager
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Services Desk Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Service Desk Analyst Desktop Support Analyst Systems Administrator
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Subject Matter Expert Program Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Project Leader Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Systems Administrator Software Engineer
Lead Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Engineer
Network Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Help Desk Specialist Network Administrator
Senior Network Administrator
6 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Senior Support Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Service Desk Analyst Systems Administrator
Senior System Administrator
8 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Analyst
Senior Systems Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Engineer Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Senior Systems Engineer Technical Analyst
Senior Technical Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Lead Technician
Senior Technologist
6 Yearsyrs
Services Desk Technician Service Desk Analyst Service Desk Supervisor
Service Desk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Subject Matter Expert Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
PC Support Analyst 3.0 years
Help Desk Leader 3.0 years
Help Desk Operator 2.9 years
PC Analyst 2.7 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.1 years
Service Desk Agent 2.0 years
Tier 1.6 years
Help Desk Agent 1.5 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 4.4%
Internship 3.8%
Supervisor 3.5%
Technician 3.5%
Top Employers After
Agent 3.8%
Owner 3.3%

Service Desk Agent Demographics

Gender

Male

70.9%

Female

25.9%

Unknown

3.1%
Ethnicity

White

76.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.1%

Asian

8.6%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.4%

German

14.3%

Portuguese

4.8%

Icelandic

4.8%

Hungarian

4.8%
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Service Desk Agent Education

Schools

ECPI University

15.1%

University of Phoenix

8.2%

University of Maryland - University College

6.8%

ITT Technical Institute-Troy

5.5%

Alabama State University

5.5%

Boise State University

5.5%

Central Texas College

4.1%

Weber State University

4.1%

American University

4.1%

Texas State University

4.1%

Strayer University

4.1%

Kaplan University

4.1%

Oakland Community College

4.1%

Fountainhead College of Technology

4.1%

Salt Lake Community College

4.1%

Texas A&M University

4.1%

Metropolitan State University of Denver

4.1%

ITT Technical Institute-Dearborn

2.7%

St. Philip's College

2.7%

Western Governors University

2.7%
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Majors

Computer Information Systems

14.8%

Business

14.0%

Information Technology

13.7%

Computer Science

12.2%

Computer Networking

9.6%

Information Systems

3.7%

Computer Systems Security

3.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.0%

Electrical Engineering

3.0%

Communication

3.0%

Management

2.6%

General Studies

2.2%

Management Information Systems

2.2%

Psychology

2.2%

Information Sciences

2.2%

Criminal Justice

1.8%

Accounting

1.8%

Computer Programming

1.5%

Music

1.5%

Political Science

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.7%

Other

23.1%

Associate

21.8%

Masters

6.3%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

2.1%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Service Desk Agent

HardwareIssuesRemoteAccessServiceDeskActiveDirectoryWindowsXPTechnicalSupportEmailTroubleshootRemoteDesktopResetPasswordsVPNPhoneCallsUserAccountsCitrixSLADeskSupportTechnicalIssuesKnowledgeBaseInternetExplorerLevelSupport

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Top Service Desk Agent Skills

  1. Hardware Issues
  2. Remote Access
  3. Service Desk
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Diagnosed software and hardware issues: determining factors for customer issues and implemented a fix in the system for the issues.
  • Used virtual private network, (VPN), daily for remote access to client's computer.
  • Help effectively bring in the first new technical service desk account in Lincoln, NE.
  • Configured Air Force personnel computer accounts in Active Directory at AFOSI Headquarters and remotely around all Air Force Bases nationwide.
  • Provide both functionality and technical support across various operating systems including Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

Top Service Desk Agent Employers

Service Desk Agent Videos

Life at a call center

TATA Consultancy Services – IT Service Desk Agent

Front Desk Agent (Resort), Career Video from drkit.org

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