IT help desk technician job description, responsibilities, and salary
Do you enjoy working with both people and computers? Can you switch back and forth between a Mac and a PC with ease? Are you an expert at diagnosing your own computer issues?
If this sounds like you, you might be just the right person for an IT help desk job.
Help desk job responsibilities can encompass a wide range of tasks, depending on the company and position level.
In this article, we’ll look closely at help desk job responsibilities for entry-level and advanced technicians, as well as the skills you might need to land a help desk job.
What is a help desk technician?
‘Help desk technician’ is the most common job title for someone who works as the first line of IT support for customers or employees at a company.
As a help desk technician, you’ll provide a combination of customer support and technical assistance to anyone who needs it. You may serve internal customers — that is, your colleagues — or clients who need technical support with your company’s products.
Help desk technicians are typically categorized as Level 1, 2, or 3, depending on their work experience and skill level. Help desk job descriptions, like the one below, will typically tell you what level of help desk technician a company is hiring for.
Later on, we’ll talk about the different help desk job responsibilities you can expect at each level.
What skills do you need to work at a help desk?
For a level 1 help desk job, you won’t need an advanced degree or years of IT training.
In more junior help desk roles, you’ll usually need common workplace skills as well as some level of technical knowledge.
For instance, you’ll definitely need soft skills like effective communication — something 55% of employers are looking for in 2021.
Here are a few other skills you might need when applying for a help desk job:
Customer service skills such as empathy and patience
Problem-solving to help with troubleshooting technical issues
Technical reading and writing for understanding and explaining complex issues
A detail-oriented view to catch small issues or errors
Computer proficiency and familiarity with both Mac and PC computers
Some help desk jobs will provide on-the-job training for their specific technical support needs. Others may require that you already have some formal training or certificate.
Thankfully, it’s getting easier to develop IT help desk skills. Google now offers IT professional certificates in partnership with Coursera, so you can enhance your IT knowledge and open up more job opportunities.
Certificates like these, as well as any hands-on computer experience you can get, will help you develop the skills you need to land a help desk job.
Be sure to check each help desk job description to see what qualifications you’ll need to have.
10 entry-level help desk job responsibilities
As we mentioned above, help desk job responsibilities can change a lot depending on the organization or type of help desk job you’re looking for.
To help you understand what this job entails, here are ten help desk job responsibilities you might encounter in an entry-level IT help desk job:
Answering phones, emails, and chat queries
Managing and prioritizing help desk tickets
Assisting customers efficiently and effectively
Running diagnostics and troubleshooting simple problems
Setting up computer hardware, software, and networks
Following up with customers
Running standard or specialized IT reports
Writing and editing training manuals or help desk content
Logging call activity and issue resolutions
Escalating issues to a higher tier when appropriate
Advanced help desk job responsibilities
With more skills and years of experience, you may qualify for level 2 or 3 IT help desk jobs.
Level 2 and 3 help desk technicians solve more complex technical issues and have a deeper understanding of computer systems and applications. Here’s a chart to demonstrate what each kind of help desk job entails:
As you can see, level 2 or 3 help desk technicians often research solutions to complex problems and manage the overall function of the IT help desk. They may also work more broadly on preventing technical problems.
If you already have IT or computer experience, you might be qualified for a higher-level help desk job. If you don’t, you can often access the experience and training to move up when you find an entry-level help desk job.
Help desk technician salary and job outlook
It’s a great time to start looking for help desk jobs, as this field is expected to grow by 8% between now and 2029. That’s much faster than the average industry in the U.S.
Even better? The current median pay for an IT support specialist or help desk technician is $55,510. And of course, the more skills you gain and the more help desk job responsibilities you take on, the more room you’ll have to grow your salary too.
What help desk technician jobs are hiring now?
Ready to look for your next help desk technician job? Check out Jobcase's job search tool to browse help desk jobs. You can also get insights into what other jobs are back to hiring.
Keep in mind that the exact job title might differ from company to company. Try searching for "help desk technician", "IT support specialist", or similar terms to find as many job opportunities as you can.
Look for your next help desk job today
Help desk jobs can be compelling and rewarding.
With a strong job growth outlook and excellent salary opportunities, now is a great time to hone your skills and find a help desk technician job that can help you grow into the rest of your career.
Need help crafting the perfect help desk technician resume? Check out the Jobcase Getting Hired Resource Center for more job search tips.