What does a Help Desk Support Professional do?

Help desk support professionals provide technical assistance to individuals and organizations. Your responsibilities will vary depending on the industry and job type. For example, help desk support at a wireless phone company assists smartphone holders when they have problems with their devices. Someone who works for help desk support may be responsible for training employees and troubleshooting computer, network and security issues as well.

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What is the average salary of a help desk support person?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the median annual pay for computer support specialists in 2020 as $55,510. There are many entry-level help desk support positions. Professionals who are just starting out are often the first point of contact between a user and an IT department.

How does a help desk support professional’s salary grow?

As you gain additional experience, you’ll be eligible to take on more responsibility. If you work as a liaison between an IT department and the employees of an organization, you may earn a higher salary than a computer user support specialist. Computer network support specialists earn a median annual wage of $65,450.



Working as help desk support

Are you the type of person who is curious about all types of technology? Do you have no trouble learning how to use software and hardware? Do your friends turn to you when they have issues getting their laptops, gaming systems and phones to work? If this describes you, you have the aptitude to become a hel pdesk support specialist. This position gives you a chance to work with people while doing what you love.

What are the responsibilities of a help desk support professional?

A help desk support professional is often the first point of contact for people who need help using their electronics or network. Some of your responsibilities relate to customer service while others have to do with technical fixes.

Customer service responsibilities

Help desk support people should know how to do the following customer service tasks:

  • Answering phone calls or emails from people who are experiencing issues
  • Answering questions about technical difficulties while offering solutions and advice
  • Walking clients through the process of resolving the issue and following up to ensure their satisfaction
  • Providing information and training about how to use different types of technology

Technical responsibilities

Many of the technical duties that help desk support performs include:

  • Using diagnostic techniques to troubleshoot the problem remotely or in person
  • Planning and scheduling updates, upgrades and maintenance to software or hardware
  • Installing software, providing onboarding assistance and repairing hardware
  • Backing up and restoring data

Administrative duties

A help desk support specialist is sometimes responsible for administrative tasks, such as the following:

  • Writing training manuals
  • Producing reports about customer data, user activity and client correspondence
  • Making procedural suggestions and modifications when necessary
  • Escalating queries to the next level of support when necessary

What type of equipment do help desk support people use?

If you have a working knowledge of various types of technology, you'll make an excellent help desk support professional. Depending on the field that you work in, you will need to be familiar with using computers, tablets and smartphones. You’ll need access to a device connected to the internet or network to assist your clients.

Other hardware and software requirements

You’ll likely be responding to queries via telephone or email. Using a headset frees up your hands for typing. Most help desk support personnel use software to create and respond to tickets and user requests. A wide variety of software options exists for this purpose. You’ll need to be able to learn how to use various software platforms that help you assist internal and external customers.Prior experience with similar software will help. However, the company that you work for should provide training for the type of software that they use.

What is the work environment of a help desk support specialist?

Most help desk support specialists work indoors in an office. Even if you work in an office, your clients may be telecommuters. Therefore, you’ll often work remotely to resolve technical issues. Many help desk support technicians work from home, too. You are likely to travel or visit your clients in person periodically. This is especially true if your job requires you to assist with hardware issues.

Who are your colleagues as a help desk support technician?

Help desk support professionals often serve as part of the IT department. In a large organization, you might work under an IT manager or director. In a smaller organization, you may have additional responsibilities and report directly to the chief information officer or chief technology officer. You’ll also likely work with other help desk support specialists.

What is the work schedule of help desk support?

Whether you work full- or part-time, you may have some flexibility with your hours. Some help desk support members work on an on-call basis, responding to queries when clients are having problems. Others work outside of traditional work hours so that they don’t tie up the networks or systems while other employees need to access them. If you work for an organization that offers 24-hour help desk support, you have the option to choose an overnight shift.



What is the career outlook for a help desk support professional?

Organizations are constantly implementing, updating and upgrading their technology. Therefore, there are plenty of positions for help desk support people. This position is growing at an average pace of 9% through 2030.

Advancement opportunities

There are many advancement opportunities for help desk support technicians with experience. The job allows you to get your foot in the door for higher positions, such as an IT manager, a network administrator or an IT security specialist.

What are the advantages of working with Spherion as a help desk support specialist?

It’s not always easy to find the best help desk support positions when you’re leading your own job search. Working with Spherion opens the door to a wider range of help desk job opportunities. You’ll have access to a recruiter who understands what you’re looking for and will work on finding the best career match for you. You’ll benefit from:

  • Flexible scheduling
  • Weekly paychecks
  • Networking prospects
  • Training opportunities

What education do you need as a help desk support professional?

Most companies require help desk support candidates to hold an associate degree or higher-level degree. While your major doesn’t have to be in computer science, you will stand out more as a potential employee if you’ve studied a related field, such as:

  • Engineering
  • Computer information systems
  • Information technology
  • Network administration

Additional training and education

Someone with an applicable degree may be eligible to earn a higher salary than someone with no education in the field. However, many entry-level positions offer on-the-job training. Even if you don’t have a formal computer science degree, show that you have relevant experience by sharing your personal interests, extracurricular activities and courses that you have taken.

Certifications for help desk support

Enhance your knowledge and improve your chances of getting hired as a help desk support professional by earning one of the following certifications:

  • Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) A+ Certification: CompTIA offers several certifications in the categories of infrastructure, cybersecurity and analytics. The A+ certification is a core program that teaches the foundations of networks, software and security. You’ll learn essential skills for help desk support personnel, including how to configure hardware, administer software and troubleshoot common support challenges.
  • Microsoft certifications: Microsoft offers a broad range of certifications for individuals who want to pursue specific career paths. Choose from courses for developers, administrators or security engineers to boost your skills and hone a specific area of interest.
  • Google IT Certificates: If you’re new to the industry, you should enroll in the Google IT Support Professional Certificate Program to enhance your background. This will prepare you for entry-level help desk support roles.

Skills & competencies

As a help desk support specialist, you'll exercise your knowledge of computers and electronics. However, a help desk position also requires certain soft skills:

  • Communication skills: You’ll be interacting with clients in person, via telephone and online. You’ll need to be a good listener and able to decipher what others say while relaying clear advice. You’ll set the tone for a strong customer experience, helping clients stay calm as you assist them with tech problems.
  • Analytical skills: You’ll need strong analytical skills for working with systems, files and data as well as translating customer concerns from layman’s terms to technical digital applications.
  • Fast learner: Are your skills sufficient for the jobs you are pursuing? The IT landscape is evolving quickly. You’ll need to stay on top of technical advancements and changes so that you’re always delivering up-to-the-minute solutions.
  • Time management: As a help desk support specialist, you need time to communicate with clients, work on the issue at hand and log tasks. It's important to prioritize your responsibilities while staying receptive to urgent needs.




If you know tech and enjoy helping people, a help desk support position is for you. Learn the answers to the most frequently asked questions about becoming a help desk support professional below.

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