Help Desk Support: Job Description
Job Descriptions

Help Desk Support: Job Description

5.5 min read

Help desk support specialists are the go-to people for providing technical assistance and support related to computer systems, hardware, and software. They are responsible for answering queries and addressing system and user issues in a timely and professional manner. Help desk support works with the IT team, and will often interact with system and computer users across the company. The help desk team will train users on basic system and computer functions. Understanding and proactively maintaining daily system performance, having the ability to troubleshoot customer problems, and innate follow-up and follow-through skills are all essential aspects of the help desk support’s day-to-day role.

Browse our help desk support job openings.

Typical Help Desk Support Responsibilities

The day-to-day tasks of a help desk support team vary depending on the needs of the users or systems on a given day. Help desk support personnel can plan for upgrades, updates, and maintenance tasks, but there will always be unexpected issues that arise in a given day. That being said, many in help desk support find themselves acting as the first point of contact when a user is facing hardware, software, or system issues. Many teams work within a ticketing system, so that each member of the help desk team will have a variety of tickets to address and close out each day in addition to their maintenance tasks. While the nature of their role is more technically based, it is important for help desk support specialists to have a tolerant and patient disposition, with strong communication skills to put frustrated users at ease. With many tasks to oversee, in general help desk support will be responsible to:

  • Monitor and respond quickly to incoming requests relate to IT issues.
  • Maintain computer systems and act as support if any system goes down.
  • Responsible for PC’s, Printers, Servers and related equipment (monitor, keyboard, mouse, hard drive, etc).
  • Maintain user PCs, including upgrades and configuration as needed.
  • Assist with onboarding of new users.
  • Keep inventory of all equipment, software, and license users.
  • Install, configure, and upgrade PC software.

Skills of a Help Desk Support Specialist

Help desk support teams are patient task managers who know how to find or create solutions to unexpected problems. They often work with multiple teams and departments, and need to be able to communicate and take ownership to ensure tasks are completed appropriately and on time. There are some essential skills that everyone in a help desk support role should have:

  • General awareness of computer systems, PC repair, and network management
  • Resourcefulness and quick-thinking nature to troubleshoot new and critical technical issues as they arise.
  • Ability deploy, configure, and support operating systems on desktop and mobile
  • Understanding and appreciation for information security within systems and user devices.
  • Strong drive to provide excellent customer service and experience, with an awareness of prioritization of tasks, stakeholders, budget, and time.

Salary Outlook

As businesses grow, their need for competent help desk support will grow. While in recent years some traditional help desk tasks have been outsourced, there will always be a desire for onsite support within every large company. Help desk support specialists are needed across all industries and can create a niche skillset by learning and specializing more in certain types of technology, systems, or hardware.

According to Glassdoor, project managers make an average base salary of $43,835 in the United States. The more niche skills a help desk support specialist has, generally the higher the salary will be. For example, an Application Support Specialist makes an average $11k more in base salary. The more knowledge and experience you gain within Helpdesk Support, the more you will be able to hone your skills and specializations.

Looking for the next step in your career?
Collabera has many current openings within Help Desk Support, with more posted every day. Browse  and apply online, or submit your resume to get started with us today!

Expected Education and Certification

A college degree is not typically required for entry-level help desk positions, but a degree in computer information science, or help desk administration can help get an interview or achieve a higher pay grade. It can also be useful to get a specialized or niche certificate in PC repair, network administration, or help desk support.

  • CompTIA A+ Certification: Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) provides IT-centric training in a vendor-neutral platform. The A+ certification is their foundational course that covers networks, security, operating systems, and software. With no prerequisites, this is the ideal starting point to learn new skills and gain competence as an entry-level IT technician.
  • Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP): Microsoft is the US’s leading IT technology provider, and so it is very likely that your employer would value having a certified professional as a member of the help desk team.

Potential Help Desk Support Interview Questions

With customer service and troubleshooting skills at the core of your role as help desk support, you will need to demonstrate your ability to find solutions quickly and efficiently. Show your strengths and come prepared for any question. Here’s a few to think about in order to get started:

  • How would you troubleshoot a problem connecting to the network?
  • How would you handle the entire network going down?
  • Which systems have you worked with in the past, and which would you recommend?
  • How would you communicate with an upset customer?
  • How do you manage different tasks and maintain priority when new issues arise?

Professional Organizations and Associations

Joining a professional organization demonstrates your commitment to the role, and helps to develop your professional network. You can stay abreast of new skills, innovations, and the latest news in the field of project management.

  • CompTIA: The leading association for technology professionals, students, and educators. Four different memberships are offered (ranging from free if you are a student to $99 year).
  • TSIA: Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) provides best practices, leadership, and expert advice for technology services. TSIA is a research and advisory firm on a mission to help technology companies and professionals.
  • ACM: The Association for Computing Machinery is the world’s largest education and scientific computing society, delivering resources that advance computing as a science and profession.

Brush up on your Help Desk Support Knowledge

Staying up-to-date on the latest best practices also includes self-learning. From reading blogs and attending conventions, to taking a free course online, there are many ways and places to expand your skills.

  • IT Chronicles: articles and white papers on cutting edge technology and best practices
  • HDI Conference: forums, workshops, networking, and support for IT professionals from help desk onward
  • EdTech Magazine: Articles from hardware and internet, to cloud and data. Focuses on higher education and learning within IT

Explore our Top Help Desk Support Roles

Collabera places approximately 400 help desk support professionals every year. There is always a need, and we are always on the lookout. Searching for a new role in help desk support? Check out some of our top jobs.

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