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IT help desk technician

A help desk technician is an information technology (IT) support position that provides technical support and trouble-shooting services to users who require assistance with technology. This typically includes computer hardware, software or networking issues.

The help desk technician is also responsible for responding to client inquiries, running diagnostics, isolating problems, and advising the customer of the solution with a defined scope of support.

On the job, a help desk technician collects information from clients regarding the problem and then leads the user through a set of diagnostic procedures to determine the source of the issue. A ticketing system is used in order to document client issues and solutions. The incident reports are analyzed and evaluated to make recommendations to reduce the overall help line incident rate.

Key Job Duties and Responsibilities

An IT help technician is the first point of contact for customers seeking technical support over the phone, live chat or email, often serving customers remotely using diagnostic programs and asking relevant questions to troubleshoot the issue quickly. Next, the technician determines the best solution based on the information provided and guides the customer through the problem-solving process.

It is important that all events are recorded and all problems and solutions in logs, and later, pass along feedback and suggestions to the appropriate team. This includes client feedback in addition to suggestions from the help desk technician to improve procedures. Finally, the technician follows-up with the customer and will update the status and information of the case.

IT help desk technicians spend extended periods of time at a computer or on the phone, and in some job situations, will be expected to lift computer systems and monitors for system deployment. Some jobs may require the technician to work from inside a call center, while others may work remotely.

Required Degrees, Recommended Education or other Programs

To obtain an IT help desk technician job, many employers require the applicant to have a minimum of one-year of practical experience in a technical support position or recent post-secondary technical education experience.

Recommended Reading: Webopedia's IT certification resources are designed to help graduates and professionals who want to improve their knowledge and skills in targeted areas of information technology. 

Depending on the specific job, experience in mainstream operating systems, usually the latest version of Windows, and applications such as Microsoft Office and email programs.

Other qualifications may include but are not limited to:

  • Working knowledge of office automation products, databases, and remote control applications
  • Expertise in the workings of computer systems, mobile devices, and other technology products
  • The ability to diagnose and resolve basic technical issues
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills
  • Self motivated and directed
  • Team player
  • Customer-oriented
  • Patience
  • The ability to provide non-business hour support as needed

Average Salary and Benefits

In the United States, the average salary of an IT help desk technician is approximately $41,842 per year. However, some can make as much as $58,000 per year.  Depending on the employer, benefits may include extended health care, vision care and dental care, as well as life insurance. Company pension, vacation, paid time off, and employee assistance programs may also be offered.

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