All help desk personnel need excellent problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills, along with patience, a customer-friendly attitude and the ability to work in a team environment.
In addition, technicians should have a strong technical understanding of technology, including the various hardware, software and networking systems being supported.
Employer requirements depend on the help desk position level.
Tier 1, an entry-level position, normally requires less than two years of work experience and may require an associate’s degree or completion of coursework at a technical school.
Tier 2 jobs typically require two to four years of work experience and may require a bachelor’s degree or a two-year degree and additional, equivalent work experience in a help desk setting.
Tier 3 positions often require four or more years of help desk experience, may require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, and/or professional certifications such as HDI’s Customer Service Representative or Support Center Analyst or the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) designation.
Typical duties of a help desk technician
- Researching and resolving the most difficult and complex problems that other help desk levels have been unable to resolve
- Analyzing and identifying trends in issue reporting and devising preventive solutions
- Mentoring other help desk personnel on hardware and software problem analysis and resolution
- Resolving more complex issues requiring detailed systems and applications knowledge; these issues have been escalated from Tier 1
- Deciding whether to generate a trouble or work order ticket for issues that will require a visit to the user’s PC or workstation
- Taking initial telephone or email inquiries and troubleshooting and managing relatively simple hardware, software or network problems
- Recognizing and escalating more difficult problems to Tier 2 support
- Logging call activity