Whether you want to hire one or become one, most businesses benefit from desktop technicians. These are the people who keep your computers running smoothly. They also know a thing or two about the software they install and maintain, so they can function as your personal help desk, as well. This is a dynamic field in which to enter if you are interested in doing so. If not, at least learn about the position so you know what to expect when it’s time to establish an IT department.
Educational requirements for a desktop support specialist vary. Many can become one with a high school diploma or GED and additional technical training. For those looking to advance in the field, a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related science helps. This is considered an entry-level position, however, so it’s perfect for those looking to gain experience working with computers.
Because it’s an entry-level position, desktop support salary earnings tend to be lower than other information technology positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks this data, and it reports that in 2017, most computer support specialists earned $52,810 per year. Where they lived made a difference in their pay, and those working in California earned more than those in Florida, for example.
As technology continues to grow, there will be an increased demand for desktop support specialists over the next 8 years. The BLS projects that an increase of 11 percent will keep the demand for additional specialists above the average demand in other fields. This projection takes you to 2026, but it’s safe to say that as long as people keep using computers, there will be a need for support specialists.
In fact, the number of desktop support specialist jobs in the United States was 835,300 in 2016. As people promote out of the position, the vacant seat must be filled. Places where there is a higher demand for support specialists include California, where there are 69,030 employed specialists and Texas, where there are 57,680 desktop experts.
Although the job tasks can vary, in general, the desktop support specialist work at the help desk and help train users on their computer software. They also assist with technical duties, such as setting up user accounts, assembling workstations, and downloading and updating all company software. This is a full-time job that comes with some stress; after all, nothing is worse than a disgruntled PC user.
Depending on the size of the business and its operations, desktop support personnel may be required to work nights and weekends, too. For example, utility companies have support personnel to handle any issue after hours that might result in power or other outages. This is a job that every industry uses, so there is versatility in the hours, wages, and responsibilities.
Desktop support specialists can be a business owner’s best friend. Not only do they set up the computers and keep them running smoothly, they also train people and are there in the event of a snafu. If you are a business owner, you’ll be reliant upon your desktop support. If you want to become a specialist, you’ll be in high demand. Perfect no matter which side of the fence you’re on.