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Desktop Support Specialist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Desktop Support Specialist, or IT Support Technician provides desktop, laptop and peripheral support for clients and end users. Their duties include troubleshooting, diagnosing and fixing IT-related issues and taking care of maintenance tasks.

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Desktop Support Specialist duties and responsibilities

The exact nature of a Desktop Support Specialist’s duties depends on factors like the position and work environment. Those who work for smaller companies, for instance, may have a broader scope of duties that could include server support. Generally, their main tasks and responsibilities include:

  • Responding to call-outs in a timely manner and addressing issues until they are resolved
  • Escalating client-related or technical issues with senior staff or management when necessary
  • Staying up to date regarding the latest IT developments, including new operating systems and applications
  • Assisting Server Engineers with routine tasks, such as monitoring server backups and anti-virus updates
  • Completing job cards and updating customer records
  • Setting up and servicing peripheral equipment, such as printers and projectors
  • Installing new computers, operating systems and software
  • Providing users with training and information regarding the use of new systems
  • Monitoring the performance of the company’s desktop infrastructure and making suggestions for improving efficiency
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What does a Desktop Support Specialist do?

Desktop Support Specialists can work as part of a company’s in-house IT team, assisting staff with hardware and software issues. Others may work for an IT services company, providing IT support for a company’s clients. The job may involve manning an IT support helpdesk, providing remote assistance or visiting a client who has logged a support call. Apart from providing hardware and software support, these professionals handle basic connectivity issues such as connecting a computer to a network. However, they do not support networks, as that’s the job of Network Technicians.

Desktop Support Specialist skills and qualifications

Apart from working with IT equipment and systems, Desktop Support Specialists work directly with a company’s staff or clients, as Desktop Support Specialists they need excellent interpersonal and customer service skills. They should be able to conduct themselves in a polite and friendly manner and have the ability to put the needs of clients first. A successful Desktop Support Specialist will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, that typically include:

  • The ability to multitask, as the job often involves working on more than one IT issue concurrently
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills to correctly diagnose and fix problems
  • Creative thinking to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems
  • Excellent team-working skills, as they mostly work with other IT professionals in a team
  • An inquisitive mind and a real interest in IT to remain up to date regarding new technologies
  • Physical strength and dexterity to carry IT equipment and work in awkward or tight spaces

Desktop Support Specialist experience requirements

The level of experience Desktop Support Specialists require varies depending on the position. For entry-level support positions, employers may only require candidates to show technical knowledge of relevant hardware and software. Other positions may only be open to applicants with previous experience in an IT support role. Depending on the position, applicants may need to show specific skills, such as previous experience in working in a virtual environment or with Android devices.

Desktop Support Specialist education and training requirements

Candidates should have at least a few GCSEs, grades A to C, including maths and English. Candidates can grow their skills in the IT field by completing a college course, such as a Level 2 Certificate in ICT Systems Support or a Level 3 Diploma in ICT Professional Competence. Professional bodies, such as The Chartered Institute for IT, also offer a range of IT qualifications, such as a Level 4 Certificate or Diploma in IT. Another way to gain access to the profession is through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in IT support.

Desktop Support Specialist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Desktop Support Specialist in the UK is £26,928 per year. Salaries vary, however depending on factors like location, level of experience and employer.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Desktop Support Specialist job description FAQs

What are the hours of a Desktop Support Specialist?

Typically, Desktop Support Specialists have normal Monday to Friday, 40-hour work schedules. The job may require working overtime from time to time, for example, when they are involved with IT projects. Desktop Support Specialists may also be on call for clients that have a 24/7 support contract with an IT services company.

What is the difference between an IT Engineer and a Desktop Support Specialist?

An IT Engineer is a specialist who designs, builds and tests new hardware, computer systems and network solutions for improved IT and business processes. A Desktop Support Specialist has a far more junior position and provides basic IT support.

Who does a Desktop Support Specialist report to?

Who a Desktop Support Specialist reports to depends on a company’s structure. Those who work for larger firms will probably report to a Technical Support Manager. Desktop Support Specialists may also report to Project Managers when they are involved with project work.

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