In IT Support, there are several types of support Technicians. In this blog, we are going to talk about the IT Desktop Support role, what you do as a technician and what can, and will, be expected of you. Desktop support has been a career for over 40 years when computers became more and more frequently used in businesses and homes. I’m sure we don’t need to go into the history of the PC but, as it grew, the need for qualified engineers became more.
A Desktop Support Technician is known as the backbone of any IT department and company. They are accountable for the groundwork, installation, and maintenance of End User Workstations. They are also responsible for the setup and maintenance of other peripherals such as Printers, Scanners, and other input and output devices, as needed.
The standard job description of an IT Desktop Technician
Here are some of the more frequently performed tasks of an IT Desktop Technician:
• To set up and manage user accounts and permissions to consent access to a network.
• Setting up the Organization’s computer system to meet specific business goals.
• Monitoring day to day computer performance.
• Update and maintain the computer inventory and equipment.
• Maintain and resolve issues on LAN/WAN, VoIP telephone, biometric, AV systems connections, and escalating issues to the more senior Technicians when needed.
• Coordinate with vendors to resolve technical problems with desktop computing equipment and software.
• Endorse and apply upgrades to systems to ensure durability.
• Assess functional needs to regulate system purchase specifications.
• Resolve hardware and network connectivity issues.
• Assist in technical upgrading and maintaining of entire desktop systems.
• Support in testing and deployment of new applications and systems.
All these skills listed are achievable and possible through the CompTIA exams.
A day in the life of an IT Desktop Technician
A lot of people say that a Desktop Technician has an exciting job. They are very right. A day will always start with a good cup of coffee. Yes, coffee. We can easily put this into the timeline method, but there is no fun in that.
Once the coffee is made, we will either log onto an online CMS (Customer Management system) and look at what “tickets” have been logged. What you will notice is that most of these tickets can be resolved in a remote manner. And this is where it is extremely important to make sure you know, and understand, some of the most basic concepts of Desktop support. EG: Making sure you know your ports, Cable types and what their maximum lengths can be. Knowing what Ram is compatible with what type of motherboard.
I’m sure you are thinking that this is child’s play but, many technicians have ended up purchasing the incorrect spares, or bringing entire networks down because they did not know the basics off hand. It is always useful to have practical experience using live labs in the IT technician course practical experience programme.
So, once you have sorted the remote work from the on-site work, you can start with the work that we call, “5 min fix”. These are normally calls where a user needs a password reset or a small program, like WhatsApp, installed on their machine. Once the “5-minute fix” calls are completed, you will focus on the longer, more time-consuming roles.
These roles can be anything from installing new software on a machine for a client to remotely setting up a new user on a new machine. You could also be required to do back-ups of previous work on the machine before setting up a new user.
Now we are ready for the on-site or in office work. This means that you, as the technician, will either work on the physical machines in the office or go to a client site and do the work there. Most companies will have the Entry level technicians do the in-office support.
This work will be any of the following or a combination of any of the below:
• Setup new machines
• Install software
• Upgrade hardware on machines
• Build new machines from scratch
The IT industry is becoming more in demand with Jobs as technology is always improving and society is changing, therefore the need for these skills are in demand, especially IT support roles ranking number 2 in 2020 according to Technojobs.
What salary can I expect?
This is probably the hardest part to discuss. We have seen junior engineers earn exorbitant salaries and we’ve seen engineers, with Bachelor’s and Masters’s degrees, earning far below par. Many companies will say that the salary is market related, or even experience dependant. We feel that whilst there is a market related salary, salaries will also depend on your skills, knowledge, and experience. For this, we have done a bit of research.
According to pay scale the average rate for a Desktop Support Technician is between £20 000 and £40 000 per year.
What does it take to be an IT Desktop Support Technician?
The first, and most important, is patience. You will deal with clients who will really test how patient you are. Also, you will deal with clients who will be extremely demanding. For this, you need a high level of patience. If you “blow your cool”, then it could reflect badly on you.
You also need a people’s personality. Because you are client facing, it is important to be able to talk and converse in a proper, and professional, manner with clients. Another thing to note is that when dealing with clients, the type of client determines how you talk with them. For example, when you are dealing with a CEO, you cannot make jokes and be too friendly. Yet, when you are dealing with a secretary, you can be friendly but not too friendly, as this can also be seen incorrectly but your co-workers.
So, being an “IT Guy or IT Girl” as we call ourselves, can be a demanding and challenging role. But it can also be rewarding. Just like any occupation, you will have your good days and your bad days. You will have some days where you will deal with the type of client who doesn’t seem to grasp basic computer skills and other days you will have a client who will understand all the jargon that you use.
The day in the life of an IT Desktop Support Technician is a fun, rewarding, energetic day. And even though you think you have stopped learning, every day you will learn something new. And one big tip we would like to give you is “Google is your friend”. Never be too scared to ask for help or look for help.