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Help Desk Representative Job Description, Career as a Help Desk Representative, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training High school diploma

Average Salary $34,000 per year

Job Outlook Very good

Basic Job Description

Help desk representatives provide customer service and user support for a variety of companies, mainly those with customers who will need computer support. They work with customers in person or via phone, email, or live chat to help diagnose technical problems and research information for them regarding the use of a product or service. Help desk representatives work for a variety of companies and are well educated on each of their products and services as well as how to troubleshoot problems and assist customers to understand why a product is not working properly. In some cases, help desk representatives are unable to help a customer and will then direct them to the proper person for additional help. They also keep a log of each call and interaction they receive to provide statistical data on what problems customers have the most frequently.

Education and Training Requirements

For most jobs as a help desk representative, a high school diploma is sufficient. Most companies who hire a help desk provide on the job training. It is beneficial for help desk representatives to have experience working with software or technology, so taking computers and technology courses is beneficial.

Companies will teach help desk representatives all the information they need to know about their products and services. They will often give them a manual filled with information they need regarding troubleshooting problems and how to explain to customers what they need to do in order to bring a product back to good condition.

Getting the Job

The most important quality of a help desk representative is that they have excellent communication and customer service skills. They need to maintain a calm and professional demeanor while speaking with customers, even if they are angry and unsatisfied. Customers may also appear to be clueless when it comes to how to work a device, so the help desk must be able to easily talk them through what exactly they need to do.

Help desk representatives also need good problem solving and analytical skills. Customers may call in with a problem they are unfamiliar with, so the representative will have to base their advice on other problems and do what they can to find out as much information as possible. If a help desk representative cannot figure out what needs to be done, they need to figure out who will know so they can transfer the customer over to that department.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Help desk representatives can work for a variety of companies that provide all sorts of products and services. Once they are familiar with customer service techniques, they can advance their career by managing an entire call center and training representatives on how to do their job in the best way possible. Some may even move on to work at a help desk for larger companies or even companies that provide in-house support, meaning the representative will work in an office and meet with customers in person rather than over the phone or via email. Help desk representatives who work in these situations often deal with more complex problems that cannot be fixed by walking a customer through steps over the phone. These representatives are more advanced and knowledgeable on the products, so they can troubleshoot and fix more serious issues.

Help desk representatives often gain plenty of knowledge about information technology and how to repair products. This can help representatives advance their career to working in an actual IT department within a company. Many companies will require these workers to advance their education or take courses in technology that are related to their type of work, but working as a help desk representative is a good start for someone who wants to work in this field.

Help desk jobs are expected to increase over the next several years. Technology is rapidly increasing in plenty of fields, so more and more companies are coming out with advanced products that incorporate the latest technology into them. Because of that, they are in need of help desk representatives who are well informed on the technology and can assist customers who are having trouble adjusting.

Working Conditions and Environment

Help desk representatives spend most of their time working in front of a computer in a call center. They will answer phone calls and emails and help the callers fix any problems they are having. They will research information if they do not know it off hand, and will know who to transfer a customer to if they are unable to help them.

Call centers can become stressful if there are a large number of calls coming in. If this is the case, representatives will have to maintain their professionalism but still try to get customer problems fixed quickly and efficiently. Customers may often call in angry or frustrated, and will only get more frustrated if they are forced to wait on hold for a long time. Help desk representatives will have to be able to handle a high-stress environment and frustrated customers in a friendly and timely manner.

Help desks are usually available for certain hours during the day. Some are available 24 hours a day, and in these cases workers will often rotate between working days and nights. However, most help desks are only available for certain hours during the day so representatives will have a set number of hours and a set schedule that they will work.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a help desk representative is about $34,000 per year. Most of them work a set number of hours and rarely work over time. Companies also provide health insurance benefits as well as vacation and sick leave to employees. Representatives who work for a larger company and have worked there for several years are more likely to advance and make a larger income.

Where to Go for More Information

International Customer Service Association
24 Wernik Place
Metuchen, NJ 08840

Association for Services Management International
17065 Camino San Bernardo, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92127
(858) 385-2003

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHuman Resources