Desktop Support Specialist Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Desktop Support Specialist, or Technical Support Specialist, is an IT professional who acts as the first point of contact for computer users experiencing difficulties with computer hardware, applications, and software. Desktop Support Specialists troubleshoot problems, arrange system upgrades, and organize parts replacements where necessary, among many other technical support duties.

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Desktop Support Specialist duties and responsibilities

Desktop Support Specialists may work for a particular computer hardware manufacturer and specialize in providing technical support for a specific company’s hardware. However, others may work within the IT department of a private company and support desktop users with technical issues. Duties and responsibilities for Desktop Support Specialists include:

  • Communicating electronically (and in-person) with desktop users experiencing technical difficulties by troubleshooting and documenting problems
  • Reproducing, diagnosing, and analyzing problems reported by end-users, in turn formulating solutions to resolve the issue at hand
  • Providing training and advice to users, both in response to identified difficulties and to share tips for optimal computer operation
  • Organizing and maintaining a problems and solutions log for use by other Desktop Support personnel
  • Setting up and deploying IT equipment for new employees
  • Training users in software and operating systems
  • Addressing and resolving incoming tickets from users regarding hardware, software, and network issues
  • Assessing recurring issues to create automated processes where possible
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What does a Desktop Support Specialist do?

Desktop Support Specialists are employed within a variety of different sectors to provide technical support to their clients. They may work for companies such as computer hardware manufacturers and retailers, software developers, call centres, and IT departments throughout both the public and private sectors. Desktop Support Specialist duties vary depending on the sector in which they operate. However, it’s the responsibility of the Desktop Support Specialist to ensure that end-users are uninterrupted by technical difficulties. 

When problems arise, they troubleshoot, document issues, and problem solve to return hardware, software, and applications to working order quickly. In today’s ever-changing online world, Desktop Support Specialists are crucial for businesses to ensure their employees can work effectively, uninterrupted by technical issues. When problems arise, getting teams back online swiftly is the Desktop Support Specialist’s top priority.

Desktop Support Specialist skills and qualifications

Strong hardware and software skills are essential for successful Desktop Support Specialist candidates. However, excellent written and verbal communication skills are equally as important to advise, teach, and problem solve with end-users in-person and remotely. Top skills for Desktop Support Specialists include:

  • Inquisitive problem-solving skills, including replicating technical issues to further investigate where necessary
  • Effective time management and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, including the ability to prioritize based on business needs
  • Adaptability and the ability to tailor technical advice based on the end-users technical abilities
  • Clear communication skills to troubleshoot, advise, and educate end-users and other Support Specialists
  • Competent debugging and reprogramming of technical systems
  • Efficiently setting up hardware and installing relevant systems and software
  • Ability to meet deadlines

Desktop Support Specialist experience requirements

Typically, Desktop Support Specialist candidates need to have two or more years of experience in similar roles, with senior and supervisory roles requiring upwards of five years of experience. Where a particular software or system is widely used within your company, or with end-users, experience with said systems or software is highly beneficial.

Desktop Support Specialist education and training requirements

Desktop Support Specialist candidates are required to have completed a college program in computer science, computer programming, network administration, or related field. However, there are exceptions for those with equivalent industry experience. Additional training and certification programs are available from software vendors and are beneficial when that software is one your company uses.

Desktop Support Specialist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, average pay for a Desktop Support Specialist in Canada is $20.59 per hour. Wages may vary depending on a candidate’s experience, location, and company.

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Desktop Support Specialist job description FAQs

Do Desktop Support Specialists have different responsibilities in different industries?

Desktop Support Specialist responsibilities vary depending on the sector they work in, and the size and scope of the company they work for. Some Desktop Support Specialists may be responsible for the smooth running of internal employee computer hardware, software, and systems. Whereas others work for computer hardware manufacturers, retailers, and technical support companies, and assist a much broader range of clients.

What qualities make a good Desktop Support Specialist?

Patience and empathy are very important qualities in a Desktop Support Specialist. As they provide support to end-users with varying levels of technical competency, clients may be frustrated by the technical problems they’re experiencing, so specialists need to be able to relate with their client’s frustrations and provide helpful support. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are also essential to effectively provide support to clients, especially when it may require the Desktop Support Specialist to explain complicated solutions.

What should you look for in a Desktop Support Specialist resume?

Previous experience in Desktop Support roles or qualifications in computer science, computer programming or network administration is a great place to start. Look for candidates with evidence of troubleshooting, problem-solving and support skills.

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