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Home » Roles » Help desk technician

Help desk technician

Most businesses have some form of online presence nowadays. However, as technology advances, there will inevitably be difficulties and complications. 

During these times, a help desk technician may step in to assist. This role is crucial in providing technical support and troubleshooting help to ensure smooth operations within organizations. 

What is a help desk technician?

A help desk technician is also referred to as a support specialist or IT support technician. This professional is responsible for providing technical assistance and support to end-users within a company. 

Help desk technicians serve as the first point of contact for users who encounter IT-related issues. They also help those seeking guidance on software, hardware, or network problems. 

These professionals employ their expertise to diagnose and resolve issues promptly, minimizing downtime and disruptions to business operations.  

Duties of a help desk technician

The duties of a help desk technician encompass a wide range of responsibilities aimed at addressing and resolving technical issues efficiently. 

These may include:


Help desk technicians must possess strong problem-solving skills to diagnose and troubleshoot various technical issues reported by users. This involves identifying the root cause of the problem and implementing effective solutions in a timely manner.

Technical support 

They provide assistance and guidance to end-users on the use of hardware, software applications, and other IT-related tools. This may involve providing step-by-step instructions, troubleshooting techniques, or recommending alternative solutions.

Incident management 

Help desk technicians are tasked with managing and documenting incidents reported by users. They maintain detailed records of issues, resolutions, and follow-up actions to track trends and improve support processes.

Remote assistance 

With the increasing prevalence of remote work, help desk technicians often provide support to users located in different geographical locations. This requires proficiency in remote access tools and effective communication skills to troubleshoot issues remotely.

Training and education 

Help desk technicians may conduct training sessions or create instructional materials to educate users on best practices, software updates, and security protocols. 

This proactive approach helps empower users to minimize potential issues and maximize productivity.

Skills and requirements needed in a help desk technician

To excel in the role of a help desk technician, individuals must possess a diverse set of skills and meet specific requirements. 

Some essential skills and qualifications include:

Technical proficiency 

A strong understanding of computer hardware, software applications, operating systems, and networking fundamentals is crucial for effectively troubleshooting and resolving technical issues.

Problem-solving abilities 

Help desk technicians must possess excellent problem-solving skills to analyze complex issues, identify viable solutions, and implement them efficiently. They must be adept at thinking critically and logically under pressure.

Customer service skills 

Since help desk technicians interact directly with end-users, strong customer service skills are essential. They should exhibit patience, empathy, and clear communication to address user concerns and build positive relationships effectively.

Attention to detail 

Being detail-oriented is vital for accurately documenting issues, resolutions, and follow-up actions. Help desk technicians must maintain meticulous records to track progress and ensure thorough incident management.

Adaptability and learning agility 

The rapidly evolving nature of technology requires help desk technicians to stay updated with the latest trends, tools, and best practices. They should demonstrate a willingness to learn and adapt to new technologies and methodologies.

Where to hire a help desk technician

Businesses have several options when it comes to hiring help desk technicians. They can recruit candidates through various channels, including:

1. In-house recruitment 

Organizations can establish their own help desk teams by recruiting candidates internally or externally through job postings, referrals, or recruitment agencies. 

This allows for greater control over the hiring process and alignment with organizational culture and values.

2. Freelance platforms 

Online freelance platforms provide access to a pool of freelance help desk technicians who offer their services on a project basis. 

Businesses can leverage these platforms to find qualified technicians for short-term assignments or specialized projects.

3. Outsourcing 

Some businesses opt to outsource their help desk support to third-party service providers. 

Outsourcing offers cost savings, scalability, and access to specialized expertise, particularly for smaller organizations or those with limited resources.

Salary comparison

Consider the table when comparing the salaries of a help desk technician in the US and an outsourced help desk technician from the Philippines. 

Annual salary figures are taken from ZipRecruiter and Payscale, respectively. 


On-site vs. Remote setup for a help desk technician

The setup of a help desk technician can vary depending on organizational preferences, operational requirements, and technological capabilities. 

Two primary setup options include on-site and remote arrangements:

On-site help desk 

In an on-site setup, help desk technicians work from a physical location within the organization, such as a designated office or support center. This setup allows for direct interaction with users and immediate access to hardware and infrastructure for troubleshooting purposes. 

It fosters collaboration among team members and promotes a sense of presence and accessibility for end-users.

Remote help desk 

With the rise of remote work and advancements in technology, many organizations opt for a remote help desk setup. Remote help desk technicians provide support to users from a location outside the traditional office environment. 

They often utilize:

  • Remote access tools
  • Communication platforms
  • Ticketing systems 

This arrangement gives you access to a wider talent pool, flexibility, and cost savings. 

However, it requires robust cybersecurity measures, effective communication channels, and well-defined processes to ensure seamless operations and user satisfaction.

Interview questions for a help desk technician

A proper set of interview questions will enable you to root out the most capable help desk technician among your candidates. You are free to use our template for your recruitment purposes. 

Help desk technician job description template 

Similarly, you can also utilize this help desk technician job description template to get started. 

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