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Job Name

IT Helpdesk Officer

Brief description

The following is a defintion of what function a helpdesk plays:

"A help desk is an information and assistance resource that troubleshoots problems with computers and similar products. Corporations often provide help desk support to their customers via a toll-free number, website and/or e-mail. There are also in-house help desks geared toward providing the same kind of help for employees only. Some schools offer classes in which they perform similar tasks as a help desk." (1)

Similarly the following is a definition of what a helpdesk officer does:

"The role of a help desk professional is often the starting point in an ICT career as it provides good all round experience for graduates or those entering the industry.
 
The concept of help desk support has evolved mainly from the need recognised by ICT service providers such as hardware and software vendors to make available advice to clients about the operation of their product. Help Desk professionals respond to calls from either external clients or internal customers who require help with problems or queries regarding particular products or services." (2)

Duties & responsibilities of this role

"Depending on the level of responsibility and the particular job role involved, duties may also include:

  • Recommending and promoting technical and professional solutions to customers
  • Providing first, second or third level support by voice and electronic means as required
  • Allocating the necessary resources to resolve client problems and queries in an effective and timely manner
  • Maintaining a database of clients through regular follow up of problems and queries
  • Attending relevant product and skill courses and passing on relevant points to others in the team
  • Sharing information and best practice amongst the team.
  • Developing technical processes to aid performance and efficiency

Supporting company security policy, with particular emphasis on the protection of sensitive company information." (3)

Job requirements

"Proving first level support on a help desk would require at least 2-3 years experience operating software or administration experience on mini to mid range computers, or at least 1 years support experience. Recent graduates may be trained to provide first level support. A senior telephone support specialist ('technical guru') would typically have 5-10 years relevant experience.
Help desk staff need to be trained in depth on their company's product and possess good interpersonal skills to provide a high customer service.
A range of entry pathways are possible for Help Desks. These include traineeships and other entry level VET programs offered by providers such as TAFE or private colleges. University qualifications may also be preferred, particularly for management roles and the more sophisticated help desk functions, and whilst the particular field of study is generally not important, studies in IT/Engineering will clearly be highly regarded." (4)

"Depending on the level of responsibility and the particular job role involved, personal qualities required include:
-          Strong telephone manner and communications skills
-          Strong service orientation with excellent communications skills for understanding technical problems and clearly explaining solutions
-          Sound administrative skills
-          Effective time management and personal organization skills" (5)

Junior Help Desk Support
"Provides support to end users on a variety of issues. Identifies, researches, and resolves technical problems. Responds to telephone calls, email and personnel requests for technical support. Documents, tracks and monitors the problem to ensure a timely resolution. May require an associate's degree in a related area and no previous experience in the field. Has knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job. Works under immediate supervision. Primary job functions do not typically require exercising independent judgment. Typically reports to a supervisor." (6)

Help Desk Support
As above except a helpdesk support officer "may require an associate's degree in a related area and 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area." (7)

Senior Help Desk Support
Again as above in Junior Helpdesk support except a Senior Support Officer "may require an associate's degree in a related area and 3-5 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of complicated tasks. May lead and direct the work of others. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected." (8)

Level I Help Desk Supervisor
"Supervises the day-to-day operations of the help desk. Identifies, researches, and resolves complex technical problems. Creates and manages escalation procedures and ensures service levels are maintained. Documents, tracks, and monitors problems to ensure resolution in a timely manner. A level I supervisor is considered a working supervisor with little authority for personnel actions. May require a bachelor's degree in area of specialty. Familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to a manager or head of a unit/department." (9)

Level II Help Desk Supervisor
As Above in Level I except "a level II supervisor has authority for personnel actions and oversees most day to day operations of group." (10)

Level III Help Desk Supervisor
As in Level I except "a level III supervisor has full authority and may be considered lower middle management." (11)

Help Desk Manager
"Manages a team of support personnel who troubleshoot IT issues. Implements policies and procedures regarding how problems are identified, received, documented, distributed, and corrected. Ensures maximum issue resolutions in minimum time. Evaluates new information systems products or services and suggests changes to existing products or services to better aide the end user. Requires a bachelor's degree with at least 7 years of experience in the field. Familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Leads and directs the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to head of a unit/department." (12)

Salary

The following are average wage/salary figures for the US and the Australian equivalent amounts. The conversions were performed on 20th August using an online conversion calculator.
 Junior Helpdesk Support :      $37,607         - Australian Equivalent : $47,682
Helpdesk Support :              $43,166         - Australian Equivalent : $54,730
Senior Helpdesk Support :     $50,284         - Australian Equivalent : $63,755
Level I Supervisor :             $52,926         - Australian Equivalent : $67,105
Level II Supervisor :            $65,969         - Australian Equivalent : $83,643
Level III Supervisor :           $76,747         - Australian Equivalent : $97,308
Helpdesk Manager :             $79,196         - Australian Equivalent : $100,413

Industry/Organisation

There are many jobs available in both government and private sectors. The Australain Public Service Commision has graduate programs for those leaving University or similar studies.

"Graduate employees in the Commission will be paid a salary of between $45,620 and $47,039 pa in the development year. The commencement salary will depend on the level of qualifications and work history. Generous superannuation benefits also apply.

On successful completion of the graduate development programme, graduates will be placed at the APS 3/4 level with a salary in the range $51,007- $54,080 pa." (13)

Job listings

Position for $40,000

https://jobsearch.gov.au/SearchResults/Job.aspx?st=0&WHCode=0&loctext=&Keywords=it+helpdesk&Surr=&print=0&NumMJL=0&CommJobs=0&CurPage=2&TotalRec=102&JobPos=38&JobID=158258763&SortDir=0&SortField=0&

Position for $45,000-$55,000

http://www.jobserve.com.au/W447D863B5B308169.job

Position for $75,000

http://www.jobserve.com.au/W542DB25F5BEB652F.job

Position for $90,000-$100,000

http://www.jobserve.com.au/W9779A5BD7CA47D6D.job

Other roles salary not listed
http://www.jobserve.com.au/W2F0E9DFC1C688510.job

http://www.jobserve.com.au/W3104A61F0ECF3A04.job

http://www.jobserve.com.au/WEF259B2F6C77B763.job

https://jobsearch.gov.au/SearchResults/Job.aspx?st=0&WHCode=0&loctext=&Keywords=it+helpdesk&Surr=&print=0&NumMJL=0&CommJobs=0&CurPage=1&TotalRec=102&JobPos=18&JobID=158833280&SortDir=0&SortField=0&

Differences observed


Other References used

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help_desk

(2) - (5) https://www.acs.org.au/ictcareers/careers/descriptions/helpdesk.htm

(6) - (12) http://about.salary.com/salarywizard/layoutscripts/swzl_keywordtitleselect.asp?viewpagenumber=1&searchtextvalue=help+desk&zipcode=&metrocode=&statecode=&state=&metro=&city=&geo=U.S.+National+Averages&jobtitle=&search=&narrowdesc=&r=about_swzttsbtn_psr&p=&s=swz&s=swz&searchpage=keywordtitleselect&sortbyrelevancy=1

(13)http://www.apsc.gov.au/apscrecruitment/graduateinfo.htmia.com

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