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Helpdesk professional

Helpdesk professionals offer support to computer users with any technical issues.
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What does a helpdesk professional do?

Helpdesk professionals work in a range of areas, for example, in the IT support department of a large company, or in after-sales service for customers of a computer manufacturer or retailer.

Duties could include:

  • working with customers to identify computer faults
  • advising customers about how to correct problems
  • logging calls and keeping records of previous customer contacts
  • running reports on common trends to identify underlying problems
  • tracking work in progress
  • updating ‘knowledge banks’ that customers can view online to try and solve common problems themselves
  • making arrangements to call out a field engineer to visit the customer if they are unable to fix the problem
The bulk of your work would be done over the phone, by email and, increasingly, through web-based fault-finding programs. These programs can be used by customers online, or you can use them to fix their computer problems remotely.

What do I need to do to become a helpdesk professional?

You could become a trainee helpdesk professional without formal qualifications if you have a good enough working knowledge of computer systems and software. However, you could improve your chances of finding a job by taking a computer support qualification, such as:

  • BTEC Level 3 Certificate, Subsidiary Diploma, Diplomas and Extended Diplomas in IT
  • City & Guilds (E-Quals) IT Practitioners Certificate and Advanced Diploma
  • OCR (iPRO) Certificate for IT Practitioners (ICT Systems Support)

You can also get into this career with a HNC or HND in computing. With a degree, you may be offered a place on a graduate trainee scheme.

Companies value good customer-care skills as well as technical knowledge, so any experience you have in customer service would be useful.

Alternatively, you could start work as an apprentice with an IT firm or as part of a technical support team in a larger company.

Related skills

  • Administration
  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • IT
  • Organisation
  • Problem solving
  • Technical ability

Vocational route

BTEC Level 3 Certificate, Subsidiary Diploma, Diplomas and Extended Diplomas in IT
City & Guilds (E-Quals) IT Practitioners Certificate and Advanced Diploma
OCR (iPRO) Certificate for IT Practitioners (ICT Systems Support)

Related subjects

  • Computer science

Desirable qualifications

  • HNC/HND in computing
  • Degree in computing or a related field

Where to find out more


Where could I be working?

You could find opportunities with software or equipment suppliers, IT maintenance companies, or colleges and universities.

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