Information Technology Helpdesk/Support Technician
Kaihangarau Āwhina Hangarau Pārongo
This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Information technology (IT) helpdesk/support technicians help prevent, identify and fix problems with computer hardware and software.
IT helpdesk/support technicians usually earn
$43K-$60K per year
Source: AbsoluteIT, 'Remuneration Report', July 2015.
Pay for IT helpdesk/support technicians varies. According to an AbsoluteIT salary survey, IT helpdesk/support technicians in the:
- highest-paid group earned an average of $60,000 a year
- middle pay range earned an average of $50,000
- lowest-paid group earned an average of $43,000.
IT helpdesk/support technicians working as contractors earn an average of $23 to $45 an hour.
Source: AbsoluteIT, 'Remuneration Report', July 2015.
- MoreBusiness.com website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- AbsoluteIT website - 2015 remuneration report (PDF - 348KB)
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job information)
What you will do
IT helpdesk/support technicians may do some or all of the following:
- identify and solve computer software, hardware, and website problems
- analyse user problems and make suggestions for prevention of future problems
- assemble, install and test computer software, networks, and servers
- update and repair equipment
- keep records of software and equipment.
Skills and knowledge
IT helpdesk/support technicians need to have knowledge of:
- computer hardware, software, networks, and websites
- the latest developments in IT.
IT helpdesk/support technicians:
- usually work regular business hours, although they may need to work overtime or be on call
- usually work in offices, call centres, computer rooms and at their clients' workplaces
- may have to work to deadlines, and fix faults quickly.
What's the job really like?
IT Helpdesk/Support Technician
Playing with new gadgets is what Paul Thornley likes most about his job as an IT helpdesk/support technician at architecture firm Warren and Mahoney.
Setting up technical equipment and solving technical problems
As soon as you get the title of technician, anything remotely technical lands on your desk, from telephones to voice recorders, says Paul. "The best thing is you get to play with those new toys and set them up before anyone else.
"But mostly we help staff with problems they are having with their computers or programs. It might be someone is trying to move a file and it won't copy – it's my job to solve the problem as quickly as I can."
It can be tricky but also satisfying, says Paul. "It's a good feeling when you figure out a problem, especially when it's one that has taken you a few days.
"Occasionally there will be a bigger project, like implementing a new system or software program. We have to do the research and run tests to make sure there are no bugs before it's released to staff."
A great career ahead
Paul says it’s a career with good job prospects once you get a bit of experience. "Two years' experience will give you some pretty good money and a lot of job opportunities."
- Earning good money early on in your career.
- Getting to set up new technical equipment.
- Dealing with people who are stressed because of a technical malfunction.
- Sometimes having to work after hours.
To become an IT helpdesk/support technician you usually need a diploma in information technology, IT support or other computer-related subjects. Some employers may prefer you to have a degree.
IT helpdesk/support technicians gain many skills on the job and may attend a wide range of courses to update their knowledge and skills.
Useful subjects include maths, physics and computing/digital technologies.
IT helpdesk/support technicians need to be:
- methodical, accurate and patient
- able to work well under pressure, and meet deadlines
- able to work well as part of a team, and with minimal supervision
- skilled at problem-solving and decision-making
- skilled at verbal and written communication.
Useful experience for IT helpdesk/support technicians includes:
- fixing computer hardware or software problems
- computer programming
- customer service or resolving complaints
- creating websites.
IT helpdesk/support technicians spend a lot of time using computers, so it is important that they know how to use computer equipment properly to avoid occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).
IT helpdesk/support technicians may choose to become certified through professional associations such as the Institute of IT Professionals.
Find out more about training
- (04) 473 2023 - email@example.com - www.futureintech.org.nz/
- Institute of IT Professionals
- 0800 252 255 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.iitp.org.nz
- New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTIA)
- (09) 475 0204 - email@example.com - www.nztech.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Demand for IT helpdesk/support technicians is high because most businesses and organisations rely heavily on computer systems and networks to operate effectively. Technicians are needed to support staff using those systems and networks, and to identify and fix problems that may arise.
Shortage of IT helpdesk/support technicians
While demand for IT helpdesk/support technicians is expected to remain strong, the number of IT trainees coming through is insufficient to meet demand.
A survey of IT employers in February 2015 reported that 79% of employers were planning to hire additional staff. However, 28% of employers also reported greater difficulty finding staff in 2015 than in 2014.
As a result of these factors, IT helpdesk/support technicians appears on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled IT helpdesk/support technicians from overseas to work in New Zealand.
Types of employers varied
IT helpdesk/support technicians can work for many types of medium to large businesses, including:
- private companies that provide computer, database and network services to clients
- software and web-development companies that produce film, games and animation
- marketing and advertising companies
- government departments
- telecommunications companies.
- AbsoluteIT, 'Employer Insight Report', February 2015, (www.itsalaries.co.nz).
- AbsoluteIT, 'Remuneration Report', July 2015, (www.itsalaries.co.nz).
- Hudson Recruitment, 'Hudson Report, Q3, 2015', 2015, (nz.hudson.com).
- Hudson Recruitment, 'New Zealand Hiring Expectations – Quarter 3, 2015', 2015, (nz.hudson.com).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Long-term Skill Shortage List', July 2015, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Information and Communications Technology Report – 2015', 2015, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
Progression and specialisations
IT helpdesk/support technicians may be promoted to team leader or management roles, or become programmers or business analysts. Some may also set up their own businesses.
- Information technology manager job information
- Programmer job information
- Business analyst job information
Last updated 6 September 2017