What does a Desktop Support Engineer do?


Desktop Support Engineers work in a variety of industries to help maintain the IT infrastructure of a business. Today we take a closer look at the role, responsibilities, and more!

The role of a Desktop Engineer

Job overview of a desktop support engineer responsibilities, background, skills, salary
Desktop Engineer – Job Overview

In today’s modern-day and age, nearly every industry in the world runs on computers. Every company, regardless of their size, has its own IT infrastructure that they rely on to get day-to-day tasks done. And so an important part of any business is maintaining this IT infrastructure. This is where a Desktop Support Engineer comes in. 

A Desktop Support Engineer is an IT professional in charge of fixing issues with an organization’s IT setup – from computers and laptops to security and server software and network. They handle IT concerns affecting businesses during work hours. 

They help maintain office equipment, including break-fix and limited technical guidance and support and fix any software related issues on a users’ computer and the company’s networks, phones, and printers.

Seeking a Desktop Support engineer for your company?
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Responsibilities of a Desktop Support Engineer

The primary responsibility of a Desktop Support Engineer is comprehensive user and system support.

In their day to day function, Desktop Support Engineers are responsible for the installation, administration, and support of hardware and software. They also advise on questions about the network environment and are responsible for mobile devices and applications. 

In some places of employment, the care of office hardware such as printers, telephones, and/or video conferencing technology also falls within their area of ​​responsibility.

As computer issues can arise at any time, Desktop Support Engineers may be expected to work a variety of shifts, including nights and weekends. 

Although they are able to access other employees’ computers virtually and mostly work from their office or desk, they may have to travel to individual work sites and server rooms, often being required to pick up and carry heavy equipment and parts.

What are the day-to-day responsibilities of a Desktop Support Engineer?

  • Responsible for ongoing maintenance and future planning of the company’s desktop environment (desktop support, data network, servers)
  • Working with existing vendors to evaluate the new technology available and to provide management recommendations on how to use this technology
  • Consulting with IT support and design departments to ensure that network expansion projects are in line with the company’s plans
  • Support, diagnose, and troubleshoots technical IT issues as they arise
  • Performance monitoring of the company’s desktop infrastructure and making suggestions to increase efficiency
  • Assist to identify and resolve application and operating system issues that hinder user productivity
  • Evaluate applications and software patches for desktop applications to see if they are used to solve desktop problems
  • Install, setup, configure and test a variety of application programs on user workstations
  • Maintain expert knowledge in desktop and laptop computing applications and use of connectivity infrastructure including the Internet
  • Testing network connections

Desktop Engineer Skills and Knowledge

List of skills and knowledge required as desktop engineer
Skills required on the role of a Desktop Engineer

In order to succeed as a Desktop Engineer, mastering a few essential skills is required. Your employer may require extensive knowledge of the IT systems they generally use, such as MS, Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android. 

Candidates should have relevant technical experience with:

  • Windows, Linux, Mac OS environments, products, and applications
  • Workstation, notebook and peripheral setup
  • Offsite access for users and remote troubleshooting
  • Setup and validation of Virtual Private Network (VPN) configurations
  • Basic network management, such as user maintenance
  • Tools such us: Anti-virus software, Cloud platforms or Microsoft active directory
  • Troubleshooting and problem isolation by implementing temporary patches
  • Excellent speaking and written communication ability
  • Knowledge of network security practices and anti-virus programs
  • Excellent problem-solving and multitasking skills
  • Proven skills in desktop and system design
  • Proven ability to provide high-quality desktop support in a corporate environment

In order to ensure smooth communication, a Desktop support engineer must identify as a team player and demonstrate fluent written and spoken communication skills. A Desktop Support Analyst is characterized by their friendly demeanor and diplomatic skills.

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Background and Education

Generally, desktop support engineers need to hold a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or any other degree in the IT field (engineering, Information Technology, etc.).

Often companies require to have proven working experience as support technicians or desktop support.

There are also some certifications that can be of help in the process of landing a job as a desktop support engineer:

Looking to find your next Desktop Engineer gig?
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Desktop Engineer Salary

Desktop Support Engineers are categorized as Computer Support Specialists, a group that earns a median yearly salary of $60,000 on average. Professionals with expert skills and knowledge can earn up to $100,000, with more advanced technical skills resulting in salaries of $200,000. Entry-level positions generally pay out $35,000 per year. 

Because of the increasing reliance on computers, jobs for Computer Support Specialists, such as Desktop Support Engineers, are expected to grow by 10 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than average for all jobs. This growth will result in 83,100 new jobs through 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How much does a Desktop Support Engineer make?


How much does a freelance Desktop Support Engineer charge?

Average rate Desktop Support Engineers (2022) $67/hr

On average, freelance Desktop Support Engineers charge $67/hour (freelancermap’s price and rate index in September 2022).

Freelance rates in Desktop Support Engineering range between $30 and $91 for the majority of freelancers.

Considering a freelance rate of $67/hour, a freelancer would charge $536/day for an 8-hour working day.

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Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

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By Natalia Campana

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