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Roles of a Helpdesk Operator

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The role of a helpdesk operator is primarily to provide first-level support to in-house staff and remote staff. Various aspects of a helpdesk operator’s role includes responding to and dealing with technical queries, proactively providing customer service to clients, providing recommendations on company application purchases, assisting with installation and configuration of computer systems, upgrading and replacing network hardware and troubleshooting computer problems. Other responsibilities may include support of workstation software with patches, Internet connectivity, business applications and operating systems.

Key Responsibilities

A helpdesk operator’s main responsibility is to provide a first-line support to end users who face problems with computer software and hardware. The operator is the first point of contact for all IT and communication issues within an organization or between an organization and customers. The operator determines the source of the problem, troubleshoots and provides appropriate solutions to problems. The role requires the person to serve as a liaison between customers and the technical department.

Other Responsibilities

Helpdesk operators are employed in companies and by suppliers to perform other responsibilities that include hardware and software installations; providing input to management for purchasing applications and hardware; providing computer and communication orientation to new staff members; training new staff members through developed, on-the-job-training modules and updating relevant systems as needed. An operator is required to use her own initiative and operate under a minimum of supervision for internal effectiveness. A positive approach to additional tasks on an as-needed basis is a plus.


The role of helpdesk operator requires the person to be proficient in oral and written communication skills, to be courteous when handling and resolving complaints, have a working knowledge of computer operating systems, and have a knowledge of computer software. However, the needed depth of knowledge for this position is not as high as for a systems administrator, for example.

Alternative Career Options

People are attracted to the role of helpdesk operator because it is a good entry-level position for someone interested in the field of information technology. The technical demands are not as intensive as they would be for more senior positions. It is place to learn in before moving up the career ladder. The role of helpdesk operator provides the grounding for an individual to seek career options such as helpdesk analyst, helpdesk support technician and service desk support.


Brian Cruze has more than 20 years of experience as a copywriter and senior writer for firms such as Metro Publications and the Penguin Group in London. His fortes include home improvement, fictional stories and societal issues. Cruze has a Master of Arts in creative writing from City University London.

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