IT support workers are an integral part of business IT departments and work in any sector, from finance to education, health services to utility companies. They are employed to support various aspects of a company’s IT infrastructure, reporting to an IT manager or a consultant depending on how the organisation structures its workforce.
What does an IT support worker do?
Jobs for IT support workers are many and varied and can encompass a range of activities depending on the nature of the work required.
Main responsibilities will often include the development and maintenance of IT infrastructure, sometimes for multiple clients, customer-facing work that will include problem solving through diagnostics and troubleshooting and installing and operating IT systems.
Employees will need, as a general rule:
- A high level of problem solving skills.
It may be necessary to identify, analyse and resolve problems for end-users that may not have been successfully resolved at first contact. If this cannot be done at the desktop or remotely, an off-site resolution may be necessary. Employees will need to be good communicators as well as technically proficient.
- Experience in installation and management of IT systems and a range of hardware devices.
Employees may be required to install, configure, test, maintain, monitor and troubleshoot various devices, including laptops, PCs, scanners, printers and portable devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- Good teamworking skills.
Whether it is a small or large team, employees will need to work well together, carrying out instructions appropriately and reporting back on work done.
- Excellent knowledge of a range of systems and software.
These may include Windows, Citrix, Vista, Symantec Norton products (e.g. Ghost, Ghost Enterprise, Ghost Solution Suite), SCCM, Microsoft ADS/APF and MDT. Candidates should also have an understanding of tools such as Remote Support and Software Deployment.
Day to day activities may include monitoring IT systems in the business to ensure they are running effectively, providing end-user support both to internal and external clients and installing new software updates or renewing out-of-date hardware. An effective IT support worker will also try to anticipate potential problems and provide clear explanations of difficulties and solutions to staff who are not technological specialists.
Some operations may need to be conducted off site and if this is the case, employees are likely to require a driving licence. In the case of shift work a driving licence will also be required in most cases.
Potential career progression.
IT support workers will already have knowledge, experience and qualifications in IT related subjects. They have great potential to increase their salaries by moving up to become IT technicians and IT managers by continuing to study and train.
This can often be done on the job, where the right company support is available or by taking evening courses to learn about new systems and software applications.