IT Help Desk Jobs: A Rundown of Common, Everyday Tasks

By Tyler Regas

When working on a help desk for a company, you may be called on to perform any number of tasks. Unlike an external‐facing help desk, a corporate help desk doesn’t deal with customers, but only with employees. The following is a list of things you may do, in no particular order:

  • Install a desktop or laptop

  • Install a printer

  • Upgrade an application for one or more users

  • Update a user’s password

  • Replace a printer’s ink or toner cartridges

  • Update documentation

  • Develop user guides for internal software or processes

  • Run deduplication software on archival data

  • Troubleshoot a problem someone is experiencing

  • Order software or hardware for new employees

  • Create, work on, and close service tickets

  • Make rounds to see how employees are doing

  • Collect inventory data

  • Verify success or failure of backup jobs

  • Rotate backup media

  • Create virtual machines to test software patches for general deployment

  • Install new typefaces for use in creative work

  • Migrate data from a user’s hard drive to a new, larger drive, install, and test

  • Upgrade RAM in desktop and laptop systems

  • Install new networking equipment

  • Configure new rules for firewall access

  • Image new computers and create account for use by new users

  • Implement virtual servers for use by various departments

  • Advise users on implementing better ergonomics to prevent repetitive stress injuries

  • Test software for potential deployment within the organization

  • Recover lost files from a backup

  • Remotely disable a lost mobile device

  • Research products for a hardware upgrade

  • Review web server logs for signs of possible incursion

  • Assist users in the field with connecting to mobile networks

  • Configure accounts for VPN access

You’ll find that, once you start working, this list is incomplete. All companies have their own needs, wants, and problems, and every team deals with them in their own, unique way. It’s common to find that your experiences with one company may not serve you at another. There are, however, enough similarities that you will benefit from regular, hands‐on work with various systems.

Over time, you will establish a greater understanding of a wider range of technologies, all of which can help expand your curriculum vitae.