IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

16 Best IT Support Jobs in 2021

The first step into a career in information technology is often in IT support services. With a seemingly endless list of job titles in this field, the CompTIA research team has compiled a list of the top 16 IT support job roles, ranked by number of job openings in 2020, to help you plan your IT career and narrow your job search.

16 best it support jobs (2)

The IT Support Career Ladder

Although many IT support roles are entry-level jobs, you have the opportunity to specialize in tech support and work your way up the ladder. For example, a tech support career might progress from help desk support to help desk technician to help desk specialist. Many organizations tier job roles based on experience, so someone might start in a Tier I tech support role and then progress to Tier II or Tier III. At the top of the ladder are tech support analysts and managers, who make sure the help desk and tech support team are running efficiently and supporting end users and the organization in the best way possible.

The 16 Best IT Support Jobs in 2021

Check out these job descriptions and the important skills, certifications and salary ranges for each to discover which IT support jobs are most appealing to you!

1. Desktop Support TechnicianDesktop Support Technician V2 (1)

Salary Range: $33,794 - $52,164 | Median Salary: $41,037
2020 Job Postings: 8,710

A desktop support technician is usually the first person called when someone is having a problem with their desktop computer and associated devices. These IT pros help troubleshoot the desktop issue, find a solution and put that solution to action. Especially in 2020 and into 2021, this could require solving VPN issues from a remote desktop session or via phone. Starting as a desktop support technician can evolve into a career as a desktop support specialist or analyst, so this is a great stepping stone to a long-term IT career.

  • Important skills: Technical support, printers, repair, customer service, Microsoft, hardware and software installation
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)

2. Help Desk TechnicianHelp Desk Technician V2

Salary Range: $30,687 - $45,786 | Median Salary: $36,875
2020 Job Postings: 6,253

If you like working closely with people to help solve their tech problems, being a help desk technician may be a great job for you. IT pros that work on the help desk must possess the technical skills needed to fix problems, as well as the communication skills needed to answer questions and explain resolutions to non-tech pros. Being approachable, friendly and having a can-do attitude are all important qualities of a help desk technician.

  • Important skills: Troubleshooting, communication skills, customer support, Microsoft
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)

3. IT Support TechnicianIt Support Technician V2

Salary Range: $33,410 - $53,535 | Median Salary: $41,324
2020 Job Postings: 5,680

An IT support technician knows the ins and outs of installing, configuring, maintaining and repairing hardware and software on tech devices. Knowledge of printers, scanners, mobile devices and networks is a must. This hands-on IT support job will have you working closely with potentially frustrated employees that want their devices working properly. Having strong communication skills that can gently explain issues to others is very important in this role.

  • Important skills: Hardware and software installation, help desk support, printers, repair
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

4. Technical Support SpecialistTechnical Support Specialist V2

Salary Range: $31,345 - $55,347 | Median Salary: $38,981
2020 Job Postings: 5,145

A technical support specialist is an essential member of an IT support team, and larger companies generally employ more than one at a time because their skills are highly sought after. These IT pros are sometimes tasked with experimenting and trying out new tech software that may be beneficial to efficiency at their organization. This means they must have excellent communication skills when describing new tech systems to upper management and other employees upon implementation.

  • Important skills: Communication, research, teamwork, collaboration
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

5. IT Support SpecialistIT Support Specialist V2

Salary Range: $36,036 - $60,614 | Median Salary: $46,744
2020 Job Postings: 4,230

IT support specialists are responsible for investigating, troubleshooting and assessing tech problems for individuals in their workplace, or external customers. IT support specialist jobs surround end-user support, productivity and efficiency. Daily tasks could range from showing a colleague how to use an internal software that is particular to the organization, or helping to make sure external customers are having a great tech experience.

  • Important skills: Technical support, customer service, help desk support, hardware and software installation, end-user training
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

6. Desktop Support AnalystDesktop Support Analyst V2

Salary Range: $35,385 - $52,626 | Median Salary: $42,257
2020 Job Postings: 3,716

Desktop support analysts are tasked with solving one-off, rare problems with software and operating systems. To be a successful desktop support analyst, IT pros need to be customer service oriented in order to communicate unique tech problems eloquently, and also be able to think outside the box while forming a solution. You may likely be dealing with stressed out and concerned end-users, so you need to be a calming presence during the problem-solving phase.

  • Important skills: Problem solving, troubleshooting, research, detail-oriented
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

7. PC Support AssociatePC Support Associate V2

Salary Range: $28,148 - $42,147 | Median Salary: $33,542
2020 Job Postings: 3,468

Responsible for repairing and maintaining computers and servers, PC support associates set up computer hardware and other tech equipment. They install, configure, and update software and drivers, create and support computer networks and provide other types of PC technical assistance to customers daily. If you like hands-on tech roles, this could be a great job for you!

8. Technical Support EngineerTechnical Support Engineer V2

Salary Range: $36,598 - $81,625 | Median Salary: $53,630
2020 Job Postings: 3,254

This IT support job type helps resolve technical issues with hardware, software and potential network related issues specific to the organization they work at. Technical support engineers can be found in a variety of industries like healthcare or automotive, where technology equipment and software is unique to the industry. These IT pros are very skilled in their industry and are a great example of specializing in a certain niche.

  • Important skills: Linux, SQL, troubleshooting technical issues, problem solving, collaboration
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA Network+, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

How Much Money Could You Make in IT?

Use CompTIA’s IT salary calculator to see how much different IT jobs earn in different metropolitan areas across the United States.

Check Your Salary Now!

9. IT Support AnalystIT Support Analyst  V2

Salary Range: $40,196 - $85,384 | Median Salary: $56,693
2020 Job Postings: 2,994

IT support analysts are extremely dependable IT pros. They are organized, have essential technical skills, onboard new hires, respond to basic network and software problems and provide desktop support. These IT pros are responsible for the day-to-day tech support, analyzing tech efficiencies within their organization and helping to keep the overall quality of technology high.

10. Help Desk SupportHelp Desk Support V2

Salary Range: $30,096 - $46,202 | Median Salary: $36,770
2020 Job Postings: 2,690

Help desk support IT pros field any tech support queries and manage the help desk ticket system, so written communication is an especially important skill. Typically, as the first person to hear about a potential tech issue, help desk support IT pros need to have strong troubleshooting and problem-solving skills. IT pros that are eager to learn and take initiative will succeed in this job role.

  • Important skills: Troubleshooting, communication skills, Microsoft, problem solving, written communication
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

11. Field Service TechnicianField Service Technician V2

Salary Range: $31,737- $47,480 | Median Salary: $38,461
2020 Job Postings: 2,544

The main role of a field service technician is to help end users get the most out of their tech equipment. These IT pros are often found traveling to be onsite at customer businesses and homes to help them install or repair hardware and software. Field service technicians don’t always have a normal schedule since they are constantly on the go. If you enjoy having a flexible schedule, working full-time or part-time and setting your own hours, this may be a great IT support job for you. It is also particularly important to build and maintain customer relationships in this role to ensure repeat business in the future.

  • Important skills: Repair, HVAC, printers, break/fix, physical abilities
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

12. Technical Support RepresentativeTechnical Support Representative V2

Salary Range: $29,354- $38,071 | Median Salary: $32,876
2020 Job Postings: 2,194

A technical support representative is responsible for providing strong customer service to colleagues or clients that are calling in for help. This job usually exists in a call center, so these IT pros must possess the strongest of verbal communication skills. In addition to verbal communication, listening skills are equally as important to understand the potential tech problems and troubleshoot on the fly.

  • Important skills: Technical support, customer service, hardware troubleshooting, multi-tasking
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

13. Service Desk AnalystService Desk Analyst V2

Salary Range: $34,107- $52,294 | Median Salary: $41,205
2020 Job Postings: 1,889

Service desk analysts field incoming IT support requests and work closely with other members of the support team to resolve these issues. This job type requires IT pros to always keep customer service top of mind. Focusing on consistently updating customers on their software or hardware resolution to maintain transparency will keep customers happy and ensure success in this job role. 

  • Important skills: Customer service, technical support, Microsoft active directory, help desk support
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

14. IT Help Desk SpecialistIT Help Desk Specialist V2

Salary Range: $32,179- $51,221 | Median Salary: $39,504
2020 Job Postings: 1,791

IT help desk specialists’ responsibilities are a blend of technical support and routine tasks such as installing new software and training employees in new technologies. These IT pros need to have strong soft skills to communicate with and relate to the people they are helping. IT help desk specialists work closely with help desk support to field and prioritize incoming tickets.

  • Important skills: Help desk support, technical support, Microsoft, communication skills
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), CompTIA Security+

15. Geek Squad Consultation AgentGeek Squad Consultation Agent V2

Salary Range: $29,748 - $37,574 | Median Salary: $33,613
2020 Job Postings: 1,543

When you think of Best Buy, you automatically think of Geek Squad! These are the IT pros that field technical issues at a help desk at Best Buy locations. These store locations are all over the United States and can be a great first step in an IT career for novice IT pros. This job role can teach IT pros about organization, communication and people skills.

  • Important skills: Customer service, listening, multi-tasking

16. Service Desk TechnicianService Desk Technician V2

Salary Range: $31,952 - $49,330 | Median Salary: $38,900
2020 Job Postings: 1,284

Service desk technicians work on the IT help desk, or service desk, so their ability to communicate effectively with internal and external clients is vital. They work closely with other members of the IT support team and have a lot of opportunity to learn from other IT specialists. If you like to be challenged a job as a service desk technician may be for you.

  • Important skills: Technical support, customer service, teamwork, collaboration
  • Suggested certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

How to Get Started in an IT Support Job Role

Getting an entry-level IT certification, like CompTIA A+, can get your foot in the door to the best IT support jobs. Follow these steps to earn a CompTIA certification:

1. Choose Your CompTIA Certification

As you can see, CompTIA certifications like CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ are all highly sought-after certifications for the IT support job roles listed.

2. Study for a CompTIA Certification

Choose what works best for you! Options like eLearning, interactive labs, study guides, instructor-led training (and more) make it easy for you to learn depending on your preferences.

3. Save Money on a CompTIA Certification

Bundle an exam voucher with study materials, finance your payments or joining the CompTIA Store Club are just a few way you can save on your CompTIA certifications.

4. Take a CompTIA Certification Exam: In Person or Online

Your ideal testing environment may be in person or online in the comfort of your own home. Either way, you have the option to do what’s best for you.

5. Get a new IT Job!

Once you earn that CompTIA certification, you not only have new knowledge and skills, you have an industry-recognized credential that potential employers in your job search will appreciate.

Ready to find that new IT support job? CompTIA and ZipRecruiter have partnered to help you find jobs based on your certifications.

Sign up now to get custom job alerts from ZipRecruiter and CompTIA.   

*This is Burning Glass's estimate of the average salary for job postings in the United States between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Actual compensation may vary based on individual employer salary practices and experience.

About the Author

With more than 2,000 members, 3,000 academic and training partners and tens of thousands of registered users spanning the entire information communications and technology (ICT) industry, CompTIA has become a leading voice for the technology ecosystem.

ChannelPro SMB Magazine
SUBSCRIBE FREE!

Get an edge on the competition

With each issue packed full of powerful news, reviews, analysis, and advice targeting IT channel professionals, ChannelPro-SMB will help you cultivate your SMB customers and run your business more profitably.