Top 10 Help Desk Administrator Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for help desk administrators and explains their benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are an important way for help desk administrators to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the job market. With certifications, help desk administrators can show employers that they have the expertise needed to effectively handle customer inquiries, troubleshoot technical issues, and provide efficient solutions. Certifications also demonstrate a commitment to professional development, which can make a candidate more attractive to employers. Additionally, certifications may qualify help desk administrators for specialized roles or higher salaries.

This article reviews the most beneficial certifications for Help Desk Administrators and explains how they can help advance their career.

What are Help Desk Administrator Certifications?

Help desk administrator certification is a type of professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the various aspects of managing a help desk. This type of certification is typically offered by software companies, IT organizations, and other industry associations.

The purpose of help desk administrator certification is to ensure that individuals have the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively manage a help desk environment. Help desk administrators are responsible for providing technical support to customers, resolving customer service issues, troubleshooting hardware and software problems, and maintaining system security. With a help desk administrator certification, professionals can demonstrate their expertise in these areas as well as their commitment to staying up-to-date on the latest developments in the field.

Having this type of certification can be beneficial for individuals who are looking to advance their careers or transition into different roles within the IT industry. It can also be useful for those seeking employment with organizations that require specialized knowledge or experience in managing help desk operations. Additionally, it serves as evidence of an individual’s strong understanding of best practices related to customer service and system management.

Pro Tip: Before attempting to obtain a help desk administrator certification, make sure you have the necessary experience and knowledge in the field of IT. Many certifications require that you have a minimum number of years working in the industry before being eligible for the certification. Additionally, understanding the fundamentals of computer systems, networks and support services will be beneficial when taking the exam.

Related: What does a Help Desk Administrator do?

Top 10 Help Desk Administrator Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Help Desk Administrators today.

1. CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+ is an industry-recognized certification for IT professionals. It is a vendor-neutral certification that validates the skills and knowledge of entry-level computer service technicians. CompTIA A+ is designed to measure the competency of hardware, software, networking, security, troubleshooting and customer service skills.

The CompTIA A+ exam consists of two parts: 220-1001 (Core 1) and 220-1002 (Core 2). The exams are 90 minutes long each, with a total of 90 questions on each exam. Candidates must pass both exams in order to achieve CompTIA A+ certification.

To get CompTIA A+, you must first register for the exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric Testing Centers. Once registered, you will be able to schedule your test date and time at a convenient location near you.

The cost of the CompTIA A+ certification varies depending on where you take the exam and which version of the exam you take (e.g., Core 1 or Core 2). Generally speaking, it costs around $200 for each part of the exam ($400 total).

2. CompTIA Network+

CompTIA Network+ is an industry-recognized certification that validates an individual’s knowledge and skills in networking technologies. It is designed to prove a candidate’s competency in areas such as network design, troubleshooting, hardware, protocols, and security.

The CompTIA Network+ exam typically takes around 90 minutes to complete and consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. To receive the certification, candidates must pass the exam with a score of 720 or higher on a scale of 100-900.

To become certified as a CompTIA Network+ professional, individuals must first purchase the certification exam voucher from CompTIA's website. The cost for the voucher is $319 USD (as of 2021). After purchasing the voucher, candidates can then register for the exam at Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers worldwide.

Once candidates have passed the exam and received their certification, they will need to renew it every three years by either retaking the exam or completing continuing education activities approved by CompTIA.

3. Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) is a certification program that validates the skills and knowledge of individuals who work with Microsoft products. It is designed to demonstrate an individual's ability to design, build, deploy, and maintain solutions using Microsoft technologies. The MCSA certification is typically the first step in obtaining higher-level certifications such as Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

It typically takes between six months and one year to obtain an MCSA certification. This time frame can vary depending on the individual's experience level and how much time they are able to dedicate to studying for the exam. To get certified, individuals must pass one or more exams related to the technology they wish to be certified in. The cost of each exam varies depending on which technology it covers. Generally speaking, exams range from $100-$200 USD per exam.

4. Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) is a certification program designed to validate an individual’s skills and knowledge in administering Microsoft Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and other Microsoft server products. The MCSA certification is intended for IT professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise in managing, deploying, configuring, troubleshooting, and maintaining Windows-based networks.

It typically takes approximately six months of study and hands-on experience to prepare for the MCSA exams. Candidates must pass three exams in order to earn the MCSA certification. The exams cover topics such as installing, configuring, maintaining, and troubleshooting Windows operating systems; networking fundamentals; active directory; security fundamentals; and more.

To get the MCSA certification you must first register with Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. You can then purchase vouchers from Microsoft that will allow you to take the required exams. Each exam costs $165 USD per attempt. Once you have passed all three exams you will be awarded your MCSA certification.

In total it will cost around $495 USD to get the MCSA certification ($165 x 3).

5. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a certification program designed to validate an individual’s skills in designing, implementing, and managing technology solutions based on Microsoft products and services. It is the highest level of certification offered by Microsoft and demonstrates an individual’s expertise in a wide range of topics related to Windows Server, Client Operating Systems, Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint Server, System Center and Azure.

To become an MCSE certified professional, you must first pass one or more exams that are part of the MCSE certification track. The exact exams required depend on the specialization chosen. For example, if you want to become an MCSE: Cloud Platform & Infrastructure specialist then you would need to pass three exams: 70-740: Installation, Storage & Compute with Windows Server 2016; 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016; and 70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016.

The length of time it takes to get your MCSE certification depends on how much time you can dedicate to studying for your exams. Generally speaking it can take anywhere from a few weeks up to several months depending on your experience level and study habits.

In order to obtain your MCSE certification you must register for each exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. The cost for each exam varies but typically ranges from $150-$200 USD per exam.

6. HDI Support Center Analyst Certification

HDI Support Center Analyst Certification is a certification program offered by HDI, the world’s leading provider of customer service and technical support training and certification. This certification is designed to recognize professionals who demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to provide exceptional customer service and technical support.

The HDI Support Center Analyst Certification consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical application exercise. The written exam covers topics such as customer service fundamentals, problem solving, troubleshooting, communication strategies, and more. The practical application exercise requires candidates to demonstrate their ability to apply the concepts they have learned in the written exam in a simulated customer service situation.

To become certified as an HDI Support Center Analyst, you must pass both parts of the certification process with at least 80% accuracy. The entire process typically takes about four hours to complete.

The cost for the HDI Support Center Analyst Certification varies depending on your location; however, it generally ranges from $200-$400 USD.

7. ITIL Foundation Certification

ITIL Foundation Certification is an entry-level certification in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the ITIL structure and how it can be used to improve the quality of IT services. The certification focuses on key concepts, processes, and best practices that are essential for successful service management.

The ITIL Foundation certification requires a minimum of 21 hours of training and can be completed in as little as two days. Training courses are available online or in person through accredited providers, such as PeopleCert or AXELOS. The cost of the training course will vary depending on the provider, but typically ranges from $400-$1,000 USD.

In order to earn the ITIL Foundation certification, candidates must pass an exam consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions within 60 minutes. The exam fee is separate from the training course fee and typically costs around $200 USD.

Once certified, individuals must complete 20 credits every three years to maintain their certification status.

8. Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)

Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) is a certification program offered by Apple to help IT professionals gain the skills and knowledge necessary to provide technical support and troubleshooting for Mac products. The ACSP certification is designed to validate an individual’s ability to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot Mac OS X systems in an enterprise environment.

The ACSP certification requires successful completion of two exams: the Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) exam and the Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) exam. The ACTC exam covers topics such as system architecture, system installation, networking, user accounts, security settings, and troubleshooting. The ACSP exam focuses on more advanced topics such as server administration, directory services, network services configuration, and scripting.

It typically takes about six months of study and preparation to complete both exams. To get started on the path towards becoming an ACSP certified professional you will need to purchase the appropriate books or study materials from Apple or other vendors that specialize in Apple certifications. You will also need access to a Mac computer running at least Mac OS X 10.5 or higher in order to take the exams.

The cost of obtaining ACSP certification varies depending on where you take the exams and which materials you use for studying but typically ranges from $500-$2000 USD.

9. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a certification program developed by Cisco Systems that validates an individual’s skills in networking. It is designed to recognize individuals who have the knowledge and skills necessary to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-sized routed and switched networks. The CCNA certification covers topics such as IP addressing and subnetting, network security, routing protocols, switching fundamentals, and WAN technologies.

It typically takes about 6 months of study to prepare for the CCNA exam. To get the certification you must pass one of the two available exams: ICND1 (Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 1) or ICND2 (Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 2). You can also take a single exam called the CCNA Composite Exam which tests both parts at once.

The cost of taking the CCNA exam varies depending on which country you are taking it in and whether you are taking it online or in person. Generally speaking, it costs around $300 USD for each exam or $325 USD for the composite exam.

10. HDI Desktop Support Technician Certification

HDI Desktop Support Technician Certification is a professional certification program designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to support desktop users in a variety of environments. The HDI Desktop Support Technician Certification is an internationally recognized certification that provides validation of an individual’s ability to provide technical support for end-user computing systems.

The HDI Desktop Support Technician Certification program consists of four courses, which must be completed within 12 months of registering for the program. The courses include: Introduction to Desktop Support, Troubleshooting and Problem Solving, Operating Systems and Applications, and Networking Fundamentals. Upon successful completion of all four courses, individuals will receive their HDI Desktop Support Technician Certification.

To get certified as an HDI Desktop Support Technician, individuals must first register for the certification program online or by phone. Once registered, they will be able to access course materials and take exams online at their own pace. After completing all four courses and passing the corresponding exams, individuals can apply for their HDI Desktop Support Technician Certification by submitting proof of course completion and exam scores to the HDI office.

The cost of the HDI Desktop Support Technician Certification Program varies depending on where you purchase it from; however, typically it costs around $1,000 USD (including taxes).

Do You Really Need a Help Desk Administrator Certificate?

The short answer is no. A help desk administrator certificate is not a requirement for working in the IT industry, and many professionals are successful without one. However, if you are looking to advance in the field or specialize in certain areas, a help desk administrator certificate can be beneficial.

A help desk administrator certificate demonstrates knowledge of specific topics related to managing help desks and customer service. It shows that you have taken the initiative to learn about important concepts such as problem solving, communication, customer service, and troubleshooting. With this knowledge, employers may be more likely to trust your ability to handle complex tasks and difficult customers. Additionally, having a certificate gives you an edge over other candidates who may not have taken the time to learn about these topics.

Finally, having a help desk administrator certificate can open up new opportunities for career advancement. Employers may view you as someone with specialized knowledge and experience in the field of IT support and customer service. This could lead to promotions or other job opportunities that may not have been available otherwise.

In conclusion, while a help desk administrator certificate is not necessary for success in the IT field, it can be beneficial in terms of career advancement and demonstrating expertise on certain topics.

Related: Help Desk Administrator Resume Examples

FAQs About Help Desk Administrator Certifications

Q1. What is a Help Desk Administrator Certification?

A1. A Help Desk Administrator Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the principles, practices, and procedures involved in providing help desk support services. The certification typically includes topics such as customer service, troubleshooting, problem solving, and technical support.

Q2. What are the benefits of obtaining a Help Desk Administrator Certification?

A2. Obtaining a Help Desk Administrator Certification can benefit you by increasing your marketability in the job market, validating your knowledge and skills related to help desk support services, enhancing your career prospects, and increasing your salary potential.

Q3. What type of jobs can I get with a Help Desk Administrator Certification?

A3. With a Help Desk Administrator Certification you may be able to find employment in roles such as IT Support Technician, Technical Support Specialist, System Administrator, Network Engineer, or Desktop Support Technician.

Q4. How long does it take to earn a Help Desk Administrator Certification?

A4. The length of time required to earn a Help Desk Administrator Certification will vary depending on the certification program and provider you choose but generally ranges from six months to one year for most programs.

Q5. Are there any prerequisites for earning a Help Desk Administrator Certification?

A5. Yes, most certification programs have certain prerequisites that must be met before enrolling in the coursework or taking the final exam such as prior knowledge of basic computer systems and networks or experience working with customers in an IT support role.