Help desk job for 95k?

CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
So I got a recent job offer for a help desk job for an agency as a GS-13. I am a sys ADM right now as a 12 and am bored out of my mind so I am actually considering it. I live in a low cost area so that's a pretty good raise, but I have never had a help desk job. Only sys ADM and security.

I like tinkering with a lot of different technologies so I think I might actually like the job. There are about five help desk guys for about 250 workers at the job.

Right now I do a lot of C&A and policy work which I hate so I think this would be refreshing, but I am a little unsure.

Any insight?
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Comments

  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Id love to work on a Help Desk for 95K.
    But to answer your question it really depends on the Help Desk you are going to... expect lots of repetition, lots of user issues that can be fixed in 15mins, and depending on the structure (or lack thereof) you may or may not have a SOP or documentation. The Help desk is really where you start off in your IT Career. You take calls, create tickets, and troubleshoot issues. If you can't fix it in a certain time frame it gets escalated. If you get the issue of the BSOD or a boot loop the PC is re-imaged. So if you don't mind that, I say go for it....

    Also depending on what they use expect to use BMC Remedy, Service Now, or another ticketing system.
    If you have admin rights or privileges expect to use Active Directory Users and Computers
    If you don't know exchange 2010 be prepared to learn it
    expect to learn Outlook 2010 and basic troubleshooting steps.... Can't send email, can't open email, outlook wont open etc....
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • TomkoTechTomkoTech Member Posts: 438
    If this is a GS position I would expect that as a GS-12/13 it is a Supervisory Position. Not just helpdesk. So you will be in charge of X amount of GS7-9s as well as running the day to day of the helpdesk.
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    Just as long you are not just sitting there answering the phones...
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    TomkoTech wrote: »
    If this is a GS position I would expect that as a GS-12/13 it is a Supervisory Position. Not just helpdesk. So you will be in charge of X amount of GS7-9s as well as running the day to day of the helpdesk.

    +1 to this. Do you happen to be the person overseeing those 5 helpdesk guys?
  • kiki162kiki162 Member Posts: 635 ■■■■■□□□□□
    It's like a step down, but a step up for 95K...however....If your THAT bored, you may want to get out of the gov't all together. Ask yourself...do you REALLY want to go to the darkside?! Do yourself and your brain a favor and look at ALL your options. I did 10+ years and I got out, best decision I ever made. Remember after a certain period of time, most ppl are stuck in gov't spots as they ride it out till retirement.

    Those GS salaries only bump you up so much each year. It's like saying "Woo hoo..and extra $20 in my paycheck this month for my annual raise." Plus being subject to potential gov't shutdowns, cuts, and other BS.

    If you have SA + Security experience (like I have), your going to have so much more potential and options outside the gov't. If you want to talk offline, send me a PM.

    Must be nice in the Bermuda Triangle :)
  • TomkoTechTomkoTech Member Posts: 438
    Belay my last. I just looked on USAJOBs and there is an IT Specialist(Custspt) Non-supervisory GS-12 position...... They must be hurting bad for help desk lol.
  • TranceSoulBrotherTranceSoulBrother Member Posts: 215
    TomkoTech wrote: »
    Belay my last. I just looked on USAJOBs and there is an IT Specialist(Custspt) Non-supervisory GS-12 position...... They must be hurting bad for help desk lol.

    Not really..It depends on the position description and what it allocated.
    My DAC is a GS12 and that's her first job after being a contractor. We have about a couple more like that.
    Being a GS12 doesn't equal to more experience but rather it's just the job. All three that I know have decent amount of experience but nothing earth shattering (if you haven't done really IA stuff in 2-3 years then you're not as good anymore, right?)
    Some places will only post for 7-9 and some might post for higher. Our DACs lucked out for being hired here.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Think of how that would look on your resume. From sys admin to Helpdesk? Think of the message that would give to potential future employers. Like others said, its a step down but a setup in salary.
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Well the official title would be IT specialist, but its basically help desk.

    Right now I work behind about three to four steel doors and never see the sunlight (yeah its one of those jobs) and this job would be supporting a lot of remote sites and dealing with heavy VTC/VOIP. Also, it does not deal with the level of classified that I deal with now.

    All in all I seriously hate being part of IT security and pretty much always have. vulnerability scanning and system hardening were fun, but that's only about 5% of what I do now, its all paperwork and your ass is on the line for everything.

    Also, I am not too concerned how it looks in my resume...I have been looking for a job that I like for years now and have been chasing it in security....but have not found it yet. I love computers, troubleshooting and technology and it looks like a help desk job might have that.

    I think I am going to try it. If it does not work out I can always go back to the dread of security with my CISSP and resume...

    BTW I know GS-14's that are non supervisory help desk in the government. that's about 120k +
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,341 Mod
    Don't do it!

    If you're bored, tackle a challenging certification at work...and find a challenging position that pays more than 95K. Spend your time certing up....heck do an online degree or something, just dont step down. The time you will spend doing the helpdesk will be time wasted....
    Certs: GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE
    In Progress: MBA
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    Don't do it!

    If you're bored, tackle a challenging certification at work...and find a challenging position that pays more than 95K. Spend your time certing up....heck do an online degree or something, just dont step down. The time you will spend doing the helpdesk will be time wasted....and it will look bad on the CV

    Hmmmm, Ok fine I will seriously think about this tonight before I make the decision....
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I say do it, the step up in grade may be harder to come by than you suspect. Like you mentioned, it is still IT Specialist in title so you can always seek out jobs more in line with what you're after once you have the TIG.
  • GessGess CISSP, Server+, SCCM 2012, Project+; J.D. Member Posts: 144 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Cyberscum wrote: »
    BTW I know GS-14's that are non supervisory help desk in the government. that's about 120k +

    In the Dept of Army, which is a huge agency there are 11, total. Mostly all CustSpt/ENTARCH. All 11 are in DC. And there are no GS-15 CustSupt positions at all. That's a pretty tight track to put yourself on.

    If you toss in Supervisory positions, the number boosts to 19, 17 of which are in DC. The other two are at Fort Knox and Fort Belvoir.

    As of this year it takes 6 years from accepting the GS14 position to break $120K in DC. It starts at $109K.

    I just researched this recently because I onboarded as a CustSpt/InfoSec 2210 and then forked over to InfoSec where the back end of the career trajectory has more potential. InfoSec has more positions and has GS-15 spots.

    Do whatever makes you happy for sure. Just be realistic about where that road ends and how narrow it gets.
  • kiki162kiki162 Member Posts: 635 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I had an opp for a GS-12 spot doing vuln. scanning and some proxy work. They offered me $96K, which is the high end of the GS-12 pay scale with no room for a promo. Obviously I didn't take that. With my current job, I'm also at that point, and in the middle of my payscale.

    @Cyber I sent you a PM, seriously consider your options. Although the job sounds great, you really have to look at the big picture and where you want to be in the next few years.
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Well the weird thing is, and maybe it is just my experience, is that there are no defining jobs in the gov. Every job I have gotten has only been interested in my exp and if I was 2210. I started infosec and moved to admin but was doing both in both jobs. This job is no different in that I will prob get pimped out to do everything.

    The one thing I have noticed in infosec is that the tunnel gets bigger for high positions, but your responsibilities increase faster than the opportunities available. I have been offered 13 jobs for some of the infosec programs in the area, but what those jobs amount to are scape goat positions to blame once **** hits the fan for C&A...and it always does. Everyone seems to want to be in infosec, but only 15-20% of the people working here actually enjoy the work...most are doing it for money or opportunity so it makes the jobs that much more unbearable.

    I still don't know... part of me wants to leave policy and responsibilities behind and concentrate on what I really like, but part of me obviously sees the points you are all making. All in all money is not a big factor as the cost of living where I am at is close to the lowest in the country. I know I will be limited with movement, but if I get to play with all the cool toys I don't see a point in moving....

    I'm gonna take the day to try and figure this out, I need to let them know by next week.
  • GessGess CISSP, Server+, SCCM 2012, Project+; J.D. Member Posts: 144 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Best of luck. I do understand where you're coming from. I derive the most joy in my day out of finding a solution for a vulnerability. But that's GS-9 tech work and I only do it because we're so short staffed. If I could get GS-14 money and work on the gear, I'd do that in a heartbeat. But in my (limited) experience the higher you go in CustSpt the more people you have to oversee, and in the GS ranks that means being responsible for a lot of dud employees that are sponging up a paycheck and not doing much else.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,341 Mod
    The problem I see with doing Helpdesk work is that it won't make your boredom problems go away, it will make it even worse. Turning windows desktops on/off and re-imaging them gets old so quickly....you're not only doing something but you will constantly be asked to do the same thing over and over. I'd say use the money and free time you have in your current job to pursue personal stuff instead of being asked to troubleshoot windows desktops and install firefox
    Certs: GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE
    In Progress: MBA
  • manchildmanchild Member Posts: 25 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Cyberscum,

    Can you explain how the special pay rate for IT positions works?
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I couldn't do it, just thinking about talking to end users is making my skin crawl.
  • No_NerdNo_Nerd Banned Posts: 168
    Take the increase in grade/step and then wait 12-24 months and Move to a different open position in the 13 range for Cyber Security.
  • GessGess CISSP, Server+, SCCM 2012, Project+; J.D. Member Posts: 144 ■■□□□□□□□□
    manchild wrote: »
    Cyberscum,

    Can you explain how the special pay rate for IT positions works?

    If you're one of:

    0854 COMPUTER ENGINEER
    1550 COMPUTER SCIENCE SPECIALIST
    2210 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT

    and you're a GS-5/7/9/11

    you use this pay chart:

    https://apps.opm.gov/SpecialRates/2015/Table999B01012015.aspx

    instead of using the standard GS chart for your region.
    If the regular pay scale for your region exceeds the special rate table 999B you receive the higher rate.

    You also can't go down in pay with a promotion, so if you're a GS-11 Step 6 (for instance) and promote to GS-12, you'll start wherever the pay is equivalent.
  • Nightflier101BLNightflier101BL Member Posts: 134 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I will always be one to support doing what you enjoy. Don't let others talk you out of doing something if you know you'll enjoy it. $95K is a pretty decent salary, especially if your cost of living is low. At some point you have to stop trying to climb and just enjoy your job. There's more to life than endlessly seeking the perfect job that pays six figures.

    Dude - I'd work at McDonalds if they paid me $95K. I'd be thrilled with that no matter where I worked.
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    One more thing to add.

    Although I work for a DoD component; its a relatively small branch and less recognizable.

    This would be working for prob the most well known three letter org in the US.

    Do you think the name of the company makes a difference?
  • TomkoTechTomkoTech Member Posts: 438
    Only for interoffice transfers as you'd be eligible for more job openings with the bigger agency when they list "Current X location X agency employees" as the "who may apply"
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    TomkoTech wrote: »
    Only for interoffice transfers as you'd be eligible for more job openings with the bigger agency when they list "Current X location X agency employees" as the "who may apply"

    Copy, I was thinking more along the lines of transferring civilian in a couple years. How it would look to have a big agency on your resume.
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I did some thought on this topic and I would say "yes the money is good but its more heartache and boredom" I have worked on a help desk and the most boring thing to do is tell 20 people a day to do the same thing. I know your bored in security but security is a BIG world.... you can stick with what your doing and challenge yourself to do other things... see if you can hack your own home network, ddos yourself etc.... maybe get a book on computer forensics and study cryptography..... But whatever you do... DONT do the help desk. The pay is good but the drawback is you have to deal with the same issues every day and there is no challenge or difference from the day to day routine.... Here is a typical day in a Help Desk role

    1. Come in and log into the phone and put yourself on "ready"
    2. Log in to your computer, outlook, and remote tools and/or admin accounts
    3. Take calls

    Thats really it... imagine doing that 5 days a week 8 hrs a day dealing with the SAME issue. And when there is an outage or major issue you will spend all day telling people the same thing... Plus there is no way to advance to something else. You are already above the curve already... working in security.... You will kick yourself for leaving security for the help desk...

    I mean if all else fails we can switch jobs for a day :D
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Cyberscum wrote: »
    but I have never had a help desk job.

    You dodged a big silver bullet.

    People on the help desk would LOVE to do what your doing now. And most of them aspire to be Sys Admins and Security. On the Help Desk is where they get the basics of system admin and troubleshooting.
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • SaSkillerSaSkiller OSWP, GPEN, GWAPT, GCIH Member Posts: 337 ■■■□□□□□□□
    TomkoTech wrote: »
    If this is a GS position I would expect that as a GS-12/13 it is a Supervisory Position. Not just helpdesk. So you will be in charge of X amount of GS7-9s as well as running the day to day of the helpdesk.

    Not nessesarily, it depends on the area. in high COL areas there are no lower GS' because you cant pay someone pennies even for entry level work.
    OSWP, GPEN, GWAPT, GCIH, CPT, CCENT, CompTIA Trio.
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    One thing that does interest me is that I have seen jobs at agencies that advertise positions that require high clearances as being basic jobs, but end up being pretty interesting missions...

    But maybe I'm reaching on that one
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,712 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Still can't get past the 95 k help desk. icon_lol.gif. Why not try it out, you might set a record being the worlds highest paid help desk employee. That's pretty darn impressive!
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