How to Become An Incident Manager: A Complete Guide

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 January 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An incident manager is an IT professional who maintains and monitors the performance of the IT systems of the organisation and supervises IT technicians. Incident managers are an important part of any organisation, as they mainly work to protect its assets and data from external breaches. Knowing the responsibilities of an incident manager can help you decide if it is the right career choice for you. In this article, we discuss how to become an incident manager, explore their responsibilities and learn about the skills required to become one.

How to become an incident manager

If you want to learn how to become an incident manager, follow these steps:

1. Earn a degree

A bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited college or university is essential to start your career as an incident manager. Most organisations require employees to have at least an undergraduate degree in the incident management, cybersecurity, incident disasters or incident handling and response sectors to qualify for this job profile. This role requires an in-depth understanding of advanced concepts and procedures related to the information technology field.

Also, you can select related fields such as computer science and computer engineering to gain knowledge related to embedded systems, hardware, software and design solutions for digital systems. A postgraduate degree in IT management can also help you improve your management and technical skills.

2. Get professional experience in Information Technology System Management (ITSM)

Once you complete your education in the field, you can start applying for entry-level jobs in ITSM, which can provide you with the required professional experience to take up major incident management roles and responsibilities. To find suitable jobs, you can enquire about employment opportunities in the IT departments of various companies by visiting them in person. You can also apply online by creating your professional profile on leading recruitment portals, such as Indeed.

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3. Obtain certification

Certification from a recognised institute proves you are a qualified candidate for an incident manager's job. There are various certification options available for aspirants to pursue a career as an incident manager, such as:

  • CREST Certified Incident Manager (CCIM)

  • Major Incident Manager (MIM)

  • ITIL Master in IT Service Management (ITIL M)

  • ITIL 4 Managing Professional (ITIL MP)

Aspirants can earn these certifications and can also get proficiency certificates in specific language courses such as Java, C++, SQL and Scala. These programming languages can empower incident managers with coding skills and help them identify and defend against potential hackers that can break into the company's system.

4. Search for incident manager jobs

Once you gain education, certification and initial work experience in ITSM, you can start looking for incident manager jobs. Several companies and organisations with IT departments have openings for incident manager jobs. Creating a professional profile on platforms such as Indeed can be the first step towards finding an incident manager position. It can help you build a network in your field and get a job where you can fulfil the company's incident management roles and responsibilities.

Incident manager job description and responsibilities

Incident managers track the record of the company's information technology systems through incident reports, monitor the performance of technology operations and note the challenges in the organisation's IT systems. For example, they detect data and security breaches, security issues and weak network accessibility, and find workarounds in case of any issues with implementing those solutions across the organisation. Incident managers also try to find the cause of the bug and inform the organisation of the solution they create to overcome the problem.

Here are some other responsibilities of an incident manager:

  • ensure technical support to the company and employees

  • handle any unexpected and unplanned malfunctions that prevent users from sending, receiving and filing online data

  • prevent and resolve any interruptions in the IT services of the organisation that can affect the productivity or sales of the company

  • develop technical skills and expertise to identify IT-related issues and design effective solutions as required

  • possess in-depth information about their organisation's operations and services

  • stay updated with knowledge of various incident management tools

  • maintain a customer-service mindset for interacting with users

Related: 20 Jobs In IT To Explore (With Salary Information)

Skills required to become an incident manager

Some additional soft skills can be helpful for incident managers to deal with clients and team members. These include:

  • Conflict r**esolution:** The incident manager may require resolving disagreements between team members effectively to ensure faster major incident resolution.

  • Fast decision making: Quick thinking and the ability to use the available resources to solve system-related issues is an important skill for an incident manager.

  • Communication skills: Effective communication skills can help an incident manager quickly communicate the problem and instruct the technical team about how they can resolve the issue.

  • Attention to detail: Identifying the root cause of a system error requires minute scrutiny and great attention to detail. This skill can help you identify even the smallest of issues.

  • Stress management: Incident managers may often work in high-pressure situations. This requires stress management skills to maintain a calm mind.

  • Problem-solving skills: An incident manager requires a solution-oriented mindset to focus on resolving the issue after analysing it.

  • Presentation skills: After resolving the issue, the incident manager prepares a clear and lucid report that explains why the system error occurred, what was the resulting damage, and how they fixed it. Strong presentation skills can help the manager highlight the key points with precision and in an understandable and engaging manner.

Related: Key Employability Skills To Be Successful In The Workplace

Market scope and opportunities for an incident manager

Companies requiring a strong IT core are usually in search of experienced incident managers with in-depth knowledge who can immediately detect issues in IT systems and take the steps required to resolve those problems. Suppliers, employers and customers need incident managers whenever they face technical issues with the IT system in their companies. This offers tremendous scope and opportunity for talented incident managers in the market. An active understanding of IT systems and an analytical mind can set you up for long-term career success in incident management.

Incident management also requires the ability to lead resources and people working across multiple locations and time zones. Though you may work at a particular branch of a multi-national company, you may manage the IT system for all the branches of that organisation. Incident managers have opportunities in software development, system resilience with IT operations, cloud support and more.

Pros and cons of being an incident manager

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of this role:

Pros of being an incident manager

Explore this list of advantages of being an incident manager:

  • Fast-paced work environment: The role of an incident manager in a fast-paced organisation can be a promising prospect as it is challenging to maintain the various systems across the company. This helps incident managers learn multitasking from the role.

  • Continuous skill development: Working as an incident manager may improve your non-technical skills, such as time management, quick decision-making ability and conflict resolution. In this field, a quick learner may become an effective leader in a short time span.

  • High salary: The average pay for an incident manager as a fresher is ₹5,44,241 per year. The pay may increase as you gain more experience.

Cons of being an incident manager

Review these potential disadvantages of the position:

  • High job stress: Stress is a part of everyday life for an incident manager as faulty operational systems, breaches in cybersecurity and server damages are big threats to the organisation's stability and integrity. Hence, the incident manager has to always be ready to resolve these problems.

  • Lack of database in the organisation: No documentation or lack of a database can decrease the ability of the incident manager to protect critical assets from potential attackers. Incident managers cannot protect the system if the organisation does not update, review and store the data.

  • Responsibility of developing an insider threat program: The incident manager is responsible for creating an insider threat program that addresses and analyses information from different sources to identify potential risks that could harm the company. This is important because incident managers are at fault if irreparable damage occurs to a critical company asset.

  • Cost accountability: Resolving major incidents costs more and requires more resources. As an incident manager, when you spend more of the company's money to call external resources for solving the problems, you are typically accountable for the additional expense.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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