Network engineers are also known as network architects. They work on company computer networks and use information technology to ensure that the company’s network systems are functioning correctly for all employees to use.
The networks that a network engineer works on can include local area networks or LANs, wide area networks or WANs, intranets, and extranets. The complexity of a network can vary depending on the type of organization or company it is for.
Some smaller companies may only have one network engineer on staff while others with more complex networks can have an entire team of globally connected network engineers that work together.
What Is A Network Engineer?
A network engineer ensures that a company’s computer or online network is functioning as it should. They have the knowledge and skills that are needed to correct any connection issues whether there is a problem with the internet connection itself or an issue with the company’s computer network not communicating with every machine.
A network engineer may work for a company that rarely has any issues and are only there to maintain the network and be on-site if any problems arise. Or they may work for a company that constantly has connection issues and a team of network engineers may be needed to solve the daily dilemmas.
The everyday tasks of a network engineer could include creating a secure connection between two offices to modernized networking capabilities that features an advanced cloud infrastructure which serves multiple clients or customers at once.
What Is the Average Network Engineer Salary?
The average annual network engineer salary in May 2017 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was $104,650. The lower 10% of all network engineers earned an average salary that was less than $58,160. While the highest 10% of all network engineers earned an average salary that was more than $162,390.
Here are the average annual salaries for network engineers in the top industries.
The majority of all network engineers work full-time jobs. Around 1 in 4 worked for more than 40 hours a week in 2016.
What Are the Duties of a Network Engineer?
A network engineer will typically perform the following duties:
A network engineer designs computer and information networks. They also troubleshoot any problems that the company and its employees may have. The can also take the preventative measures to eliminate future network problems before they start.
There are some network engineers who work alongside IT experts like network and computer system managers for instance. The engineers are there to guarantee that the workers’ and clients’ networking needs are always met in a prompt and professional manner.
What Is The Work Environment for
A network engineer can work in a variety of settings. The majority of these engineers provide computer systems design and related services. These individuals may work inside an office for a major company. They may work on their own or with a group of other network engineers to take on complex jobs.
Network engineers spend a large amount of their time inside an office. But they will also occasionally work inside of a server room alone or with a team.
This location is where they have access to the hardware that makes the computer network for the company work. If there is a big issue with the network, they may spend many hours inside the server room trying to correct the problem.
Depending on the size of the company and the complexity of their network, most network engineers will usually perform their duties all on their own. Others that work for a more complex company will often work in pairs or with a group of several network engineers.
How Do You Become a Network Engineer?
Most network engineers will need to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field to get a good job in the industry. They will also need to have past experience in a related field.
Computer engineers will need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, engineering, or any related field. An accredited degree program in a computer-related field will provide network engineers with the knowledge, training, and hands-on experience they need to secure a reliable job. The curriculum for a computer science degree program prepares network engineers to work for a broad range of companies in various industries that use computer networks and the latest technology.
Employers wanting to hire a qualified network engineer will often prefer their applicants to have a Master’s of Business Administration or MBA in Information Systems or a related field. An MBA program will require students to take 2 years of study that is added to the undergrad degree program for their bachelor’s degree.
Prior Work Experience
Network engineers need to have at least five to ten years of experience working with IT systems. Applicants for this type of position will usually have experience working as a network and computer systems administrator or similar role. They may also have experience working as a computer systems analyst or a database administrator just to name a few.
Licenses and Certifications
To obtain a certification as a network engineer, applicants may apply through a vendor or a software firm. A vendor-specific certification shows that the engineer has a particular set of skills that make them qualified to work with a specific network environment. These certifications can include becoming a Symantec Certified Specialist, a Cisco Service Provider Mobility CDMA to LTE Specialist, or an SAP Certified Technology Associate.
There are employers that may require a network engineer to be certified in the various products that they use. An added benefit is that the engineer will still be certified to use the product even if they leave the job for a position with another company.
Room for Advancement
Working as a network engineer allows you to have room for advancement and gain an even better network engineer salary. Most network engineers will return to school to become a computer and information systems manager.
Qualities Needed to Become a
There are several important qualities that employers will look for when hiring a network engineer.
A network engineer will need to analyze data networks and choose the best way to connect them based on the needs of the companies.
There are many network engineers who supervise teams made up of computer software or hardware engineers. These teams build the networks that the network engineer designed.
A network engineer that works for a large firm or corporation is responsible for coordinating a multitude of communication networks and therefore must have excellent organizational skills to keep up with their work.
Network engineers come up with comprehensive plans for the networks they create using precise details to ensure that all networks they have connected work flawlessly.
These skills are very useful for network engineers because they work with a variety of different employees from all ranks in the business world.
What Is The Job Outlook for
Currently, the job outlook for network engineers looks very good. Employment in this area is expected to go up by at least 6% between 2016 and 2026.
The demand for more workers who are skilled in computer networking should increase within the next few years as more small businesses and major corporations learn about the benefits of hiring network engineers.
With more companies using cloud computing than ever before, the need for more workers who understand how this advanced form of networking works is greater than ever. This will allow organizations to connect to networks through the cloud instead of building a large network on-site.
Those hoping to apply for a job as a network engineer will want to have all relevant certifications to further ensure that they get the position they desire.
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