The following article discusses the career path of Network Administrator. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Network Administrators.
Network administrators are responsible for the maintenance of all hardware and software in their organization. Usually, they specifically look after certain components of the network. Sometimes, they also design new networks and implement them. The exact responsibilities a network administrator may have vary greatly depending on the company and its location. That said, some responsibilities are seen commonly across the board.
Usually, these administrators are responsible for assigning network addresses and implementing and managing the relevant protocols. They maintain the file servers and the networks themselves. In a smaller organization, they are often responsible for the maintenance of smartphones, routers, printers, computers, and other such hardware. They monitor the network as a whole, they test it to find any weaknesses, they ensure the system is up to date, they choose and implement security programs, they evaluate the software that is in place to manage the network, and so on.
Furthermore, a network administrator is charged with making sure that the organization’s network is used in an effective manner and is always maintained properly. In smaller organizations, they commonly also have to ensure that all licenses are relevant and up to date, maintain the different applications and installations, and investigate and prevent security breaches. They are highly technical individuals with a widely varying role.
Other job duties of a network administrator include:
- To deliver, install, set up, troubleshoot, and repair the software and hardware within their organization.
- To train other people on how to properly use the telecom and AV systems and software applications.
- To be responsible for the upkeep of the full telecom system, which includes the PDAs, handsets, and other tools.
- To maintain the inventory of the IT department, ensuring equipment is disposed of properly and schedules are updated as necessary.
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 391,300 network and computer systems administrators in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Computer systems design and related services: 18%
- Information: 11%
- Educational services; state, local, and private: 10%
- Finance and insurance: 9%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 7%
How to Become
A bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, information systems, or similar field is generally required. Additionally, it is expected that network administrators have a personal interest in computer networks and technology.
In certain organizations, a post-secondary certificate is all that is required, or perhaps an associate’s degree, in order for someone to become a network administrator. However, this is increasingly rare and a bachelor’s degree is now the acceptable standard. The degree should be in a field that relates to information or computer science. Those that focus specifically on computer system and network administration have the greatest prospects.
However, it is equally acceptable for someone to have a degree in electrical or computer engineering, for instance. This is because the role of a network administrator is also closely related to maintaining equipment. What generally matters most is that they have completed classes in areas such as systems design, networking, and computer programming.
Network technology changes very rapidly and frequently. As a result, a network administrator has to be committed to lifelong learning. Through their career, they will have to attend IT conferences and training events to keep their knowledge up to date. This is why many now have a master’s degree.
There are no legal requirements for licensure or certification, but it is common for administrators to have to be certified at least in the systems used by the organization. These certifications and licenses come from some vendor-neutral providers, but mainly from vendors themselves. When they have been certified, they are able to demonstrate that they have the relevant knowledge to implement best practice standards. Cisco and Microsoft are examples of vendors offering respected certifications for network administrators.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective network administrators have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Strong analytical skills
- Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
- Good multitaskers
- Excellent problem solving skills
The national average salary estimate for Network Administrator was $66,871. This number is estimated from over 2,368,024 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $34.83 and monthly of $5,573.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Network Administrator salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, DC had the largest quoted salary of $81,882 while Arkansas had the smallest quoted salary of $52,733.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Network Administrator. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|MCN Direct Solar||DC||$250,000|
|Galaxy Software Solutions||Michigan||$178,885|
|JLA Recruiting||New Jersey||$120,000|
|United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit||DC||$118,861|
|Anderson Frank||South Carolina||$114,895|
|e-STAFF Consulting Group||Pennsylvania||$113,299|
|SPARKS IT Solutions||DC||$110,000|
|Robert Half Technology||Utah||$105,468|
|TNT Staffing||New York||$104,881|
- Network administrator – Wikipedia
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators : Occupational …
- What Does a Network Administrator Do? – Learn.org
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Business Operations Manager||$68,007|
|Supply Chain Analyst||$66,387|