The following article discusses the career path of Network Architect. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Network Architects.
Network architects are tasked with creating an effective design of the network for the organization, while regularly reviewing its capabilities and requirements as well. They validate design plans at top level for the best network implementation. The have to be very organized, therefore, paying attention to the smallest details so that incompatibility and other types of network issues do not occur. They frequently report on their progress to the supervisors and administrators, who are also made aware of any issues they encounter. Network administrators are usually hooked to their own computer that enables them to check the various security requirements and network settings and keep intruders out.
Network architects also ensure that the integrity of the network is maintained by installing and coordinating the maintenance of various software and hardware tools. They technically guide and support users with regards to the complex local area networks and wireless networks. They also manage the expectations of their clients by ensuring that all relevant network protocols and standards are being followed. Furthermore, they ensure that the most up to date technology is always installed, ensuring that the computer system is fit for purpose. Finally, they regularly report on their findings.
Other job duties of a network architect include:
- Evaluating newly available technology, determining whether implementing it validates its cost.
- Being the first line of contact for those experiencing problems and coming up with out of the box solutions.
- Checking the technical infrastructure, improving it where needed, according to the research and development department’s requirements.
- Performing network systems designs in data centers that are web centric.
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 162,700 computer network architects in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Computer systems design and related services: 26%
- Wired telecommunications carriers: 8%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 7%
- Insurance carriers and related activities: 5%
- Educational services; state, local, and private: 5%
How to Become
Generally, a bachelor’s degree in computer science or networking is required for this position. Network architects are also expected to have professional experience in networking capacities. They may also obtain security and industry certifications.
A network architect usually has at least a bachelor’s degree, with fields such as engineering, information systems, and computer science being particularly popular. If their degree is in a field relating to computers, then network architects will have had real world experience in issues such as database design and network security. This means that they are able to work with the huge array of technologies used in modern networks.
It is becoming increasingly common for employers to search for network architects who have a master’s degree, particularly the master in business administration (MBA) with an information systems specialization. This provides them with further in-depth knowledge on courses related to both computers and to business.
Usually, between five and ten years’ work experience in IT systems is also expected. Often, network architects started their career as computer systems or network administrators. Others come from professions such as computer system analysts or database administrators.
Software firms and other product vendors such as SAP, Cisco, and Microsoft offer a variety of certification programs. It is recommended that network architects hold these certifications as these certify their skills in regards to the products they use. However, this is often sponsored by the employer.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective network architects have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Strong analytical skills
- Very detail oriented
- Good interpersonal skills
- Leadership skills
- Excellent organizational skills
- Strong communication skills, both verbal and written
- Good team players but equally being able to work under minimum supervision
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Network Architect salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, New York had the largest quoted salary of $160,238 while Arkansas had the smallest quoted salary of $88,032.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Network Architect. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|InfoStaff Network Architect||California||$188,956|
|Huxley Financial Services Network Architect||Illinois||$188,161|
|Perm Hires LLC Network Architect||New York||$185,000|
|Huxley Associates Network Architect||New York||$184,395|
|Tech-Nique Partners Network Architect||New York||$179,275|
|CyberCoders Network Architect||New York||$175,726|
|Request Technology – Brian Martin Network Architect||Delaware||$162,021|
|NETROCON SYSTEMS Network Architect||California||$161,442|
|Some XYZ Network Architect||New York||$160,000|
|Worldwide Placement Limited Network Architect||New York||$160,000|
|Randstad Network Architect||California||$159,980|
|Selby Jennings Network Architect||New York||$156,677|
|Access Staffing LLC Network Architect||New York||$153,324|
|VTA Telecom Corp. Network Architect||California||$153,022|
|Ascendo Resources Network Architect||Florida||$150,813|
|WorldLink Network Architect||Texas||$150,000|
|Oikos Networks Network Architect||New York||$150,000|
|iStaff Network Architect||North Carolina||$150,000|
|Request Technology Network Architect||Delaware||$145,113|
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|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Chief Marketing Officer||$136,769|
|Chief Financial Officer||$130,123|
|Chief Information Officer||$121,573|
|IT Security Specialist||$113,452|
|Data Warehouse Engineer||$111,007|
|Business Intelligence Manager||$109,552|