The following article discusses the career path of Network Engineer. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Network Engineers.
Network engineers focus on ensuring that the company’s computer system and network have been designed and implemented properly. They are usually office based, troubleshooting problems as they occur across the company. They also ensure that the firewall and security systems are fully up to date and running properly.
Network engineers are aware of the different forms of networking technologies, including firewalls, cryptographic tunneling, and routing. These are things they have learned as part of a bachelor’s degree, although learning on the job and through continuous professional education is equally important. Furthermore, they have to have proficiency in all types of Microsoft Office programs, including Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word, and they must be able to troubleshoot problems with these programs, but also with computer systems and the network as a whole. They must ensure that the entire network runs at top efficiency, in other words.
Other job duties of network engineers include:
- Planning, developing, and troubleshooting both the wide area network and local network infrastructures. These include firewalls, routers, gateways, switches, DHCP servers, DNS servers, clustering solutions, and other services, software, and hardware.
- Performing of tests on system behavior, security, and performance and reporting on this.
- Providing network disaster recovery expertise and tier 4 support when needed.
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 391,300 network and computer systems administrators in 2016, of which network engineers are part. 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 engineers 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 engineer. 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 engineer 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 engineer has to be committed to lifelong learning. Throughout 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 engineers to have to be certified at least in the systems they use. These certifications and licenses come from some vendor-neutral providers, but mainly from vendors. Those who have been certified can demonstrate that they have the relevant knowledge to implement best practice standards. Cisco and Microsoft are examples of vendors offering respected certifications for network engineers.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective network engineers have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Strong analytical skills
- Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
- Strong multitaskers
- Excellent problem solving skills
The national average salary estimate for Network Engineer was $88,447. This number is estimated from over 4,221,724 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $46.07 and monthly of $7,371.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Network Engineer 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 $106,247 while Hawaii had the smallest quoted salary of $62,428.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Network Engineer. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Huxley Banking & Financial Services||Illinois||$196,163|
|Hannibal Global LLC||DC||$150,000|
|Huxley Financial Services||Illinois||$150,000|
|Entripital Technologies Inc||Massachusetts||$150,000|
|Access Staffing LLC||Connecticut||$145,000|
|Princeton Consulting||New York||$144,007|
|Patrick Allen Group, Inc.||Washington||$142,789|
|Across Borders Management Consulting Group||Pennsylvania||$140,000|
|ENTERPRISE CONSULTING Inc||Maryland||$140,000|
|Lenmar Consulting||New Jersey||$140,000|
|Deutsche Resources||New York||$140,000|
|DELL PRODUCTS LP||California||$138,667|
- Network engineering – Wikipedia
- Network Engineer Certification and Career – learn.org
- Network Engineer – Current Job Openings | Department of …
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Director of Human Resources||$93,347|
|Director of Operations||$90,674|
|Director of Purchasing||$90,585|
|Director of Marketing||$90,048|
|Systems Project Manager||$86,680|