Career Development

What Does a Network Administrator Do?

Find out what a network administrator does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a network administrator.

Network administrators are responsible for maintaining the integrity of computer networks. They commonly work with a variety of hardware and software systems, including routers, switches, firewalls, servers, databases, etc.

Network administrators may also be tasked with designing and implementing new network systems or updating existing ones. This might include adding new hardware to the network, upgrading existing hardware or software, or creating new policies and procedures to help ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Network Administrator Job Duties

Network administrators have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Monitoring server performance to ensure that they are operating within acceptable limits
  • Installing new servers and adding new features to existing servers as needed to meet growing demands
  • Maintaining an inventory of existing hardware and software assets that are used by the company’s network, including computers, monitors, routers, switches, printers, scanners, and phones
  • Planning, designing, implementing, and managing an organization’s computer networks, including workstations, servers, routers, firewalls, and other hardware
  • Evaluating new technologies and providing recommendations on how they can be integrated into existing networks
  • Coordinating with software developers to ensure that new applications are compatible with existing systems
  • Installing and updating operating systems, software applications, and security patches for servers and workstations
  • Designing and maintaining network diagrams to visually represent the layout of a network and its components
  • Performing routine maintenance on hardware and software to ensure optimal performance

Network Administrator Salary & Outlook

Network administrators’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $70,100 ($33.7/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of network administrators is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Network administrators will be needed to install and maintain networks for companies that are expanding their operations or that want to improve the efficiency of their networks. However, automation may allow fewer network administrators than previously to oversee networks.

Network Administrator Job Requirements

A network administrator typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Network administrators are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, computer engineering or another related field. Some employers may hire candidates who have an associate’s degree or who have relevant work experience instead of a bachelor’s degree.

Training & Experience: Network administrators typically receive on-the-job training after they are hired. This training may last for a few weeks to a month and may include shadowing current network administrators and performing duties under supervision until they are comfortable enough to complete tasks on their own.

Certifications & Licenses: Employers typically want their network administrators to be certified in the products they use.

Network Administrator Skills

Network administrators need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Technical skills are the skills related to the technology you work with, including knowledge of software, hardware and networking. This is an important skill to have as an administrator because you need to understand how to use the technology and how to repair it when it breaks.

Communication skills: Network administrators often work in teams with other IT professionals, and communication skills are essential to collaborating with others. They also need to communicate clearly with clients and other staff members. Effective communication skills include speaking clearly, listening to others and providing feedback.

Problem-solving skills: Network administrators are responsible for maintaining the security of their company’s network and ensuring that all of the company’s systems are functioning properly. They often need to think of creative solutions to problems and find ways to overcome them.

Attention to detail: Network administrators often have to review and analyze large amounts of data. Attention to detail is important for ensuring that you notice any errors or inconsistencies in the data. It’s also important for ensuring that you enter the correct information into the system.

Ability to work independently: When working as a network administrator, you may be required to work independently for long periods of time. This is because you may be the only person in your company with the skills and knowledge to maintain the network. Being able to work independently can help you complete your duties and responsibilities without needing assistance.

Network Administrator Work Environment

Network administrators typically work in an office environment during regular business hours, although they may be on call 24 hours a day to respond to network emergencies. They may work more than 40 hours per week to meet deadlines or to solve complex problems. Some network administrators travel to various locations to install or repair network equipment.

Network Administrator Trends

Here are three trends influencing how network administrators work. Network administrators will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for Better Cybersecurity

The need for better cybersecurity is a trend that is quickly becoming more and more important as time goes on. This is because hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and they are finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in networks.

Network administrators can help to mitigate this trend by ensuring that their networks are secure and that they are keeping up with the latest developments in cybersecurity. They can also work to educate other members of their organization about the importance of cybersecurity and how they can help to protect the company from cyberattacks.

Cloud Computing Becomes More Popular

As cloud computing becomes more popular, network administrators will need to learn how to manage cloud-based systems.

This trend means that network administrators will need to be familiar with cloud-based services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. They will also need to be able to configure and manage these services so that they can be used by the businesses and organizations that they work for.

More Focus on Security

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for network administrators who specialize in security will continue to grow.

Network administrators who are skilled in security will be in high demand as businesses look for ways to protect their data and infrastructure from potential threats. These professionals will need to be able to identify potential vulnerabilities and develop solutions to keep data safe.

How to Become a Network Administrator

A network administrator career can be a great choice for those who want to work in IT but don’t want to deal with the technical details of coding and programming. As a network administrator, you’ll be responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining the networks that connect all the computers and other devices in an organization. This includes everything from small businesses to large corporations.

To become a network administrator, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of networking technologies and protocols. You’ll also need to be able to configure and troubleshoot routers, switches, and other network devices. Additionally, it’s important to have good communication skills so that you can effectively communicate with users and help them solve their problems.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career as a network administrator. One of the best ways is to get further education and training in your field. This will enable you to apply for more senior positions and take on more responsibility. You can also advance by becoming certified in your field. There are many different certification programs available, and becoming certified will show potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge to do the job.

Another way to advance your career is to move into management. Network administrators with management experience will be in high demand as companies look to improve their network infrastructure. You can also advance by becoming a consultant. Network consultants are in high demand as companies look to improve their network performance.

Finally, you can advance your career by moving into a specialized area of network administration. There are many different specialized areas, such as security, storage, or virtualization. By becoming an expert in one of these areas, you will be in high demand by employers.

Network Administrator Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are constantly expanding our business and adding new users to our network. We are looking for a network administrator who can manage our network and keep it running smoothly. The ideal candidate will have experience installing, configuring, and maintaining network hardware and software. They will be responsible for ensuring that all users have access to the resources they need, and that the network is secure from outside threats. They will also be responsible for troubleshooting network problems and providing support to users.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Install, configure, and support an organization’s local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system
  • Maintain network hardware and software, analyze problems, and monitor network performance to ensure network availability to all system users
  • Assist in the planning and implementation of network upgrades
  • Analyze and resolve complex hardware and software problems associated with network servers, client workstations, and application programs
  • Install, modify, and repair computer hardware and software
  • Configure and install routers, switches, multiplexers, firewalls, and other data communications equipment
  • Connect sites through virtual private networks (VPNs) using the latest encryption methods
  • Monitor network usage and control access permissions and privileges
  • Perform routine audits of systems and software
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures related to network administration and usage
  • Train users in the proper use of hardware and software
  • Keep abreast of new technologies and make recommendations for their implementation

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or related field
  • 5+ years experience in network administration or a related role
  • CCNA or CCNP certification
  • Strong understanding of networking concepts and protocols (TCP/IP, DNS, DHCP, etc.)
  • Experience with network analysis and troubleshooting tools (Wireshark, SolarWinds, etc.)
  • Solid experience with routers, switches, and other networking hardware
  • Proficient in Linux/Unix operating systems

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in computer science, information technology, or related field
  • 7+ years experience in network administration or a related role
  • CCIE certification
  • Experience with virtualization technologies (VMware, Hyper-V)
  • Experience with cloud computing platforms (AWS, Azure)
  • Experience with network security tools and best practices

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