Job Search

Network Engineer vs. Cloud Engineer: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

In the world of information technology, there are many different career paths you can take. Two of the most popular roles in IT are that of a network engineer and a cloud engineer. Though these positions share some similarities, there are several key differences between them.

In this article, we discuss the differences between a network engineer and a cloud engineer, and we provide additional information technology professions you may be interested in pursuing.

What is a Network Engineer?

Network Engineers are responsible for designing, implementing and maintaining computer networks. They work with hardware, software and security systems to ensure that network users have uninterrupted access to the data and resources they need. Network Engineers also troubleshoot network problems and work with network administrators to develop and implement network security measures. They may also train new users on how to use the network and assist with network upgrades. Network Engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field.

What is a Cloud Engineer?

Cloud Engineers are responsible for designing, planning, and implementing a company’s cloud computing strategy. They work with cloud architects to create a roadmap for migrating the company’s data and applications to the cloud. Cloud Engineers also work with developers to ensure that the applications they create are compatible with the company’s cloud infrastructure. They test and deploy cloud-based applications and monitor the performance of the applications and the cloud infrastructure. Cloud Engineers also troubleshoot issues with the cloud infrastructure and work with vendors to resolve problems.

Network Engineer vs. Cloud Engineer

Here are the main differences between a network engineer and a cloud engineer.

Job Duties

Both network and cloud engineers have similar job duties, such as designing, installing and maintaining computer networks. However, their specific duties differ because of the different types of networks they manage. For example, a network engineer might design and install an internal corporate network, while a cloud engineer might build and maintain a cloud computing server farm.

Another difference is that network engineers typically focus on the technical aspects of networks, while cloud engineers also consider the user experience. For example, a network engineer might determine how to divide an office into separate subnetworks based on departmental needs, while a cloud engineer might decide which applications to host on which servers to ensure optimal performance for users.

Job Requirements

Network engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering or a related field. They might also pursue certifications to show employers that they have the skills needed to perform their job duties. Cloud engineers often need a similar educational background, although some employers might prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in computer science or a related field. Additionally, cloud engineers might benefit from pursuing certifications in cloud computing, which can show employers that they have the necessary skills to work with cloud-based systems.

Work Environment

Network engineers typically work in an office setting, but they may also travel to customer locations. They often spend their days on construction sites or in data centers. The job can be physically demanding because network engineers need to lift heavy equipment and climb ladders.

Cloud engineers usually work in an office environment, although some may travel to customer locations. Their jobs are less physically demanding than those of network engineers because cloud engineers rarely use heavy equipment.


Both network engineers and cloud engineers need to have a strong understanding of computer systems and networking concepts. They also both benefit from having problem-solving skills so that they can troubleshoot issues that arise with their networks.

However, there are some key differences in the skills that these professionals use on the job. For example, network engineers typically need to have more experience working with different types of hardware, like routers and switches. They also may need to have knowledge about virtual private networks (VPNs) and other security protocols. Cloud engineers, on the other hand, focus more on developing and managing cloud-based solutions, so they need to be well-versed in cloud computing platforms and technologies. They also may need to have coding skills to build custom applications or integrations.


Network engineers earn an average salary of $91,254 per year, while cloud engineers earn an average salary of $116,372 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the size of the company you work for, your location and your level of experience.


Cartoonist vs. Animator: What Are the Differences?

Back to Job Search

Quantity Surveyor vs. Estimator: What Are the Differences?