Job Search

Network Technician vs. Network Administrator: What Are the Differences?

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

A network technician and a network administrator are both responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of a computer network. However, their duties and responsibilities differ in scope and focus. In this article, we compare and contrast the job titles network technician and network administrator, and we provide additional information on related careers.

What is a Network Technician?

Network Technicians are responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining computer networks within an organization. This can include both hardware and software components. They work closely with Network Administrators to ensure that the network meets the needs of the organization. Network Technicians install and configure network equipment, such as routers, switches, and firewalls. They also troubleshoot network problems and provide support to users. They may also be responsible for managing network security, including setting up and maintaining user accounts, permissions, and access controls.

What is a Network Administrator?

Network Administrators are responsible for the design, implementation, maintenance and management of an organization’s computer network. They work with network hardware and software to ensure that all users have the necessary access to information and resources. Network Administrators also troubleshoot network problems and work with vendors to resolve technical issues. They may also train new users on how to use the network and provide support to existing users. In larger organizations, Network Administrators may specialize in a particular area, such as network security or email administration.

Network Technician vs. Network Administrator

Here are the main differences between a network technician and a network administrator.

Job Duties

While both network administrators and network technicians have technical responsibilities, their duties differ. Network administrators develop the overall network strategy, such as choosing the right type of networking technology for the company and installing it. They also manage the daily operations of the network, troubleshooting issues that users report and monitoring network performance.

In contrast, network technicians perform more hands-on tasks related to specific devices on the network. For example, they might be responsible for installing and configuring new employee workstations or fixing user devices when network administrators request assistance. Technicians may also test and troubleshoot wireless networks in different areas of the building and monitor signal strength.

Job Requirements

Network technicians typically need an associate degree in computer science or a related field, although some jobs may only require a high school diploma. Network administrators usually need at least a bachelor’s degree, and many employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well. In addition to their education, both network technicians and administrators must have experience working with different types of computer networks. They might gain this experience through internships or entry-level jobs before moving into more advanced positions.

Work Environment

Network administrators typically work in an office setting, but they may also travel to customer locations. They often spend their days working on a computer and communicating with customers via phone or email. Network administrators usually work full time during regular business hours, although some companies allow them to work overtime when necessary.

Network technicians can also work in an office environment, but many of them work for telecommunications companies that provide services to businesses and individuals. These professionals may travel to different locations throughout the day to perform repairs and installations. Technicians who work for telecommunications companies may have irregular schedules because they may be called out at any time to respond to emergencies.


Both network technicians and network administrators use technical skills to perform their jobs. They need to have a strong understanding of computer networks, including how to set them up and how they function. They also need to be able to troubleshoot issues that arise with networks.

Network technicians typically provide support to users on a network, which means they need to have excellent customer service skills. They need to be able to understand the needs of users and help them resolve issues in a timely manner. Network administrators usually do not interact with users directly, but they still need to have good communication skills. This is because they often work with other IT professionals, such as system administrators, and need to be able to explain complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand.

Organization is another important skill for both network technicians and network administrators. This is because they often work with multiple systems and need to be able to keep track of all the different components. They also need to be able to plan and implement changes to a network, which requires being able to think ahead and anticipate potential problems.


Network technicians can earn an average salary of $59,379 per year, while network administrators can earn an average salary of $74,137 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the size of the company at which you work, location of your job and the level of experience you have prior to pursuing either position.


Detention Officer vs. Correctional Officer: What Are the Differences?

Back to Job Search

Research Associate vs. Lab Technician: What Are the Differences?