In this article, you will find essential information about the job of a network administrator.
We will discuss the responsibilities, salary, hours, career outlook and other details of the position.
Network administrators play one of the most significant IT roles in the company.
They are responsible for monitoring, protecting, maintaining, and upgrading the internal network of the company.
They have to guarantee the proper functioning of networks and help users solve the problems they face as well as respond to the issues.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Network Administrator Do
Pretty much all businesses use the internal networks that connect their servers, computers, POS systems, and other equipment.
The network administrator position deals with operating and managing these networks to ensure they are functioning at full capacity.
A network administrator has to keep the network protected from intrusions and hack attempts, keep software secure and updated, and stay up-to-date with the new additions to the network, and maintain its functionality in other ways.
- Evaluate the need of the company for any computing technology and recommend purchases and upgrades.
- Connect all required technology to the network with secure protocols.
- Launch updates in a minimally disruptive way.
- Assign profiles to users with access and permissions to different functions and systems.
- Put together educational materials to ensure that users understand connection procedures, security protocols, and other information.
- Oversee the network performance using analytical data to find potential problems.
- Look for upgrades or changes that can improve the network to boost the productivity and efficiency of a business.
- Maintain information security for sensitive data.
Network administrators need extensive training and education to understand networks.
The field is constantly evolving, so this is a continuous process.
On-the-job, network administrators should learn more about protocols, software, languages, and tools.
Network administrators often have to explain network concepts to people without any technical background.
They should be able to explain the main ideas so that they are easy to understand.
They should also be able to listen to users explaining the problems that they don’t understand completely.
How to Become a Network Administrator
For the most part, network administrators have a bachelor’s degree in informational or computer science.
Also, they need certifications in various network products.
With more experience and education, they can move up to higher positions.
Training and Qualifications
With a bachelor’s degree in computer science, one can get the basis and background for the network administrator job.
Some degrees cover specialized classes that may have a special certificate for it.
Usually, they are not mandatory.
One can find work as a network administrator right after graduation without experience.
You can find an internship, but, generally, they are not mandatory as well.
The on-the-job training usually covers the details of real-world networks and how to solve the arising problems.
Additionally, network administrators can acquire certifications by learning the practices for using a variety of network products from companies such as Cisco or Microsoft.
These certifications indicate that the holder has learned the skills and mastered knowledge for that product.
There is always a lot to learn and more certifications to obtain since new products come out constantly.
Experience is important, especially for work at well-known locations.
However, certifications also play a great role in demonstrating to the employer the skills of a network administrator.
You can also gain experience by enrolling in an internship in college.
If you don’t have such an option, you can find a part-time or limited job to gain experience while studying.
Network administrators are in demand, so they can find work even without any experience right after graduation.
They will have to demonstrate good performance in relevant courses.
Commonly, professionals start in certifications.
Network administrators have to work late hours or on weekends quite often to maintain the network.
This can happen if a problem appears or when a major update is coming.
Long hours can be involved because of the importance of network administrators to the operation of the office.
Working extra hours isn’t a norm, but they can come up unexpectedly.
Typically, network administrators work a 40-hour workweek.
Network administrators can advance in three possible ways.
The first one is to obtain more certifications and skills and become a highly valuable professional that can perform a great variety of tasks.
Many administrators get specialized in a particular degree, but with classes and certifications, all the doors for further learning are open.
The second option is to advance to a management position.
Network admins can move up in the IT hierarchy to manage the information and computer systems department.
Alternatively, they can move to a larger company and manage the IT teams below them.
Such positions mean more responsibility and control in the IT department.
The third way is to become a network architect to deal with building and creating networks.
This position has higher pay and more growth prospects that network administrators.
Network administrators make a decent salary with a median salary of $57,617 per year.
The role of a network administrator is one of the most important in IT and often comes with a supervisory position in the IT department.
They deal with the maintenance and upkeep of the company’s network every day.
A network administrator has to maintain the security and performance of the network, introducing improvements and making the network suitable to incorporate new technology.
The educational requirements for a network administrator are significant but not demanding.
The education can define the path to advancement through obtaining the certifications.