How to Become a Network Administrator

How to Become a Network Administrator

The modern world depends on the use of computers. Nearly all computers are connected to each other by networks. Computer networks can be local (home or business), regional (corporations) or global (the Internet). Networks need monitoring, regular maintenance and upgrading. New networks need to be be built. Network administrators are responsible for these tasks.

What does a network administrator do?

Network administrators, also known as network admins or network engineers, are charged with the responsibility of building, monitoring and performing maintenance on the components that make up computer networks. They configure, deploy, maintain, and monitor computer networks, ensuring smooth and efficient operation.

Network admins assemble the nodes, lines, and switches for local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs), creating connections between several workstations by using cables and wireless technology. Network admins ensure the proper function of computer networks by making certain components are connected properly throughout the LAN/WAN infrastructure and by monitoring server deployment and security. Click here to learn how to become a network administrator.

What kind of training does a network administrator need?

Most employers require network engineers or administrators to have broad technical knowledge and experience in network administration partnered with formal education. Most network admins have bachelor degrees in computer science, information systems, mathematics, or other related field. Some employers may accept a 2-year program with extensive related experience. For more complex management positions, employers may require a graduate degree, in addition to experience.

Network administrators can specialize, working toward certifications focused on specific software or hardware platforms such as Novell and Cisco networks. There are also generalized certifications available. Generalized network administration certifications allow job seekers to pursue opportunities in a broad array of networking fields. Click here for a list of online network administration certificate programs.

What are the prospects for a career in network administration?

As corporations expand and upgrade to advance technology and platforms become more complex, the field of network administration is expected to grow. Large organizations are using more complex networking and linking LANs and WANs with Internet and intranet connections. The increasing use of these complex systems and advanced technology creates a high demand for technical workers. Business and security are important issues that will also create demand for qualified employees.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in network administration are projected to grow faster than average for all occupations. (1) Job prospects should be excellent for qualified applicants who have a solid foundation in technology and various networks and extensive work experience. Specialized technical knowledge is also an important asset. Click here to get a list of programs to get your computer science degree online.

How much do network administrators make?

According to a March 2009 review of, the middle 50 percent of entry-level network administrators salaries are between $42,829 and $54,644, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $60,675. (2)

A career in network administration is a great choice for people who enjoy monitoring and maintaining computer networks and working to solve problems. Candidates must be able to pay close attention to detail and work under pressure. Strong communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills are also essential. Click here to find your path to a network administrator career.

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