Job Facts about Network Architect Jobs

In many ways network architect jobs are the top of the IT profession. Network architects offer high experience in multiple areas. In fact they are usually experts in several fields. Their complex work sometimes involves responsibility for entire network structures from inception.

Knowledge and Skills for Network Architect Jobs

Network architect jobs require thorough knowledge of these areas:

  • System design: Networks are actually multiple systems.
  • Software: Critical to network functions.
  • Hardware: Involves multiple network design issues.
  • Current and emerging technologies: Critical for upgrades and ongoing operational efficiency.
  • Strong operational IT management skills: The network architect must be able to deal with the entire network and its functions. Many job ads for network architects require from 7 to 15 years experience.

Common Responsibilities

The work of network architect jobs varies between employers and industries to some degree, but the common responsibilities include the following:

  • Evaluation and creation of technology architectures, sometimes across multiple corporate IT areas: This means creating architecture for often large corporate networks.
  • Planning  of network architecture projects: The design process is essentially an advanced form of IT engineering and system design.
  • Research of new and current technologies: Research is extremely important in firms which design networks as their core business, and it's essential in operational terms for system life and operational functions.
  • Evaluation of system efficiency: This is a primary measure of network architecture, the difference between good and bad architecture. 
  • Implementation processes: These can be complex issues, getting new systems onstream and taking old systems off. This also includes data management, backups and archiving as part of the network functions.
  • Troubleshooting: Relating to any or every part of the network, troubleshooting means debugging, getting software and hardware to run properly and identifying any system issues. 

These roles often include some level of supervisory or managerial role. Advising and guiding engineering staff as a technical supervisor is a common function in network architect jobs. This job also includes a wide range of IT application, so the network architect usually has several years of experience in each of the core roles.

Salary for Network Architect Jobs

Depending on experience, type of employment and contract terms, the salary generally ranges from $92,000 to $202,000. (These figures include a representative contract value for a network analyst.)

Hours and Schedules for Network Architect Jobs

The hours vary widely because of the nature of the work. Network projects are scheduled, and implementation takes time, often in shifts.

Career Options

IT is one of the most fluid areas in the employment market. Network architects, however, are in a league of their own in terms of career options. Thanks to their hard-earned experience, they can be far more selective in terms of job options and career moves.

The range of career options may include the following roles:

  • Academic positions: Because of the high demand for their services, they receive high-value professional status.
  • Research: Research offers a natural career development, also linked to academic positions. It could involve potentially valuable intellectual property rights.
  • Projects: This is one of the better career options in terms of income, and it often leads to other important roles in professional contexts.
  • Consultancies: These are usually contract roles, similar to project work, but they include a business element which may involve multibillion dollar contracts.