Network Engineer Career Profile

A network engineer is a professional who make sure that a network of computers is running smoothly. A network engineer is also referred to as Network Administrator. He designs, installs, finds the problem in the network, locates the source of problems and trouble-shoots them so that all functions depending on computer networking can be restored.

Computer networks are connected basically using copper wires, fiber optic cables, wireless or other methods. The communications among various computers can go on smoothly only if the networking is intact. A network engineer is the one who looks after everything from connection to communication processes among the computers in a network. Network engineers usually maintain and work on Local Area Network (LAN), Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), Wide Area Network (WAN) or Global Area Network (GAN).

Duties

  • Designing the network connections and their installation (switches, routers, and load balances).
  • Maintenance of networks using preventive methods and trouble-shooting the problems.
  • Trying out new network configuration using the Cisco Route simulator.
  • Helping end-users through technical support and providing training in new systems.
  • Administration and monitoring of the network usage like creating user account, retrieving passwords.
  • Managing the protection of data in their intranet using anti-spam and virus protection.

Educational Requirement

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to education for this job opportunity, however possessing following qualification would be a definite plus:

  • A college graduation is preferable but not essential.
  • Few employers prefer those who have finished engineering in computer science and communications.
  • Should have finished the networking courses or have a good experience in the networking.
  • A basic level of certification in networking like the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) is always welcome.

Other Skills

  • Must have a good dedication and self-motivation, especially if the networking is managed only by you for your entire organization.
  • Update the knowledge in the network techniques as the network technology, equipments and protocols often change.
  • Ability to enjoy the trouble-shooting, otherwise it will be a cumbersome and messy job.

Work environment

Network engineers usually are employed in any type of organizations where there exists a network of computers. Their work place is the main server room where the control hub or server of the network is located. However, they have to roam around a lot checking network computers for trouble shooting varied network problems.

Income

The pay depends on the experience, but it can be a good start for someone with no college degree. The pay falls in the range of $50,000 to $150,000, depending on qualifications and experience.

Job Prospects

Network engineers move up the hierarchy rather rapidly as compared to other type of computer hardware related jobs. Most of the organizations today have some sort of network setup; hence there never is dearth of jobs for them.

Network engineers get promoted to positions like Network Administrator, Senior Network Engineer, Director of Network Operations, Network Architect, Group Manager of Network operations, Principal Network Engineer and many more. Highly skilled network engineers can work as consultants on freelance basis to large organizations.