How to Become a Network Engineer
Network engineering is a growing career field with plenty of opportunity. Network engineers design and maintain communications systems. Network engineering is an excellent career path for anyone with an interest in technology. Workers in the field earn high salaries, excellent benefits, and enjoy plentiful opportunity in a wide range of industries. Here on Job Training Hub, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to become a network engineer.
Here are some of the benefits of a career in network engineering.
What Is Network Engineering?What Is Network Eng.
Network engineers design, construct, administer, and maintain communications networks for businesses. Network engineering requires a great deal of hardware and software knowledge and experience. Network engineers work with everything from telephone networks to WiFi, broadband, and fiber optic connections.
What do Network Engineers Do?
Network engineers are responsible for keeping complex communications systems running. Communications systems aren’t just phone and video calls; every information system used by businesses requires connection to some sort of network. This includes internet and closed-circuit security camera systems.
Network Engineering Job Description
Network engineers spend much of their time designing and repairing complex communications systems. These professionals can be found working with wiring, computer systems, and communications service providers. Network engineers also spend much of their time working with businesses and management to help design and build systems that fit their needs. And while network engineers may do some administration, they should be distinguished from network administrators. Network administrators do comparatively little ‘engineering’ and vice versa, though each case varies based on specific companies and job responsibilities. Here are the job responsibilities of a typical network engineer.
Network engineers work with both software and hardware. This requires them to develop highly specialized skills. These professionals learn the trade through schools, experience, and sometimes apprenticeship-like programs.
What Are the Required Skills for Network Engineering Careers? Skills
Network engineers work with complex hardware and software systems. As a result, they need to be skilled in both arenas. However, network engineers also need additional hard skills and soft skills, which we’ll cover in this section here. Here are the most common skills required for a network engineering position.
How Much Do Network Engineers Make? Salary
Network engineers make relatively high salaries across the country. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a network engineer in the United States is just over $72,000 per year. Many network engineers also take home overtime pay and bonuses, which amounts to an average of $1,000 to $12,000 in additional annual income. Here are the average salaries of network engineers in some of America’s most populous cities.
|Los Angeles, CA||$79,965|
|New York, NY||$77,382|
|San Francisco, CA||$96,122|
Location has a big impact on salary. For example, people in tech-focused cities like San Francisco, New York City, and Seattle typically earn more money but contend with higher cost of living. Here are some related fields.
- Mean Annual Salary: $72,362
- Projected Job Growth Outlook (2018-28): 5%
- Number of People Employed: 100,000
Network Engineers use their skills to install, administer, and maintain network and communication systems for businesses.
- Mean Annual Salary: $89,430
- Projected Job Growth Outlook (2014-24): 15%
- Number of People Employed: 162,900
Web developers design and create websites, work with the site’s look and its technical aspects, and are responsible for web analytics.
- Mean Annual Salary: $88,280
- Projected Job Growth Outlook (2014-24): -7%
- Number of People Employed: 273,600
Programmers write and test code to ensure that computer applications and software programs function as they should. They work with plans formulated by software developers and engineers and turn them into instructions for computers.
- Mean Annual Salary: $98,350
- Projected Job Growth Outlook (2014-24): 28%
- Number of People Employed: 100,000
Information security analysts create plans to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. They are the first line of defense against cyberattacks.
|Entry Level (0-4 Years)||$49k|
|Mid-Career (5-10 Years)||$65k|
|Experienced (10-20 Years)||$75k|
|Late-Career (20+ Years)||$130k|
Network engineers come from all backgrounds and earn high salaries in numerous fields. Next, we’ll discuss how to become a network engineer. Network engineering is a field with multiple education options and (often) less ‘set-in-stone’ requirements compared to other high-tech fields.
How Can You Become a Network Engineer? Pathways
Network engineering requires highly specialized skills. It’s not easy to develop the skills required to become a network engineer, especially without guidance. That’s why specialized network engineer training programs exist to help people launch their careers. Here are the most common education options for network engineers today.
Some companies offer training programs for network engineers, which allow them to take certification tests. Occupational licensing is required in many states, which is why earning certifications is particularly important. Some businesses train their network engineers in-house, but this usually requires candidates to have some experience already.
College graduates often become network engineers through STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) degrees. Students can attend a four-year university and earn a bachelor’s degree to work in network engineering, or they can get their training from a two-year program at a community college. Some community colleges offer dedicated programs for communications technology and network engineering.
Network engineering isn’t what most would consider a ‘coding’ job. However, widely-successful coding bootcamps sometimes offer courses designed to help people get into the network and IT (information-technology) field. Bootcamps focus on in-demand skills, and train students for a tech job in as little as a few months. Some bootcamps offer job guarantees.