Jan 10, 2018
A network engineer is a technology professional who is highly skilled in maintaining the connectivity of networks in terms of data, voice, calls, videos and wireless network services. These network engineers are also referred to as network architects.By our Network engineer definition, they are accountable for formulating, implementing and executing the entirety of computer networks within an organization.
Additionally, our network engineer definition addresses their role making sure all the systems are functioning properly as intended. The fundamental goal of a network engineer is to provide maximum network infrastructure, security and performance to the end users. Depending on an organization’s requirement or network complexity, the organization will sometimes have global network engineers across countries who take care of technological advancements throughout the firm. This international web of engineers proves cost-effective for the organization while also meeting needs for users and the business.
A network engineer is required to have the necessary skills to plan, implement and oversee the computer networks that support in-house voice, data, videos and wireless network services. The virtualized network poses challenges to network management systems and as more hardware components are virtualized, that challenge becomes even greater. Often the job titles, network engineer and network administrator are used interchangeably, which can confuse people. However, a networking engineer usually has more executive responsibilities than a network administrator does. The engineering side of things tends to deal more with planning, design and technical specifications, whereas the administration side of things deals mostly with day-to-day maintenance, management and troubleshooting efforts. Computer network engineers have computer science as a common major. Network engineers focus on delivering high-availability network infrastructure to sustain the online and on-site information technology activities of users. In addition to technical skills, network engineers need analytical skills, leadership skills and organizational skills. The network engineer salary ranges from $46,500 to more than $115,000 annually, depending upon skills and experience. The first and most direct way to get a job working as a network engineer is to do some self-study and get vendor certifications, such as becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). The top five Networking Certifications are CCIE, CCNP, JNCIE-ENT, CompTIA Network+, and WCNA.
Network engineering remains one of the top technology fields in today’s job market. Within network engineering a wide variety of positions exist, providing plenty of opportunity for growth, transition and increased challenges within the field. Below is an informative guide to help you understand more about this promising career.
In this digital world, technology has grown tremendously, which means the demand for network engineers is huge. There are a multitude of network engineer jobs available in the marketplace, where companies are looking for skilled, talented and certified professionals who can work with their specific project needs. Depending on the company and the project, the role of a network engineer varies.
The network engineer job description varies with the company’s requirements. Skills and experience are typically required for these network engineer jobs. Different types and positions within network engineering include: network technician, network analyst, wireless network engineer, network security engineer, network administrator, network manager. Each position has a different job description and engineers who want to apply for these job roles should have special skills and qualifications for the position.
It’s no surprise given the demand for network engineers, that the network engineer salary varies with different factors like a company, job role, job difficulty, experience, and location. The starting network engineer salary goes around $47K to $58K whereas the median network engineer salary goes around $59K to $71K per annum and the highest network engineer salary is around $86K.
People often confuse the terms network engineer and network administrator by using them interchangeably. Since both of the terms belong to the same background but have some differences in their job roles, let’s have a quick look at what distinguishes them from each other.
Before you get into the computer networking industry, you should know what area you want to specialize in. Networking alone is a huge industry. There are many specialties you can concentrate in. Some concentration options include practical experience in security, server administration, WAN (Wide Area Network) monitoring, NOC (Network operation center) checking, work area organization, and even cabling and equipment installation, such as, switches and enterprise routers. It’s important to choose what interests you to ensure that you don’t burn out.
Network Engineering can certainly be self-taught. You can begin with a CCNA Home Lab, for instance, for a couple of hundred dollars. However, if you are just beginning, looking into professional schools, colleges, or online training that offer a specialization in networking would be beneficial. You can get the standard education as an undergraduate in Computer Science or Computer Engineering. Whichever education choice you pick, simply ensure the organization has the correct classes that help you learn the trade.
The daily activity of a network specialist consists of overseeing groups of PCs that work with each other, while guaranteeing that customers have the right networks based on their business needs. A network specialist is in charge of ensuring that the network works effectively. This may include collecting information on the network’s performance, keeping up on network security and fixing issues as they emerge. Every once in a while, a network specialist may need to remove and install software and hardware as well as be in charge of training new network users and providing security authorizations.
Network technicians monitor the everyday operations of an organization’s computer network. They may also help to install software and hardware. They should communicate with clients and other network experts to develop and implement new safety measures to ensure that all systems and data are protected. Network technicians in this field help tackle PC issues and determine the best strategy to meet an organization’s technological needs.
A network administrator (also called a system administrator) is responsible for keeping a company’s computer network up to date and running easily. Any company that uses multiple PCs or software platforms needs a network administrator to coordinate the different systems.
This position can be flexible or quite limited depending upon the company and how complex its networks are. But in general, a network administrator is in charge of the following tasks:
A network analyst is responsible for the installation and maintenance of a network within an organization. Many network analysts discover that they turn out to be associated with both the business side and technical side of an organization. This means it can be important to identify issues inside the business and then identify a technical solution. A network analyst is required to design, plan, analyze and provide technical help for data communication networks or group of networks in the organization. Work can also incorporate research and assessment of network technology.
This position is commonly found in large retail companies and government and financial institutions, Additionally, frequent job openings are available in IT organizations that have some expertise in troubleshooting projects.
As a network manager, a person has a two-part role. One is to be responsible for installing and maintaining the organization’s computer networks, and also to prepare staff to give top notch specialized help. If there are issues with the system, a network manager’s responsibility is to have a recovery plan in place to limit any disturbance to the business. As most businesses are ending up progressively dependent on technology, this is an especially key component to the smooth running of the business. Also, depending upon the size of the company a network manager may have more than one sort of network to oversee.
A second major role is to develop new systems to help with development of the organization. Network managers are vital members of an IT group alongside project managers, network engineers and support staff. A person in this position could likewise be requested to attend meetings to discuss the IT needs of the business from an operational or service related perspective.
Network engineers work with an organization’s computer network, utilizing information technology to make network systems for all representatives to utilize. These information networks can include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets and extranets. The complexity of the network can vary depending on the association, and the organization may have one committed specialist or many all-inclusive associated engineers cooperating with the Chief Technology Officer.
The network solutions architect defines current and future standards for networking and telecommunication infrastructure. The ideal candidate has experience with firewalls, understanding of Linux/Unix configurations, knowledge of VLANs, VSANS, and Hypervisors, and familiarity with the internet routing and connectivity and configuration of wireless access points.
To enhance a networking career, you might need to specialize in one or more areas of networking. After specializing, the networking jobs you may decide to apply for can include:
A network security analyst provides support to the computer networks by detecting, preventing, and resolving threats to the computer networks. A person in this position also analyzes security risks and develops security measures to address the threats. Secondary duties may include installing computer security software, developing and testing software deployment tools, creating documentation for users and conducting security audits.
A cloud networking architect works closely with customers by assisting them with the deployment of infrastructure that meets their technical and business needs. The candidate must have deep knowledge of cloud technologies, experience in migrating networks to the cloud, capability to solve network related issues, ability to troubleshoot and effective communication skills, both verbally and in writing.
A networking research and development specialist has excellent communication skills. This type of specialist works with internal and external clients, vendors and other information technology professionals and is required to be able to communicate in both technical and non-technical language. Working in an individual and group capacity could also be required. A networking research & development specialist might need to lift and transport heavy computer equipment, travel or install networking cables or devices.
Wireless networking QA engineers use their program coding and testing skills to help software developers enhance product performance. Engineers typically work for software companies, equipment manufacturers, wholesalers and other industries.
A person in this position is responsible for project implementation, software delivery, capacity management, network support, new features implementation and operations of the Wireless Core. A person holding this position is comfortable managing and supporting wireless infrastructure including HSPA voice core, VoLTE/IMS, VoWiFi, Enhanced Packet Core, SS7 and diameter networks, network translations and trunking, CDMA. Also, this person ensures that the wireless core network provides high availability service and best voice and data experience for customers. A wireless infrastructure and mobility specialist also deliver new services and projects flawlessly and with agility to support the business and its customers.
A mobility solutions architect is expected to collaborate with business, developers and fellow architects in order to provide mobility solutions to businesses that are robust, secure and scalable. This role ensures the overall quality of the architecture solutions and shares it with the cross-functional team and executive leadership. The individual should also have hands-on experience in multiple hardware and software environments and be comfortable handling heterogeneous systems.
The job role of a VOIP Engineer is to plan, design and implement the voice infrastructure a propose solutions to the existing voice and data networks. The VOIP engineers are expected to maintain, troubleshoot and provide solutions to complex software and hardware problems, maintain good relationships and communicate effectively with clients and teammates.
A telecom project manager is responsible for handling a team which includes engineers and client representatives. The main role of a project engineer is to analyze, maintain and control all the aspects of the project, from both a technical and managerial perspective. The desired skills of a project manager include understanding logical configuration, having good client interfacing skills and a clear understanding of telecom business scenarios.
With the increase in the complexity of the networks, managing data centers has become an ongoing challenge. The role of a data center networking specialist is to manage the infrastructure in a way that ensures the business is agile and reliable. A data center networking specialist is expected to do technical installation and complex design of network equipment that includes routers, switches and other devices which are common in data centers.
A network engineer has many options in today’s work environment. Finding employment opportunities using an on-demand marketplace such as FieldEngineer (FE) can be a helpful way to grow a career in this promising field. Sign-up and start your freelance career today!