As the tech industry continues to evolve, network engineers are in constant demand. With companies routinely upgrading their infrastructure, there are plenty of entry level network engineer jobs available, in addition to roles for experienced network administrators and creators.
Before you begin searching for network engineer entry level jobs, however, it’s important to have a good understanding of exactly what the role entails and what skills or qualifications you’ll need to progress within the industry.
What is a Network Engineer?
Network engineers design, build and implement networks on behalf of companies, non-profits, and other organizations. In addition to this, network engineering involves maintaining the network and resolving or troubleshooting any issues which may arise.
The ultimate goal of a network engineer is to provide constant access to a secure, reliable network that allows users to maximize their performance.
Of course, computer networks vary depending on the needs of users. A multinational conglomerate may have a more advanced network than a small to mid-size company, for example. This variation ensures network engineers can specialize in certain areas, if they choose to, and gain experience across the industry.
Sometimes known as computer network architects, engineers hold a lot of responsibility. When you begin with a network engineer entry level job role, however, you’ll be less accountable for major projects and work more closely with other staff as you develop your skills.
How to Become a Network Engineer
Most network engineers begin their careers by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline. Computer Science, computer engineering, and information systems are the degrees that most network engineers complete prior to applying for entry level roles. If you choose to take on managerial responsibility as your career progresses, obtaining a Masters of Business Administration may be advantageous.
However, you will need to gain experience in order to showcase your skills before becoming a fully-fledged network engineer. Entry level IT roles are an effective way to gain industry experience and are often a precursor to securing network engineer entry level jobs.
Skills You Need to Become a Network Engineer
The role of a network engineer is varied and the skills you’ll need include:
- Designing system configurations
- Establishing a network environment
- Understanding users’ needs
- Managing system installation
- Ensuring compliance to relevant regulations
- Monitoring network performance
- Troubleshooting issues
- Upgrading equipment and systems
Network engineers can work on a number of different systems, including:
Network Engineer Career Growth
After starting out in a network engineer entry level experience, you’ll have the chance to climb the career ladder and take on more responsibility. Enhancing your skills as you gain practical experience, each promotion should equate to an increase in salary.
Some network engineers choose to remain with the same employer and wait for internal promotions, whereas others look for external opportunities for career growth. However, you don’t have to remain an employee in order to build a fulfilling career as a network engineer.
Once you have the skills you need to undertake every aspect of the role, you’ll have the option to work as a freelance network engineer or to set up your own business. With the option to take on long or short-term projects, travel as often as you choose, and work on niche network solutions that catch your eye, becoming a freelance network engineer can be an exciting way to build a career in the industry.
At Field Engineer, we make it easy for freelance engineers and IT professionals to connect with future clients. With secure workstreams and constantly updated projects, network engineers can find exciting, on-going work when they sign up to Field Engineer.
Entry Level Network Engineer Salary
Your salary as a network engineer will depend on a number of factors, such as your experience, qualifications, and location. In general, however, an entry level network engineer salary is approximately $64,000. The national average salary for a network engineer is estimated to be $72,000, so it doesn’t take long for your experience to equate to higher earnings.
If you choose to work as a freelance network engineer, however, you can set your own salary by deciding which projects you want to work on. Furthermore, you can choose the hours you work or the working pattern you want to operate by, which means your career can be as flexible as you choose.
To learn more about working as a freelance entry level network engineer, sign up with Field Engineer now and take a look at the projects available.