Network Field Technician
A Network Field Technician is responsible for network development and maintenance in the field for any organization. The individual works with the organization’s technical team and its clients to install, configure, maintain, and fix all LAN/WAN and other equipment issues, ensuring efficient network functionality.
The technician maintains computer equipment, mobile devices, phones, cabling, routers, switches, and printers, among others, to address all of the client’s networking requirements either remotely or at the clients’ premises.
Since technicians need to interact with clients and train their colleagues who belong to non-technical backgrounds, they need to have excellent verbal communication skills. As they have to document instances of issues, excellent written skills would also be necessary. They must be ready to work individually or as part of a team. Their job also requires them to travel at the shortest notice. Aspirants for this job must have excellent analytical skills. Moreover, they should be available at the beck and call.
Technicians provide support over the phone, through emails, or in person for Tier 1 and Tier 2 issues of their organizations or clients.
They should also have excellent documentation, analytical and problem-solving skills.
Finally, technicians must be prepared to do physical work like lifting and relocating equipment, climb heights to carry out cabling work, and wok in enclosed spaces when required.
The job of a technician entails working directly with clients to install and maintain networks. Moreover, technicians monitor the IP network systems to identify and resolve any glitches affecting their performance, in addition to configuring, testing, and improving them.
Network Technicians also provide desktop and application support to clients. They fix connectivity issues of end users when necessary.
Technicians also perform the following tasks.
- They resolve system glitches and try to come up with solutions to overcome restrictions so that the network is working efficiently in the long term.
- Technicians also give them tips to troubleshoot any basic networking issues as they arise.
- They train clients and in-house personnel so that they can operate networks properly.
- Technicians should have had experience in single-mode, multi-mode, fiber optic, and CAT5/6 cabling.
- They install wireless computing networks, cabling, and connections.
- Technicians should be knowledgeable about TCP/IP protocols, DHCP, DNS, Active Directory, and other networking basics.
- They should be familiar with virtualization technologies, such as Hyper-V and VMware.
- Technicians inspect LAN/WAN infrastructures and troubleshoot any issues affecting them.
- They diagnose the performance of the network and determine the means of improving it.
- Technicians upgrade and maintain networks.
- They provide technical advice to clients concerning the usage of the network.
- Technicians fix and maintain hardware and peripheral devices.
They coordinate with vendors to fix issues and maintain equipment. Technicians comply with their organization’s policies and procedures.
They give advice to the clients on configurations and maintenance of their networks to preempt issues.
Technicians monitor networks on a daily basis so that they can come up with ways of optimizing their performance. They perform data backups regularly to protect the information of their organizations and their clients.
Job opportunities for computer and network systems administrators are estimated to grow six percent during the ten-year period from 2016 to 2026, according to BLS. With enterprises evincing interest in investing in technologies that are newer and faster, demand for such workers would only grow, it adds.
Cisco, in its blog, says that with firms investing in cloud computing, big data, mobile devices, and social media, people who study networking technology will continue to be in demand.
Certifications for network technicians are offered by enterprises, such as Cisco Aruba Networks, HP, and Juniper Networks. Network + offered by CompTIA is also one the popular certifications that are accepted by reputed organizations.
Once network technicians gain expertise, they get an opportunity of advancing their career by becoming Network Security Specialists, wireless networking engineers, cloud networking engineers, VoIP engineers, telecom managers or data center networking specialists.
If technicians learn scripting languages, such as Python, Ruby or BASH, it would be beneficial in the future. Besides, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is allowing automation, extensive programmability, and orchestration to be incorporated into it.
Though some employers accept an associate degree or a high school diploma, most people hire individuals with a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences or related disciplines.
The annual average pay of a Field Network Technician in the United States is $51,600 per year. Freelance technicians, on the other hand, charge $16.16 per hour on an average, according to payscale.com.
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