What is a Network Engineer?
A network engineer, also known as a computer network architect, maintains and controls computer networks and computing environments. These include configurations, hardware programs, and software structures. Network engineer requirements include skills in the design, planning, implementation, and monitoring of a computer network that supports wireless network services, video, data, and voice. Someone in this role can work with many different types of networks. Some examples of these are VoIP, which is Voice Over Internet Protocol Network, DAN - Desk Area Network, PEN - Personal Area Network, WLAN, which is Wireless Local Area Network, and LAN, which is Local Area Network.
Types of Network
Network Engineer requirements include being able to work with a variety of network types such as:
- LAN – Local Area Network
- MAN – Metropolitan Area Network
- WAN – Wide Area Network
- WLAN -Wireless Local Area Network
- GAN – Global Area Network
- SAN – Storage/System/Server/Small Area Network
- CAN – Campus/Controller/Cluster Area Network
- PAN – Personal Area Network
- DAN – Desk Area Network
- VoIP – Voice Over Internet Protocol Network
There are several different network engineer roles and responsibilities.
Job Responsibilities of a Network Engineer
Job responsibilities include maintaining and controlling computer networks and any computer environments that are related to configurations, hardware programs software, and structures software.
You will also be troubleshooting, diagnosing, and resolving problems and implementing and designing network solutions. You can find more about the job responsibilities of a network engineer here.
The network engineer’s job description varies, depending on whether or not the activity focuses on engineering a new network or on an already existing network.
Although some of their job responsibilities overlap with those of network administrators, they have more decision-making responsibilities.
Network Engineer Requirements Include Being Responsible for these Tasks:
- Maintain and control computer networks and related computing environments, as well as software, hardware, and configurations.
- Troubleshoot, diagnose, and resolve software, hardware, and other network and system problems.
- Design and implement effective solutions to improve the sustainability of modern surroundings.
- Perform disaster recovery operations and record backups when required.
- Monitor overall network performance to decide if changes need to be made.
- Configure routing and switching equipment.
Network engineer requirements include establishing, developing, and maintaining computer networks between organizations. They need to support all users, including team members and clients, and fix any issues. They may also have to design their own networks.
Engineers provide support for system installation and define, document, and implement system standards. They secure network systems by setting up and applying policies and defining and overseeing access.
Engineers should communicate with network customers and resolve current system issues. If the problem persists, they will need to replace defective network hardware components. For network optimization, they schedule upgrades and partner with network architects.
They also configure firewalls and hosted IP voice services. Engineers must be able to assess where communication is needed. They must devise plans for the network, submit them to senior management for approval, and be abreast of the latest developments in the technological arena. Engineers need to comprehend and focus on the wiring and hardware requirements for the premises of their organizations or clients. They are also responsible for improving or maximizing the network’s performance.
Engineers choose the relevant data communications components and configure them to meet the requirements of their users.
Network Engineer Requirements & Education Qualifications
Network Engineer Requirements include having a bachelor’s degree in the field of computer science or something related to technology.
They should have a solid understanding of network infrastructure and hardware.
There are a lot of specialist courses that can enable you to get the skills and knowledge needed regarding networking certifications. Some of these include:
- CCIE (Cisco)
- CCNP (Cisco)
- JNCIE-ENT (Juniper)
- Network+ (CompTIA)
- WCNA (Wireshark)
Engineers should be able to think through problems and provide solutions to them. They need to learn quickly about advancing technology and product developments.
They should be knowledgeable in network security, LAN, and WAN. Engineers must be able to work with all levels of staff within and outside of IT.
IT pros skilled in the areas of networking are always in demand in trending marketplaces. They need to have one of the following specialized networking certifications to stand out in the competition.
The featured top five certifications represent all fundamental ranges of networking process roles, from the access (Network+) to the expert degree (CCIE).
The ability to analyze and solve problems is essential for engineers. They should also have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Those who want to become wireless network engineers need to have experience with networking equipment, protocols, standards, and wireless LAN design. They should have specialized skills in wireless technologies, including WiMax, Wi-Fi, and WAP. They should ideally gain a professional certification like the Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP).
A wireless network engineer researches, designs, and deploys a wireless network and provides recommendations for optimizing and upgrading wireless networks to meet the requirements of organizations. They should carry out and document radio frequency (RF) site surveys and coverage and document the infrastructure and design of networks.
Prospects for Network Engineers
In addition to routing and switching, network engineers also need to focus on programming, security, storage, and systems as businesses invest more in SD-WAN, security, virtualization, and cloud computing.
If they gain relevant experience, they can advance to become senior network managers or take up other network management positions.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job opportunities for computer network architects to increase by four percent during the period 2021-2031, which is around the average for all occupations. Their demand will increase as most organizations plan to increase the size of their IT networks.
Network engineers are exposed to a lot of new technologies. If they gain expertise, there are any number of opportunities for them, as they are crucial players in most large organizations.
Network Engineer’s Salary
The average salary of a Network engineer is $77,074 per year in the United States, according to payscale.com. An entry-level Network Engineer with less than 1 year of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $61,714 while a late-career (20 years and higher) employee can earn an average total compensation of $94,726.
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