Wireless Network Engineer
A Wireless Network Engineer is responsible for installing, configuring and maintaining wireless network equipment, network management and security including 802.11 b/g/n/ac standards and industry best practices for implementing high-density WIFI solutions.
Moreover, to put it concisely, this person needs to assess, plan and develop for several operations capabilities for wireless telecommunications.
As more companies continue to embrace Wireless LAN, the demand for wireless network engineers has grown manifold in the recent past. The proliferation of mobile applications, which require testing in a wireless environment, is also one of the other reasons why enterprises need their services more, currently.
But with the emergence of Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) DevOps, the advent of 5G, and virtualization, it is necessary for Wireless Network Engineer to be open to reskill themselves, as it could likely bring about changes that might change the way they operate.
It is, however, averred by experts that despite all the changes that may take place in the networking landscape, the demand for Wireless Network Engineers will continue to rise.
To become freelance Wireless Network Engineers, aspirants need to be well-versed in wireless equipment, wireless LAN (WLAN) standards, design, and protocols. They should have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. They should also have good communication skills as they would need to work alongside vendors, network technicians, and customers.
Engineers need to be available round-the-clock to support mission-critical applications. They should have strong customer service skills.
Also, their responsibilities and duties include the following.
- Devise, plan, deploy, and improve wireless networks from the beginning to implementation by collaborating with vendors, managers, and network engineers.
- Understand client requirements to be able to cater to their appropriate needs.
- Manage firewalls, such as Palo Alto, Juniper or Cisco ASA.
- Handhold other in-house engineers to train them on wireless technologies, besides guiding other non-technical people.
- Use tools to evaluate to test and tweak wireless products, such as routers, switches, hubs, bridges, virtual private networks (VPNs), and network amplifiers, among others.
- Design and validate the performance, quality, and reliability of the RF link.
- Design and implement WLANs and other wireless networks.
- Write manuals and document current network procedures.
- Have extensive knowledge of routing protocols (OSPF, EIGRP, and BGP).
- Make use of enterprise monitoring tools (SolarWinds and Splunk).
- Optimize network performance by supervising performance, addressing network problems and breakdowns, and partnering with network engineers to optimize the network.
- Develop and implement policies and classify and oversee access to protect network systems.
- Make sure that all equipment, including servers and the other network products, are well-connected.
- Devise and support radio frequencies (RF) link performance, reliability, and quality.
- Enable data and system protection by developing and maintaining mechanisms for backing up and retrieval.
- Collaborate with different teams to ensure the optimized performance of VoIP and other wireless telecommunication devices.
- Work with security team to evaluate threats, troubleshoot issues, and comply with appropriate security configuration standards of their organizations.
- Design and deploy changes to the configurations of clients as per the applicable change management process.
- Proactively handle all network security solutions.
- Make use of testing and diagnostic tools to assess and modify equipment.
Prospects for Wireless Network Engineers
As more companies continue to embrace Wireless LAN, the demand for wireless network engineers has grown manifold in the recent past. The proliferation of mobile applications, which require being tested, is also one of the other reasons why enterprises need their services more, currently.
But with the emergence of Software Defined Networking (SDN), DevOps, 5G, and virtualization, it is necessary for an engineer to be open to reskill themselves, as it could likely bring about changes that will change the way networks operate.
It is, however, averred by experts that despite all the changes that may take place in the networking landscape, the demand for Wireless Network Engineers will continue to grow.
Educational qualifications and certifications
Most employers would look for Wireless Network Engineers who have a bachelor's degree or equivalent in mathematics, engineering or computer science. They should have a certification in Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Wireless or Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) or Aruba Certified Mobility Associate (ACMA).
Since it is a responsible position, minimum experience of five years in WAN/LAN engineering is mandatory for an aspirant.
Engineers need to be adept with wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi, WiMax, and WAP. They should have a thorough knowledge of 802.11n and 802.11a. They should be able to understand scripting languages, such as Bash, Perl or Python.
Engineers should have extensive knowledge of both wired and wireless networking.
According to Indeed, the average earnings of a Wireless Network Engineer (CCNP certified) range in a senior position from about $87,772 per year to $106,566 per year in the United States. While their average annual earnings are $83,998 per year, freelancers earn $24.57 per hour, says Payscale.
How Field Engineer can help you
If you want to work as a freelance Wireless Network Engineer in the Telecom Freelance Marketplace, visit Fieldengineer.com. It helps you to connect with employers seeking qualified candidates. More than 40,000 engineers from various fields in 180 countries are registered on it, making it easy for employers to hire candidates with the skill sets they require.