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Network engineer Network administrator

Network engineers install, service and repair computer data and communication systems.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You may be able to get into this role through an apprenticeship, or degree apprenticeship.

You could take a course to learn the skills needed to install and maintain computer networks, or a foundation degree, HND or degree in computing.

If you already have qualifications and experience in related areas like IT support, service and repair, you may be able to move into network engineering.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • strong IT skills
  • excellent problem-solving skills
  • the ability to explain technical issues clearly
  • organisational skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • installing and configuring new software and hardware
  • setting up user accounts, permissions and passwords to allow access to the network
  • making sure security is at the right level to block unauthorised access
  • finding and fixing network faults
  • setting up a maintenance plan to prevent faults
  • giving technical support to people who use the network
  • providing training on new systems
  • carrying out day-to-day administration
  • planning and implementing future developments

These tasks may be included as part of a broader IT support or helpdesk role.

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £28,000

Experienced: £30,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may be expected to work overtime or be on-call outside normal working hours.

You'll be based in an office, but may work across different sites if you're part of a large network operation.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could progress to network management jobs or you could move into other areas of IT like project management, information security or consultancy.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017