Network Engineer Job Description | Duties & Responsibilities

If you hope to become a company network engineer, you will find the duties and responsibilities in this job description guide helpful.

The main job of a network engineer is to network different computer systems in an organization or between different organizations.

After developing a good network between necessary computer systems, engineers maintain this network.

A perfect applicant for this job must possess strong communication and organizational skills.

Network engineers should also be detail-oriented and good at solving problems.

These skills are very relevant for effectively carrying out your duties and responsibilities as a network engineer.

This career path and most other technology-based careers have the problem of gender imbalance.

There happen to be more men in this field than women.

But necessary steps have been and are still being taken to strike a balance. Daily, women are being encouraged to explore the tech world.

Irrespective of gender, knowing and understanding the job description of a network engineer is a step toward succeeding in this career path.

Therefore, you will be doing yourself a great deal of favor by carefully studying this free guide on the job description of a network engineer.

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What does a Network Engineer do?

A network engineer is responsible for designing, developing, documenting, and maintaining computer networks within computers in the same organization.

They may also develop computer networks within computers in different organizations. 

Network engineers may work as a part of the IT department of an organization.

Or, they may work externally as a part of an IT consultancy firm or agency.

Different network engineers may perform different tasks. 

One network engineer may be assigned to design and/or configure a network. At the same time, another may be in charge of maintaining an already designed and developed network.

Network engineers regularly visit the user end of a network system.

This helps them identify network issues users may face expeditely

Types of Networks

Here are some of the network types a network engineer works with:

  • LANs – local area networks; LANs are used for  linking a small area like a home, an office, or a small group of buildings
  • GANs – global area networks used for combining LANs, WLANs, and WANs  with satellite mobile communication technologies
  • SAN – storage/system/server/small area network
  • MANs – metropolitan area networks linking a large area like a college.
  • WANs – wide area networks connect computers nationally and/or internationally.
  • WLAN – wireless local area network
  • CAN – campus/controller/cluster area network
  • PAN – personal area network
  • DAN – desk area network
  • VoIP – voice over internet protocol network.
  • Intranet
  • Extranet

Organizations greatly rely on the network that network engineers develop and manage to carry out their day-to-day activities.

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What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Network Engineer?

The duties and responsibilities section is one of the most important parts of every job description.

Come to think about it, how do you excel in any career path without knowing what your exact duties and responsibilities are?

Therefore, I will strongly advise that you take this section very seriously.

Here are some of the typical duties of a network engineer that you will commonly find in their job description:

1. Ensure Optimum Network Performance

A network engineer must ensure that all networks are performing optimally.

They do this by troubleshooting network problems and scheduling upgrades.

Also, they work with network Architects to optimize network performance.

2. Securing Network Systems

They also secure network systems by regularly monitoring virus protection software.

Network engineers also secure network systems by monitoring network access and use and putting all other security measures in place.

3. Preparing Reports on Network Operations.

Network engineers collate necessary information concerning network development and management and compile them into a report.

After compiling the report, they also submit them to the organization’s management.

4. Staying Updated with the Latest Technology

As a Network engineer, you must stay updated with the latest technologies.

Whenever there is a new release, they plan and implement upgrades immediately.

Other duties and responsibilities of a network engineer include the following:

  • Designing, developing, and managing computer networks.
  • Carrying out data backup and disaster recovery when necessary.
  • Securing data, software, and hardware
  • Identifying problems with the network and rectifying them
  • Removing faulty or damaged network hardware and replacing them with hardware that is in good working condition
  • Assessing the performance of networks 
  • Making adjustments to the network whenever it is necessary.
  • Training non-technical staff on the use of networks

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What Qualifications do I need to become a Network Manager?

A network engineer typically has a bachelor’s degree in any of the following fields:

  • Computer science
  • software engineering
  • Computer system engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Electrical and electronics engineering
  • Physics a
  • Network security management

But, it is also possible to become a network engineer without a degree.

You understand network and transport infrastructure and hardware and their application well.

Those without professional qualifications may enroll in accredited programs that also provide certification to network engineers and students.

Some organizations usually have specific requirements depending on the current configuration.

Therefore, it is advantageous for graduates and non-graduates to obtain Cisco certified network professional certification.

Employers also look out for those with some years of experience.

Experience in this field may be obtained through internships or holiday placements.

What are the Skills a Network Engineer should have?

There are certain skills employers prefer network engineers to possess.

Usually, these skills are featured in a network engineer job description.

They are relevant because they help network engineers carry out their duties easily.

Some of the skills commonly featured in the network engineer job description include:

1. Communication Skills

A sound network engineer should be able to communicate the technical and non-technical aspects of their job.

This skill plays a vital role when working with your team and also when teaching non-technical staff the use of network systems.

As a network engineer, you should be capable of communicating effectively both verbally and in writing as well.

Good communication skills involve speaking and listening as well.

A sound network engineer should be able to listen attentively to the needs of their clients.

To develop a sound network system that suits their needs.

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2. Teamwork Skills

These professionals work as a team with other IT professionals and non-technical staff.

Therefore, they must possess high team spirit

3. Ability to Learn Fast

If there is one thing that has never stopped happening to technology, it is its advancement.

A network engineer should be able to learn the theory and application of new technological products quickly.

4. Attention to Detail

A good network engineer should also be detail-oriented even when performing multiple tasks.

This way, errors or mistakes can be avoided or quickly identified. 

5. Organisational Skills

Network engineers are also expected to be organized at all times.

They should know how to plan and prioritize their activities.

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Where does a Network Engineer Work?

With the increase in the use of technology in practically every aspect of life, there is also an increase in the number and type of organization that requires the services of a network engineer.

Here are some of the typical employers of network engineers:

  • Banks
  • Management consultancies
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • IT firms
  • Transport company/providers
  • Utility companion
  • Insurance companies
  • Logistics companies

Vacancies may be advertised online through recruitment agencies and in local newspapers.

How much do Network Engineers make?

In the United States, the salary of network engineers ranges from $73,335 to $154,325 per year.

On average, they make up to $104,650 per year.

These figures may vary slightly or greatly depending on your geographical location.

Some other factors that may determine the salary of a network engineer include:

  • Location: network engineers who work in more developed states or countries may earn more than their counterparts in other locations.
  • Experience: Those with more years of experience are in a better position to be paid more.
  • Qualification: more qualified network engineers are usually paid better than others
  • Employer: Individuals who work for large organizations such as Facebook or Microsoft usually earn more than those who work for smaller firms.

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Network Engineer Work Environment and Schedule

Network engineers usually work in offices; they may have to travel to meet with clients.

Typically, they work on regular working days and hours.

Although, they may have to work overtime or during weekends whenever they have a deadline to meet up with.

Is Network Engineering a Good Job?

For someone who has a flare for technology, YES, network engineering is a good job.

There is a regular increase in demand for those with tech skills, but few individuals are available to meet these demands.

According to the US bureau of labor statistics, in 2015, job opportunities for IT professionals increased by 74%, and three-quarters of these opportunities were open to network engineers.

Also, in 2017, the average salary of a network engineer was about $37,690 per year.

But, as of the time of composing this free guide on the job description of a network engineer, their average salary is now about $104,650 per year.

Conclusion: Network Engineer Job Description Guide

This job description guide was compiled with aspiring network engineers in mind.

But, it can also be used as a template for creating a network engineer job description by employers.

Prospective network engineers should feel free to use this free guide to support their goals.

Employers who use this network engineer job description as a template are also free to make necessary adjustments to suit their organization’s needs.

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