What does a Network Engineer | Role, Responsibilities, Job Profile & Salary

A network engineer is a technology qualified professional with the skills necessary to plan, implement, and monitor computer networks that support voice, data, video, and internal wireless networks.

Although the Network Engineer and Network Administrator activity titles are rarely used interchangeably, a Network Engineer usually has more executive responsibilities than a Network Administrator. The engineering side tends to be more about planning, design and technical specifications, while the management side deals mainly with maintenance, management and day-to-day efforts. Generally, a network engineer has more training and earns more than a network administrator.

The Responsibilities of a Network Engineer

Network engineers focus on providing high availability network infrastructure to support online and on-premises user information technologies. Network engineers often overlap with other functions, such as computer network architects or security system engineers, and work internally within an organization or as external consultants. A network engineer is a technology expert with the skills necessary to plan, implement, and monitor computer networks that support voice, data, video, and internal wireless networks.

Although the Network Engineer and Network Administrator activity titles are rarely used interchangeably, a Network Engineer usually has more executive responsibilities than a Network Administrator. The engineering side tends to be more about planning, design and technical specifications, while the management side deals mainly with maintenance, management and day-to-day efforts.

Generally, a network engineer has more training and earns more than a network administrator.

The Responsibilities of a Network Engineer

Network engineers focus on providing high availability network infrastructure to support online and on-premises user information technologies. Network engineers often overlap with other functions, such as computer network architects or security system engineers, and work internally within an organization or as external consultants.

Network engineers design and implement network configurations, solve performance problems, perform network monitoring and configure security systems, such as firewalls. It often refers to a CIO, an information security director and other lines of business leaders to discuss and decide on the overall business objectives, policies and updates on the status of the network. In many situations, network engineers work closely with project other engineers and managers, manage capacity, and perform remote or on-site assistance.

Qualifications for a network engineer

Several universities and other institutions offer training programs for network engineers. Top network engineer skills, may only need one associate to get an entry-level job, but most posts require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or new experience. Many network engineers are also selected from fields such as electrical, physical or mathematical engineering. For many engineers, qualifications, and further training are closely linked to the Cisco engineering certification program, which offers five levels of professional practice. Other certifications are available from organizations and vendors, such as Aruba, Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Riverbed Technology Inc., SolarWinds, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Extreme Networks Inc. and IPv6 Forum.

In addition to technical skills, network engineers need analytical, leadership, and organizational skills. Attention to detail and problem-solving skills are also necessary. Engineers need to be able to understand complex networks and identify problems or suggest ways to improve them. They must also be able to work collaboratively as well as train other engineers and support staff to operate the network. And they must be flexible enough to work with engineers and coworkers, who may have no understanding of the system.

Increasingly, network engineers need to know more about applications and software development, reflecting the growing role of automation and software-defined networks. Therefore, engineers need to recognize traffic flows, application priority, and data transport. Also, engineers should be aware of hyper-convergence, virtualization, security, containers, WAN area networks, and storage engineering.

Network Engineer Career

Network engineers’ salaries range from $ 46,500 to more than $ 115,000 annually, depending on skills and experience. Engineers can also make bonuses, and some employers offer additional profit sharing. Network engineers work fourty hours a week, but can be called on weekends, evenings, and outside working hours to resolve technical issues.

Network engineers can also look for different paths in the field of the network. Network analysts specialize in the installation and maintenance of the system and often cross the technical and commercial sides of an organization. Network managers play a similar role, but they should train and direct network technicians. Several specialized features include cloud network architects that help organizations deploy cloud infrastructure and network security experts that detect and prevent network security threats. Other experts focus on VoIP, telecommunications and data center engineering.

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