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Network Administrator Job Description, Career as a Network Administrator, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

computer administrators company users

Education and Training: Varies—see profile

Salary: Median—$58,190 per year

Employment Outlook: Excellent

Definition and Nature of the Work

A network administrator oversees computer networks to ensure that they function smoothly. A network consists of a grouping of computers that communicate with each other or a central computer known as a server, on which computer files, programs, and other information are stored. A network may be as small as two or three computers or as large as the Internet, the world's largest computer network.

Whereas a network technician or engineer designs and sets up the infrastructure for a computer network, a network administrator usually configures and manages an existing network. He or she may be responsible for customizing the network to an individual company's needs by connecting the necessary hardware and software to the network. Once the network is configured, the administrator adds computer programs, such as e-mail, that the company's employees use on a daily basis. A network administrator's work usually depends on the size of the network for which he or she is responsible. The smaller the network, the more duties a network administrator handles. For large networks, several individuals may perform different tasks related to the network. The administrator then monitors the performance of the network and troubleshoots any problems such as slow performance or network crashes. A crash occurs when users cannot access the network or use all of its features properly. The administrator must also work with individual users who are having network problems that are not experienced by other users.

Network administrator working on server hardware

Some network problems may result in the loss or corruption of data stored on the server. For this reason, the administrator must develop, install, and maintain emergency systems to back up the main network server. Administrators keep records of all users' problems and errors as well as the steps taken to solve the problems. This information is used to help solve future problems.

Administrators also control user access to the network. This includes setting up passwords for individual users and determining which files, programs, or features each person is allowed to use. The administrator must also create a firewall—a set of security measures designed to make sure that no one can gain unauthorized access to the system. In larger firms this task may fall to a network security specialist. Network security also involves monitoring the network to see who is using it and how. A security specialist is responsible for changing passwords periodically and updating security measures and procedures.

A network administrator installs the necessary hardware and software to set up a computer network, and customizes it to meet the needs of the company using it. (Photograph by Kelly A. Quin. Thomson Gale. Reproduced by permission.)

Education and Training Requirements

A network administrator should have a strong background in math, sciences, and computer science, as well as experience working with computers. Although a college degree in computer science, systems science, math, or engineering is not required to become a network administrator, advancement is difficult without one. Administrators should be familiar with a variety of network operating systems, including Microsoft, Novell, and Unix. Because computer technology changes rapidly, administrators must constantly upgrade their knowledge base.

Several companies that produce network software also offer training and certification in network administration. For instance, network software maker Novell offers a Certified Novell Administrator (CAN) certification for administrators who pass their training courses. A company that hires a network administrator from outside will almost certainly require such certification or proof of experience in administering a network successfully.

Network administration requires good organizational and logical thinking skills, both to set up and administer a network and to diagnose and solve problems. Administrators must be able to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines when required. Because they may have to work with users who have little or no technical knowledge, they must be able to communicate complex and unfamiliar ideas easily.

Getting the Job

Network administrator jobs are often advertised in newspapers, computer industry magazines, or Internet job banks. Some firms may offer to pay for the training of interested employees, because those individuals are already familiar with the company's needs.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Network administrators may advance into network engineering, in which they design networks from the ground up based on a company's needs and priorities. They may also branch out into other areas of computing such as programming, systems analysis (determining how well computer systems are operating and designing ways to improve their performance), and software engineering. Computer networks are becoming a standard part of most medium-to-large firms, and even of many smaller ones.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 278,000 network administrators were employed in the United States in 2004. Employment of network administrators was expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through the year 2014. As the use of networks expands and the technology continues to change, the demand for qualified administrators will increase.

Working Conditions

Network administrators, like other computer professionals, work in an office environment. Most put in forty hours or more of work per week. Much of the job is performed alone, but the administrator must also work with users who are not comfortable with the system or who are experiencing difficulties. Configuring a network can require long hours of work over a short period of time. Maintaining the network can alternate between routine tasks such as installing and updating programs and the more interesting but hectic work of troubleshooting and fixing network problems. If a network crashes, the administrator must work as quickly as possible, regardless of the hour, to solve the problem and restore the network to operation. For a large network, the task of updating and maintenance can require late hours and work on an irregular schedule.

Where to Go for More Information

Association for Computing Machinery
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 626-0500
http://www.acm.org

IEEE Computer Society
1730 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 371-0101
http://www.computer.org

Systems Administrator Guild
2560 9th St., Ste. 215
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 548-5738
http://www.sage.org

Earnings and Benefits

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median yearly wage for network administrators in 2004 was $58,190. According to the "Computerworld Salary Survey 2005" (Computer- world, October 24, 2005), the median yearly wage for a network administrator was $52,712 in 2005. Those in management jobs earn more. Because most network administrators are salaried employees, they are also entitled to health insurance, retirement, and other benefits offered to the company's employees.

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about 7 years ago

I am a network administrator (NA) in Dallas Texas, and I can give you a more accurate description of a NA's responsibilities. Here is a list of equipment and systems I work with on a regular basis:

Switches, Routers, SAN(network storage array system), Virtual systems, Firewalls, VPN (virtual private network), Domain Controllers, SQL servers, File servers, Print servers, VOIP telephone system, Disk based backup systems, tape backup systems, and (software for both), end user computer systems, printers, faxes, and projectors. Operating systems include Windows XP, Vista, 7, server 2003, server 2008, ESX 3.5, ESX 4.0, Linux, and Unix.



I also write network IP schemes, presentations for executive office ( IT upgrade presentations), and I do simple helpdesk procedures. For the most part, I work about 50 to 60 hours a week. About once a month I put in an eighty hour week. But what can I say, I love this job.

Also, I am on call 24/7, whether its mid-day or three in the morning, my network has to be running smoothly.

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over 5 years ago

send me infomation about network administrator, their work, and job description

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over 5 years ago

Hi!iam doing my final year Bsc (Hons) degree in computing specializing in Networking(Tesside University)and i want to become a Network Administrator pliz i need advice in developing my dream to become Network Administrator.

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over 8 years ago

Like meohan, I had to use this for a computer class and it helped me a lot for the project, thanks.

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over 6 years ago

i want to become a network administrator someday but im 2nd year college now!!

plz i need some help tips to develop my logic when it comes to networking
anything advise that helps me in my study!!
plzzzz

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about 7 years ago

Help!

My boyfriend is currently on route to, hopefully, a network administrator type position. He already has an associates degree in IT and was planning to attend SUNY Stony Brook in the Fall to obtain his bachelors in computer science.

As of 2 days ago, he wants to withdraw from the school and work on getting different certifications in the related field instead. Now, I've been reading and researching to get some sort of definitive answer as to whether or not this is the best move for him and his potential career. Everything I read gives me a mixed input- it's good to have the degree to obtain a higher position but not need?! I just would like some real world advice for him! I want him to continue school and get his bachelors (he only has to suck up 2 more years of school!!) but ultimately it is his life and his choice...

Any advice/input would be appreciated.

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about 6 years ago

i want to know about a hacker procedure?
and know about network administrator work procedure ?
can u explain me?

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over 9 years ago

The information provided is helping me to make some decisions regarding my future course of study. It is very helpful! Thank you!

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about 6 years ago

i want to know about a hacker procedure?
and know about network administrator work procedure ?
can u explain me?

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almost 7 years ago

Marty, My company designs resumes and provides career management services. I see a lot of people who have non-specialized degree but are seeking specialized positions. It is not outside of your reach to find work in this field. You need to make sure you are developing your skills to the greatest extent possible. Try to take complimentary classes at a local community college, or even pick up a few texts on the subject and develop your skills independently.



You will have better luck applying for this type of position at a small firm, versus a large, national company. This will help gain experience that can be used to help you move into a similar role at a larger firm. Also, I see a lot of clients who have started their careers as a desktop support specialist and moved into the network administration role. Working hard at your employer and taking advantage of training and networking opportunities will help you move into this roll.



When applying for these types of positions, you will most likely want to use a transferable skills resume format, showcasing your skills, not necessarily unrelated achievements. It may take a while to navigate to the job you are seeking, but it is not outside your reach!



I hope this is helpful. For more career tips visit us on the web at www.ompcg.com.

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about 6 years ago

i want to know about a hacker procedure?
and know about network administrator work procedure ?
can u explain me?

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about 6 years ago

i want to know about a hacker procedure?
and know about network administrator work procedure ?
can u explain me?

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about 6 years ago

i want to know about a hacker procedure?
and know about network administrator work procedure ?
can u explain me?

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about 6 years ago

I want to become a network adminstrator someday

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over 6 years ago

Harry Potter keeps running away!!!!!!!!! >:(

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about 6 years ago

i want to know about a hacker procedure?
and know about network administrator work procedure ?
can u explain me?

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about 6 years ago

i want to know about a hacker procedure?
and know about network administrator work procedure ?
can u explain me?

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about 6 years ago

I WOULD LIKE YOU TO SEND A MESSAGE TO MY EMAIL ON HOW I CAN GAIN MORE EXPERIENCED IN ADMINISTRATING AN INTERNET CAFE

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about 6 years ago

i want to know about a hacker procedure?
and know about network administrator work procedure ?
can u explain me?

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over 6 years ago

For me.

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over 6 years ago

hight 5.10
Weight 52
Look smart,handsam

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over 5 years ago

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS?

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about 7 years ago

I think your information on the networking carear is veri helpfull i have been considering the network & administration AAS degree my self i got injured roofing and now must pursue a sedimentary job due to my back being injured and the network design and admin degree seems like it would be a prosperous aspect for the future for my family and my self thanks for you important input of the carear i want to get enrolled in college as soon as i can to begin gaining the knowledge and expierence needed to become a succesfull network administrator

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over 7 years ago

Can a felon get a job as a network administrator?

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over 9 years ago

I used this as the basis for a blog post about a Virtual Network Administrator, ie someone who administers networks within a virtualization environment.

http://x86virtualization.com/?p=259

Hope that is ok,
Bradford Knowlton

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over 9 years ago

Thanks for the info. It was everything I needed for my computer science class project....I appreciate it.

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over 3 years ago

I have BSC degree in Information technology i want to become a network administrator, sosend me infomation about network administrator, their work, and job description

Read more: Network Administrator Job Description, Career as a Network Administrator, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job - StateUniversity.com http://careers.stateuniversity.com/pages/218/Network-Administrator.html#ixzz2sLWbpJBX

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almost 4 years ago

Hey guys, I am a student at DeVry looking to achieve a Bachelor's Degree in Network and Communications Management. I am taking a class where I have to interview someone in my job field. Will any of you be a help for me? I will greatly appreciate it. Please respond if you can help me out. I will send you out an e-mail of just 10 questions. Thank you!

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over 4 years ago

I am studying to become a Network Administrator. Can anyone direct me to a site where I could find internships?

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over 4 years ago

This is going to be useful in my report. Thanks.

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over 4 years ago

i m a working people I have completed Advance Diploma in Computer Hardware and Networking. after that i have also completed CCNA 4 year before i want to be a CCNP (Network Administrator/ Network Security) i have completed BCA from distance. and i want to do Bsc IT
working Govt organisation as a Coputer Administrator.
Plz guide me

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about 5 years ago

k

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about 5 years ago



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about 5 years ago

For Me also NA's

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about 5 years ago

For Me also NA's

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about 5 years ago

For Me also NA's

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over 5 years ago

Hi!i am doing my final year B.tech degree in CSE and having good knowledge about Networking and i want to become a Network Administrator pliz i need advice in developing my dream to become Network Administrator.



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over 5 years ago

Hi!i am doing my final year B.tech degree in CSE and having good knowledge about Networking and i want to become a Network Administrator pliz i need advice in developing my dream to become Network Administrator.



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over 5 years ago

Hi!i am doing my final year B.tech degree in CSE and having good knowledge about Networking and i want to become a Network Administrator pliz i need advice in developing my dream to become Network Administrator.



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over 5 years ago

Hi!i am doing my final year B.tech degree in CSE and having good knowledge about Networking and i want to become a Network Administrator pliz i need advice in developing my dream to become Network Administrator.



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over 5 years ago

Hi!i am doing my final year B.tech degree in CSE and having good knowledge about Networking and i want to become a Network Administrator pliz i need advice in developing my dream to become Network Administrator.



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over 5 years ago

send me infomation about network administrator, their work, and job description

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over 5 years ago

send me infomation about network administrator, their work, and job description

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over 5 years ago

send me infomation about network administrator, their work, and job description

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over 5 years ago

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS?

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over 5 years ago

wow some cool stuff

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over 5 years ago

wow some cool stuff

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over 5 years ago

thanks

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over 5 years ago

Hello All,
I want to become a network Administrator or Sr. N/W engineer so please guide me what i have to do to get my dream job. now i am graduate in B.Sc IMS(Infrastructure Management Services). and I have good knowledge about CCNA, and now i am doing CCNP, and also working as a customer support engineer, so please guide me to get my dream job.

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almost 6 years ago

Hi Sir,

I done master in administration in IT, what type of network course suitable for me to get the job immediately? Kindly let me know.





Regards,



Mathew

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almost 6 years ago

Lot of thanks for information about network administrator

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almost 6 years ago

i want to be network administrator someday i want some education materials,websites, tutorial compacdisk(CD)to help me to learn. thanks you

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about 6 years ago

career as a Network Administrator to Employment

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about 6 years ago

iam a certified novell administrator(cna)reside in south africa. But iam not working since i got this certification so i need job

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about 6 years ago

i want to become a Network Admini for my office use.

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over 6 years ago

wow thz work is complectly interestin i would like to follow it

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over 6 years ago

This article gives an brief idea about a network administrator. It will be helpful for intersted person.

Thanking you.

Rafiq

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over 6 years ago

Thanks for this information about Administrators.

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almost 7 years ago

I have not been the biggest computer guy/whiz, but I have always been deeply fascinated with those with the know how and am interested in this type of career as of late, taking a CIS class my last semester of college, which made me really inspired. I am a recent college graduate (Business Administration) wondering how I can get my feet wet with post Bachelor's degree, even though my degree was not computer science related. Any input would help. Thank you.

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over 7 years ago

Andrew Sanchez

Most Network Admin careers require extensive background checks because of sensitive materials that the team has access to. My recommendation to you is to volunteer 10 hours a week and rack up some experience and time in the industry and this allows the possible employer to get familiar with your character and the felon may possibly get hired. Best of luck to you.

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over 8 years ago

This information is very helpful for me and also I need to develop more skills to be familiar with all kinds of tactics that come and arise in Networking. Ofcourse this depends on every individual interests but ultimate Platform is Networking that related to every other field. Thanks for information and also require some more .. Thank you very much

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about 9 years ago

to the point information.

Would look forward for more informations like - how are the openings & opportunities for Network administrator in Other countries

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about 9 years ago

Very very helpful information. Thanks for this informative information.

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about 9 years ago

I do not understand this job description? Are you talking about a Computer System Administrator? Network Administrator works on the LAN/WAN network devices. They configure routers and switches. This description is a professional that works on Computer LANs. Which is totally different from true LANs.