Wireless Network Administrator: Salary and Career Facts

Wireless network administrators manage and troubleshoot an organizations network and servers. Learn the skills and education needed for a career as a wireless network administrator as well as certification and salary information. Schools offering Computer Networking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Wireless Network Administrator?

Wireless network administrators carry out the same duties as regular network administrators, but they specialize in working with wireless systems as opposed to traditional wired networks. They have numerous job opportunities in a variety of fields, from government work to education and beyond. Some of their tasks include maintaining computer networks and equipment, upgrading technology as needed, monitoring the content transmitted and troubleshooting problems.

These professionals need a high degree of computer knowledge to perform their tasks adequately, and they should be adept at critical thinking and problem solving to successfully troubleshoot issues that may arise. As an administrative position, they may oversee other workers, making leadership skills an essential part of the job. Below, you can learn some detailed information about this career:

Degree RequiredAssociate's, Bachelor's, Certificate
Education Field of StudyComputer science, information science, computer engineering
Key ResponsibilitiesMake sure computer networks and all related equipment are running efficiently and meeting the needs of an organization, upgrade technology, troubleshoot problems
Job Growth (2014-2024)8% (for all network and computer systems administrators)
Median Salary (2015)$77,810 (for all network and computer systems administrators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Could I Expect to Earn as a Wireless Network Administrator?

Few salary statistics are available specifically for wireless network administrators. However, as of January 2017, PayScale.com reports that wireless communications engineers earned salaries in the range of $50,335 to $117,446. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual salary for network and computer systems administrators of $77,810 for 2015. (www.bls.gov).

Who Could I Work For?

Organizations that employ wireless network administrators include government agencies, telecommunications firms, retailers, wholesalers, healthcare providers, manufacturing companies, and educational institutions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of network and computer systems administrators will grow 8% over the 2014-2024 decade, primarily because more organizations will adopt mobile communications systems.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

You will have the same objective as network administrators of conventional wired networks; keeping your employer's network up and running. This will entail making sure hardware components are physically sound, advising on or making hardware purchase decisions, installing updates and patches, installing and configuring new software, monitoring network performance, and maintaining security. However, instead of wires connecting nodes to servers you will have WiFi transmitters and receivers. Signal strength, signal reception, and security are correspondingly more prominent as concerns.

What Training Programs Are Available?

Dedicated wireless communications or wireless technology programs are available from many U.S. schools, particularly at the associate's degree and graduate certificate levels and to a lesser extent at the bachelor's degree and master's degree levels. Academic course topics might include wireless sensors, wireless network design, wireless information systems, amplification and filtering, site surveying, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Lab courses provide students the opportunity to work directly with networking components.

What Certification Options Are Available?

After earning a certificate or degree, you have a number of options to earn a certification from the Certified Wireless Network Providers Alliance. These include the Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA), Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP), Certified Wireless Design Professional (CWDP), Certified Wireless Analysis Professional (CWAP), and Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE).

CWNA certification is the base level for each of the others, consisting of a single 60-question exam. The CWSP, CWDP, and CWAP certifications require passage of two 60-question exams with a score of 70% or better. CWNE certification requires three years of WiFi implementation experience, three professional endorsements, two current networking certifications, and three essays describing your enterprise WiFi experience.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Web developers use computer code and graphics to create websites for personal and business use, merging functionality with aesthetic appeal. They typically require an associate's degree for professional work. Computer user support specialists provide remote guidance to computer users, using their knowledge to troubleshoot common problems and answer questions. Computer network support specialists work for companies to diagnose problems with their current computer systems, such as internet connection issues and equipment in need of repairs or upgrades. Both these positions often require an associate's degree, though larger companies may prefer applicants with a bachelor's.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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