Internet Engineer: Salary and Career Facts

An Internet engineer oversees the components of a computer network that are related to Internet architecture, including installation, troubleshooting and maintenance. Learn about the education options, common duties and salary potential for this career. Schools offering Graphics & Multimedia Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is an Internet Engineer?

Internet engineers, or network engineers, are usually synonymous with network architects in that they design, set up, maintain and fix problems in businesses' Internet and other data communication systems, such as Intranets, WAN, and LAN systems. They first evaluate a company's needs and consider security in order to plan the layout of networks and install the most effective components. They may upgrade network components such as hardware and software, or work with hardware engineers to build new networks. Prior to starting any big project, they present plans to managers and get their approval. This job requires significant research to keep up with fast-changing computer network technology. The following chart describes what you need to know about entering this field.

Education Required Bachelor's degree required; MBA may be preferred
Education Field of Study Computer engineering, network technology, programming
Key Responsibilities Hardware and software installation, troubleshooting, management, software updates
Job Growth (2014-24) 9% (computer network architects)*
Median Salary (2015) $100,240 (computer network architects)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Degree Programs in Internet Engineering are Available?

Because Internet engineering is an evolving term, schools rarely used it as a program title. You're more likely to find related programs in computer engineering, network engineering or network technology. Master's level programs bear most closely on what is considered Internet engineering.

The programs in Internet engineering that are available are multidisciplinary, combining elements of electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering and information systems management. You will need basic knowledge of programming, data structures, communications systems and electronics. Programs are aimed at providing you with an understanding of the Internet's current architecture and protocols and to experiment with new approaches. A master's degree is typically completed in two years.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

The duties of an Internet engineer are subsumed within those of a network engineer or architect. You would plan, design, install, configure and maintain network hardware, software and cabling. Though technically an Internet engineer would only be working on the components of Internet architecture, most network architects support an organization's entire network. Internet engineer is not a common career title, as network architects assume their responsibilities and more.

Knowledge of firewalls, cryptography, load balancing, TCP/IP, routing and scalability are essential in this position. You will also need to keep current with ongoing research and experimentation into next generation networking technologies. Government agencies, colleges and universities, technology companies, telecommunications companies and media firms are possible employers.

What Can I Expect to Earn?

Earnings data for Internet engineers is somewhat difficult to report because of the wide variations of job titles in the industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not list specific salary data for Internet engineers. However, it does list the median annual earnings for computer network architects at $100,240 as of 2015. During this time, the highest level of U.S. employment for network architects was in the computer systems design and related services industry.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer and information systems management is a level of management responsible for setting a companies information technology (IT) goals and organizing computer related projects to meet those goals. These professionals may start with a bachelor's degree in a computer or IT related field. Many go on to earn an MBA. Computer hardware engineers conduct research on computer and network technologies and develop new hardware technology. This may include processors, circuit boards, memory devices and routers. These engineers may have a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering or computer science.

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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