What's the Salary of a Computer Networker?

Computer networkers, or network and computer systems administrators, are responsible for conceiving, designing and implementing computer networks for organizations. They monitor computer system security and perform maintenance procedures. If you'd like to find out more about salaries, educational requirements and job duties for computer networkers, read further. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Computer Networker?

Network and computer systems administrators install and maintain data communication networks for companies and other organizations. This includes installing network hardware and software to repair or improve networks. They are also in charge of ensuring network security, updating security permissions, training users on networks and ensuring systems are functional. When problems arise, they troubleshoot the problem, develop solutions and implement those solutions. Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Education Required Postsecondary certificate or a bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Computer science, information science or a related field
Key Responsibilities Install network hardware and software, update security permissions, train network users, identify network problems and implement solutions for those 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

How Much Does the Average Computer Networker Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that network and computer systems administrators who were employed within the computer systems design industry earned a mean annual salary of $88,290 in 2015. Professionals who worked in company management were paid approximately $84,140. The average annual salaries for these workers were $82,200 in 2015. Other industries which employed network and computer systems administrators included colleges and universities, wireless telecommunications carriers and pipeline transportation of crude oil companies. Salaries for these industries ranged from about $71,530 to $121,100 in 2015.

What Education is Needed?

Obtaining a bachelor's degree in computer science or MIS (management information systems) is usually the best path for becoming a computer networker. However, there are instances where employers accept 2-year associate's degrees or a certification along with relevant work experience in place of a 4-year bachelor's degree. College degrees in any subject may be sufficient for employers if applicants have taken computer courses and have in-depth knowledge and experience.

If you choose to obtain an associate's degree in computer science, your course load might include technical writing, calculus, English, social science, engineering physics, computer science and chemistry. A bachelor's degree program in computer science will likely include classes such as computing introduction, computer programming, software systems, software design, and data structures and algorithms. The curriculum for a bachelor's degree program in management information systems should include courses such as natural science, college-level algebra, macroeconomics, database management, information systems, telecommunications and networking, and advanced programming.

Is Certification Required?

Certification is often required by employers because it denotes skill and expertise. This credential is available through computer training institutes and vendors. Microsoft offers the MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) certification to individuals with at least two years of work experience.

What Are Some Job Duties?

As a computer networker, your duties may include designing e-mail programs, installing software and hardware, analyzing and testing the operating system for hardware and software malfunctions, and ensuring that software applications and networks are working properly. You'll provide installation and support services for both wide and local area networks, and replace damaged computer components. You may also help users resolve their network concerns and determine any necessary system adjustments.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer network architects design various types of computer networks, ranging from local office networks to clouds. They need to know about the various hardware and software for building networks as well. These professionals have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems, engineering or another related field. Computer systems analysts are hired to come in and inspect a company's computer network. They try to find areas where they can improve network performance and use their knowledge of network technology to make these improvements. These professionals also have a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field.

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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