What's the Salary of a Network Design and Administration Specialist?

Network design and administration specialists create and maintain computer networks for organizations. Keep reading to see what their common job duties are, and review the typical education requirements. Explore options for career advancement, and see the job outlook and earning potential. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Network Design and Administration Specialist?

Network design and administration specialists, also known as network administrators, design computer networks. They also maintain networks and repair them when they malfunction. Network administrators may be responsible for setting up wide area networks (WAN), local area networks (LAN), internet networks or intranet networks. These types of networks could include hardware, software or electrical components.

Another part of the job is to evaluate the performance of a network and improve its efficiency, user experience or reliability. In addition, network administrators may be responsible for system security. They update security permissions for users, and train users how to use the hardware and software of a network. In the event of problems, they implement solutions in a timely manner to get the network back up and running.

Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Computer science, information science or related field
Key Responsibilities Monitor computer networks, install network hardware and software, troubleshoot programs and train network users
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

Do I Need a Degree?

You need at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for most network administrator positions. It may be difficult to find bachelor's degrees specifically in network administration. However, there are many bachelor's degree programs in computer science that offer network administration as a concentration, or at least offer networking courses.

In these types of programs, you may also learn about application design, programming, software development and systems administration. Other areas of study could include data structures and algorithms, object-oriented analysis, computer architecture, Web applications and Linux infrastructure. Degree programs in this field often include business classes as well.

Are There Opportunities for Advanced Education?

A master's degree in computer networking could help you pursue management positions in your field by building on your knowledge of computer networks and networking technology. Doctorate programs are available as well and could help you pursue careers in academia by focusing on original research.

As another option, you could apply to Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs with a concentration in computer networking. These programs combine advanced business skills with technical skills, preparing you for executive-level positions.

How Much Will I Get Paid?

Network administrators made a median annual salary of $77,810 as of May, 2015, according to the BLS. Top earners in this field took home $124,090 or more, while the lowest made less than $47,460.

What Is the Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network administrators are expected to experience an increase in employment growth of 8% from 2014-2024, which is as fast as average. Growth in this industry will be driven by an increase in investment in new technologies, especially mobile technologies, by a growing number of organizations.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Information technology (IT) managers are in charge of setting IT goals for a company and organizing computer-related activities to meet those goals. These managers may find employment with only a bachelor's degree in a computer science or information technology-related field, but many go on to earn an MBA. Experience is also necessary for all aspiring IT managers. Computer network architects design WAN, LAN and intranets. They use their knowledge of network technology to create efficient network layouts that they can sell to companies. If a company chooses their network, architects are responsible for overseeing the installment and testing of the network.

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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