NOC Engineer Job Description
Network Operations Center (NOC) Engineers monitor large computer networks and servers for problems from a central location. They analyze problems, perform troubleshooting and incident response on the system, communicate with site technicians and track problems through to resolution.
The employment market for NOC Engineers is strong, as the telecommunications and IT industries continue to grow and become more complex. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a job growth of 12 percent by 2024 for all computer support specialists, including NOC Engineers.
NOC Engineer Duties and Responsibilities
To accomplish their primary goal of monitoring and troubleshooting computer and telecommunication networks and systems, NOC Engineers perform many tasks. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core NOC Engineer duties and responsibilities.
NOC Engineers monitor the performance and capacity of computer systems using a variety of tools. They look for hardware, software, and environmental alerts or malfunctions. When an issue is identified, NOC Engineers work to determine the cause of the problem.
When a problem impacts the IT services, the NOC Engineer works to triage or troubleshoot the problem, if possible. NOCs generally have standard operating procedures that the NOC Engineer will closely follow. This may include coordinating with third-party vendors, customer contacts, or other IT teams.
Track all Issues
While responding to incidents, the NOC Engineer must carefully track and document all issues and resolutions in detail. This increases the knowledge base of the NOC and is a record of the health of the system. Often, the NOC has a ticketing system that the NOC Engineer is responsible for updating.
When problems are too large or complex for quick troubleshooting, NOC Engineers must escalate the issue to management, other IT resources or 3rd party vendors for assistance in reaching a resolution. NOC Engineers maintain ongoing communication within the team and externally, to keep all stakeholders aware of relevant, known issues and the steps being taken.
NOC Engineer Skills
Strong analytical thinkers who enjoy solving problems, successful NOC Engineers thrive in a high-pressure environment with shifting priorities. NOC Engineers are able to assess a situation and determine tactical steps forward, and can lead a team in implementing a strategic plan. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are seeking NOC Engineer candidates with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want NOC Engineers with these core skills. If you want to work as a NOC Engineer, focus on the following.
- Experience managing, supporting and deploying network infrastructures
- Strong ability to diagnose server or network alerts, events or issues
- Understanding of common information architecture frameworks
- Excellent time management and organizational skills, and ability to handle multiple concurrent tasks and projects with minimal supervision
- Knowledge of project management methodologies and techniques
- Good oral and written communication skills, and ability to address conflict with others constructively
- Experience with Disaster Recovery plans and related technologies
- Ability to work a flexible schedule
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your NOC Engineer toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Server hardware experience with Cisco UCS, HP, and Dell blade systems
- Experience working in a large distribution or manufacturing environments
- Previous customer service or helpdesk experience
NOC Engineer Resources
We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a NOC Engineer. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
The VAR Guy – Tips, tricks, and insights from an in-the-know professional.
Paessler Blog – Keep up to date on the latest in network monitoring from this industry blog.
Network Operations Center (NOC) Professionals – Network with over 17,000 professionals specializing in network monitoring and troubleshooting.
Network and Application Monitoring – Discuss new developments and best practices in Monitoring Tools and Technologies.
NOC Engineer Books
The Best NOC and Service Desk Operations BOOK EVER! For Managed Services – A comprehensive resource that covers how to build, staff and maintain a NOC and Service Desk effectively and profitably.
Foundation of IT Operations Management: Event Monitoring and Controls – Learn about the processes and tools that are required in an effective NOC.
The Practice of Network Security Monitoring: Understanding Incident Detection and Response – a helpful guide to using Network Security Monitoring to protect systems.
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