Cisco Network Engineer Job Description

Cisco network engineers maintain networks created by Cisco. They troubleshoot issues, ensure network security, create and configure networks, and provide technical support. They typically work full-time, and they might have to work late nights or on weekends, depending on the needs of their company. This position typically involves working in an office setting; however, some Cisco network engineers must travel between sites to see clients. Cisco network engineers can work as part of the IT department for a company, or they might work as part of an external company that deals with multiple clients. Companies that employ Cisco network engineers have sophisticated IT systems and typically include schools and hospitals, banks, retailers, and large government departments.


Cisco Network Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

Specific job duties for Cisco network engineers vary based on their employer. However, there are several core tasks common to all Cisco network engineers, such as:

Create and Configure Networks

With experience and knowledge of Cisco routing and switching, Cisco network engineers install, maintain, and configure Cisco networks.

Resolve Technical Issues

Cisco network engineers troubleshoot and test Cisco networks. Technical issues include network-related problems, system failures, and routing changes and updates.

Apply Security Updates

Applying security techniques, Cisco network engineers ensure proper controls in access, logging, and auditing. They also develop network security guidelines.

Test and Evaluate Software

Testing and evaluating software and hardware, Cisco network engineers ensure reliability. To maintain systems, they develop processes to improve network functionality.

Assess Network Performance

Cisco network engineers assess network performance to ensure that the needs of the business are met. They also make recommendations for network planning and upgrades on systems.


Cisco Network Engineer Skills and Qualifications

Well-organized and attentive to details, Cisco network engineers work carefully to troubleshoot systems. They have a strong desire to assist others and provide great service to their clients. In addition to three or more years of relevant experience, employers seek candidates with the following skills and qualifications:

  • Cisco network experience – working extensively with Cisco network software, Cisco network engineers are familiar with design, support, and deployment of Cisco products
  • Troubleshooting – troubleshooting network problems and outages, Cisco network engineers locate problem areas, isolating them for solutions
  • Customer service skills – Cisco network engineers consult clients and customers to ensure that their needs are met; customer service skills are essential to building rapport with customers
  • Knowledge of switches – Cisco network engineers should have experience troubleshooting Layer One network connectivity and also understand Layer Two, Three, and Four switching
  • Routing Experience – using Cisco IOS, COS, and Juniper and IP routing protocols, Cisco network engineers work with and have a strong understanding of routers


Tools of the Trade

Cisco network engineers often use the following programs in their work:

  • Network monitoring software (SNMP, ICMP, Syslog, or similar)


Cisco Network Engineer Education and Training

Most Cisco network engineers have a bachelor’s degree and more than three years of relevant work experience. Employers require Cisco network engineers to have extensive knowledge of Cisco network equipment, such as routers and switches, in addition to skills implementing, operating, troubleshooting, and configuring IP networks. Employers typically prefer employees who have a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) designation. This certificate shows that employees have advanced knowledge and skills to work with network architectures.


Cisco Network Engineer Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for Cisco network engineers, categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as network and computer systems administrators, is $79,000. The lowest 10 percent in this field earn less than $48,000. The highest-earning 10 percent make more than $127,000. Those who work full-time may receive benefits from their employer, such as paid vacations, sick days, health insurance, retirement plan options, and bonuses based on individual or company performance.

This position is projected to grow six percent in the next ten years, which is the average for all occupations. Job prospects are most favorable for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in computer network and systems administration, computer science, or a similar area of study.


Helpful Resources

Are you interested in becoming a Cisco network engineer? We’ve provided a list of helpful resources that can put you on your way.

Cisco Support Community – This community group with more than 500,000 members allows professionals to network with each other and with Cisco. Members share knowledge, solve problems, and answer questions to increase understanding of Cisco products.

Cisco Networking All-in-One for Dummies – By Edward Tetz, this guide outlines topics such as routers, switches, and networks. With straightforward explanations, this book details how to design and implement Cisco networks, and it shares best practices to use when working with Cisco switches and routers.

Cisco CCNA in 60 Days – By Paul Browning, this book helps students prepare for the CCNA exam. It covers a variety of topics relevant to the exam and contains more than 60 hands-on labs to help build configuration skills and confidence.

IP Space – With a focus on network technologies, virtual and physical architectures, and real-life solutions, this blog contains a variety of helpful articles and resources for networking professionals. Topics covered include network automation, cloud computing, and large-scale data centers.

Cisco – Cisco’s blog showcases industry news, informative articles, and tips and tricks. A broad range of topics is covered, such as cybersecurity trends, network innovation, automation, and new technologies.


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