NOC Technician Job Description
When a business experiences computer networking issues, who do they call? Chances are they’ll turn to a Network Operations Center (NOC), where a NOC technician can help them diagnose and resolve their issues. NOC technicians monitor networks and maintain and repair routers, firewalls, and switches. These professionals exercise computer, troubleshooting, and problem-solving skills on a daily basis. NOC technicians are typically full-time employees who work for computer manufacturers, telecommunications companies, or corporate IT departments. They usually enjoy health benefits, vacation days, paid time off, and even bonuses in some cases. High levels of job satisfaction are reported for this occupation.
NOC Technician Duties and Responsibilities
NOC technicians work in a variety of organizations. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary, but there are several core tasks associated with the job, including:
Monitor and Troubleshoot Networks
It is up to NOC technicians to monitor network hardware to ensure the proper operations of routers, switches, firewalls, and remote technologies. They field incoming calls, help clients troubleshoot networking issues, diagnose network and server problems, and provide resolutions. They also answer client questions regarding network features and services.
Provide Preventative Maintenance of Network Equipment
NOC technicians oversee the preventative maintenance of all networking equipment for various industries. They repair and replace switches and routers, configure new servers, run tests, and perform upgrades to hardware and software to make sure networks run with no interruption due to failures or outages.
Schedule Field Technicians
Sometimes it is necessary to address networking issues on-site; in these cases, NOC technicians relay details about network issues to field technicians and schedule them to go to client locations to work on networking equipment. They maintain field technician schedules, assist technicians on the phone, and keep records of repairs made for each client.
Document Calls and Service Results
NOC technicians document all incoming calls and record the technical issues addressed in each call. They maintain logs of resolutions, communicate with vendors about ongoing problems, and use a ticketing system to update information regarding the progress of each call.
NOC Technician Skills and Qualifications
Success in this field depends on one’s ability to diagnose and resolve issues using technical abilities, computer knowledge, and analytical skills. Candidates for these types of jobs should display the following:
- Familiarity with networking technology – understanding how networking technologies work and the ability to replace and install routers, switches, and other equipment is vital for NOC technicians
- Computer skills – NOC technicians must have knowledge of computer operating systems, databases, software engineering, and wireless technologies
- Customer service – resolving customer networking issues in a timely and successful manner is an important aspect of being a NOC technician
- Troubleshooting – NOC technicians employ troubleshooting skills for nearly every phone call to determine the cause of network issues
- Analytical thinking – analyzing given information about network problems to arrive at real solutions is a must for NOC technicians
- Problem-solving skills – after diagnosing network problems, NOC technicians use this skill to provide effective resolutions
- Communication skills – strong verbal and written communication skills are essential for conversing with other technicians, clients, vendors, and managers; listening skills are needed to understand client concerns and issues
NOC Technician Education and Training
Some employers seek NOC technician job candidates who hold at least an associate’s degree in electronics or a related area, though larger companies might require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, network engineering, or information technology. Degree programs in these areas provide courses that focus on local area and wireless networks, network protocols, data storage, software engineering, telecommunications, and data communications. Continuing education is important for these professionals to keep up with recent technological advances. Professional certification, such as Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) or CompTIA Network +, are not usually required but can be helpful to begin or advance in this career.
NOC Technician Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer network support specialists (such as NOC technicians) earn an annual median salary of just over $62,000. Those earning in the 10th percentile make nearly $37,000, while NOC technicians earning top pay realize a yearly median salary of more than $105,000.
NOC technicians working for telecommunication companies are among the highest paid, earning an annual mean wage of $72,000. Those working in data processing earn about the same, while NOC technicians involved in the computer systems design industry can earn over $68,400. At just over $92,000, NOC technicians employed in the District of Columbia are paid the highest annual salary in the U.S., followed by Massachusetts (just over $81,500) and New Jersey ($81,000).
NOC technicians can expect to see an 8 percent employment growth rate through 2026, the BLS reports. A continued increase in upgrades and complex equipment will likely fuel this projected growth over the next decade.
Feel like being a NOC technician is the career for you? If so and you want to learn more about this occupation, follow the links below to several helpful resources providing more details about the duties and professional development of NOC technicians:
Network Professional Association – as NPA members, NOC technicians can access professional certification information, current articles, and interviews with network professionals
The Best NOC and Service Desk Operations BOOK EVER! – use this book to learn about the best tools for NOC technicians, how to design effective NOC operations, and review daily NOC staff duties
“A Night in the Life of a NOC Technician” – presented by the Green House Data blog, this article explores the major and minor duties and responsibilities faced by a NOC technician on a daily – or nightly – basis
ComputerWorld – the networking section of this online magazine discusses the newest technologies, best practices, current trends, and other information pertinent to NOC technicians
Network World – what’s happening in the current world of networking? This site focuses on the latest industry news and what it means for NOC technicians and others working in the field of computer networking
Engineering & Technology Magazine – the computer networking section of this online publication provides news and reviews about routers, wireless technologies, switching, photonics, and much more
Principles of Computer Security: CompTIA Security+ and Beyond – this guide is designed to help those pursing CompTIA Security+ certification. It addresses such topics as the security of remote access, wireless, and private networks; defenses against network attacks; network devices; and risk management practices
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