Network Support Engineer Job Description
Network support engineers are the information technology professionals responsible for keeping a corporation’s network operating efficiently and securely. Businesses with e-commerce platforms want internet access to their servers at all times. They are also concerned with data protection. For corporations that don’t have an e-commerce option, the focus is primarily on maintaining the office intranet. This involves constantly updating and issuing hardware to employees, as well as performing network-wide software and security updates. Network support engineers are usually employed by large corporations with dedicated IT departments, but they may also find employment with e-commerce giants, such as Amazon. Network support engineers tend to work regular office hours in an office environment.
A white collar, entry-level position in the IT field, some companies call entry-level workers ‘junior’ network support engineers, promoting people to senior network engineer when they have acquired enough relevant experience. Network support engineers usually answer to a network support supervisor. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for network and computer systems administrators, which includes network support engineers, is set to rise 6 percent through 2026.
Network Support Engineer Duties and Responsibilities
The task list for network support engineers is long as there are many steps involved in making sure a network runs at optimal efficiency. We analyzed network support engineer job descriptions to put together the following list of network support engineer duties and responsibilities:
Install Network Hardware and Software
The primary responsibility of the network support engineer is to install all of the hardware and software necessary based on the needs of their employer. They have to understand the principles of networking to be able to construct a network from scratch.
Troubleshoot and Repair Faulty Hardware and Software
Network support engineers function as the repair people in the IT department. They are the people employees call when they have an issue with their machine or logging on to the company network. They use their problem-solving skills and IT acumen to troubleshoot and repair both hardware and software issues.
Maintain Network and System Security
This is an especially important duty for network support engineers who work for the government or in the finance and healthcare industries. Protecting customer and employee data, as well as proprietary company data, is crucial. This duty requires someone who stays on top of the latest trends in cybersecurity.
Monitor Network Performance and Suggest Improvements to Decision Makers
Network support engineers need an analytical mind to monitor network performance on a daily basis. They create reports based on network data and present their findings to decision makers. They then create and enact performance improvement plans.
Create and Issue User Profiles to Company Employees
Network support engineers are responsible for creating and maintaining the security of user profiles for each company employee. This usually includes maintaining different levels of security access depending on one’s status within the company. It also includes answering user questions related to using the network or the company-issued hardware.
Network Support Engineer Skills
Network support engineers rely on their analytical minds and problem-solving abilities to keep their employer’s network running at its best. The best network support engineers are fueled by their passion for learning everything there is to know about information technology. They use this knowledge to analyze network performance and solve performance problems as soon as they arise. Great network support engineers are obsessed with security. They stay abreast of the latest cybersecurity threats, taking preventative measures to ensure their employer and coworkers are protected. Finally, network support engineers need good communication skills as they help all employees solve their network issues. Besides these characteristics, the following skills are required to find employment as a network support engineer:
- Using knowledge of LAN and WAN to construct company networks
- Collaborating with other network support engineers to solve network malfunctions
- Assisting and educating employees on network hardware and software
- Maintaining network security using cybersecurity acumen
- Performing regular network maintenance to keep the network at 100 percent efficiency
Network Support Engineer Tools of the Trade
People interested in becoming network support engineers should be knowledgeable about the following:
- Computers and office equipment – Network support engineers install computers, printers, scanners, and other office equipment to the office network
Network Support Engineer Education and Training
Most employers require network support engineers to have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, information technology, computer systems, or a related field. Education includes courses such as cybersecurity, the principles of LAN and WAN, IP/TCP, and systems design. Some on-the-job training is usually required since many companies have customized networks and proprietary software.
Network Support Engineer Salary
According to Payscale, the national median salary for network support engineers is $59,654. Those in the top 10 percent make above $88,950, while those in the bottom 10 percent make below $41,209.
Network Support Engineer Resources
Those with an interest in the field of information technology and a desire to learn more about the career path of a network support engineer should check out the list of resources below:
Association for Information Technology Professionals – This organization, founded in the 1950s, has since grown to have chapters all over the country. It provides excellent professional development and networking resources.
IEEE Computer Society – The IEEE is an umbrella organization that covers all types of technical professions. The computer society is the organization for information technology professionals. It has more than 33 magazines, upwards of 9,000 digital publications, 3,500 courses, and 15,000 training videos.
Network Computing – This digital publication is a go-to resource for information technology professionals. It is updated daily with articles that cover the entire spectrum of topics relevant to network support engineers.
Networking for Dummies – This book is perfect for students who are just learning about the world of networking. It covers the basic concepts network support engineers need to know.
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