Network Technician Job Description
A network technician manages, repairs, and implements computer network systems. This involves troubleshooting issues or faults, working with data communication equipment, and analyzing and fixing network-related problems. Network technicians work in a variety of settings, from computer companies to financial firms or government offices, as most companies today rely on their computer systems to function efficiently at all times. Most network technicians work on a full-time basis, although overtime may be required if there is a fault. This job is well suited to people who are analytical, great communicators, and have the ability to multitask effectively.
Network Technician Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization a network technician works for will determine the exact roles and responsibilities they take on. Based on job listings we analyzed, a network technician’s duties typically involve:
Designing Computer Networks
A key part of a network technician’s role is designing and installing smooth-running computer networks, connections, and components, in addition to testing systems and implementing updates. This is to ensure that the company’s computer system works efficiently and effectively for smoother business operations.
Troubleshoot System Failures
When issues occur, it’s the network technician’s job to identify the fault and highlight bottlenecks so that the network can resume working properly for long-term efficiency. This involves inspecting the LAN infrastructure and fixing any bugs.
Network technicians evaluate the performance of the network and find ways to improve it for maximum efficiency. They also test and configure software and repair hardware and devices. This involves organizing upgrades and maintenance checks while still enabling staff to complete their own work.
Back Up Data
Network technicians are responsible for ensuring that the organization’s information is secure at all times, so they perform regular data backups to make sure that minimal data is lost if a problem occurs.
Provide Technical Directions
Network technicians provide clear technical guidance and direction on computer systems and network usage to departments and teams within the company.
Network Technician Skills and Qualifications
Network technicians should be good interpersonal communicators with extensive computer and database knowledge and a proficiency with industry tools. Typically, employers will require either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology, as well as the following skills:
- Communication skills – network technicians work with people across the company, so strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are necessary in order to explain complex information to people who may not have knowledge of networking systems
- Problem-solving skills – this role requires diagnostic abilities and problem-solving skills to identify issues and find solutions to a range of network problems
- Computer and software proficiency – as network technicians work closely with computers, database systems, and different types of software, a thorough understanding of how computers work is important
- Critical thinking – network technicians use critical thinking to solve complex issues with hardware or computer networks
- Dexterity – network technicians carry out manual repairs and tests, so a high level of manual dexterity and the ability to use hand tools is crucial to the role
Tools of the Trade
Network technicians regularly use these tools and should have a good understanding of how to handle them:
- Networks (LAN/WAN networks, TCP/IP protocols)
- Networking hardware (routers, servers, modems, cables)
- Hand tools (scissors, pliers, screwdrivers, wire strippers)
Network Technician Education and Training
The minimum requirement to become a network technician is an associate’s degree or a postsecondary qualification, but some employers may prefer candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology. Technical institute degrees or certificates are advantageous, as is proven experience in a similar field. CCENT/CCNA qualifications are often strongly preferred. Work experience is valuable in this profession, as is the ability to demonstrate a strong knowledge of how computer networks function.
Network Technician Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for network technicians is $46,000. Network technicians in the 10th percentile earn around $31,000 a year, and the highest paid earn close to $70,000 annually. Some employers have a bonus structure in place with this role. The majority of companies provide benefit packages that include medical coverage and dental insurance.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this sector will grow by 6 percent through 2026.
We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you develop a successful career as a network technician:
The TCP/IP Guide – this guide covers the TCP/IP protocol suite and will appeal to those new to the industry. It features over 350 illustrations and hundreds of tables to help readers understand this complex topic
Network Warrior – author Gary Donahue takes an in-depth look at the whole network infrastructure, from hypothetical situations to routers and telecom technologies, making this book a must for anyone embarking on a career in IT
Technibble – with over 6,000 members, this LinkedIn group for computer professionals is a great place to discover new techniques, learn from other people’s experiences, and network with others in the industry
Network World – this site is dedicated to the latest trends and updates in the networking industry and is almost guaranteed to have the answer to any potential question about firewalls, routing, or servers
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