Network administrators work on all aspects of IT infrastructure. As a network administrator, you must support desktops and interconnectivity within the company. Interconnectivity support could be wired or wireless including mobile device support. As companies continue to rely on Internet connectivity and internal IT systems, the network administration field continues to be a highly paid, fast paced and interesting field for anyone who loves working in technology.

What Does a Network Administrator Do?

When you first start out with network admin work, you’re usually given responsibilities that include desktop and end user support. Once you understand the basics, you move on to more complex network administration.

Network administrators identify networking issues that interfere with a user’s ability to connect to the IT network. You also protect the network from hackers and give permission to resources both internally and externally. You design network architecture and work with hardware such as routers, switches and cabling. You must be able to understand networking protocols such as TCP/IP and the hardware that is required to connect systems.

Some administrators also have the responsibility of supporting servers. You will support server operating systems and create platforms that offer user services such as applications, databases, and files.

Prerequisites: Getting Started as a Network Administrator

Basic understanding of networking is required. For instance, how to connect computers together using cables or wireless, how to configure a router, and how to identify why a computer can’t connect to the network. You’ll be responsible for basic operating system updates such as using the update utility on a Windows computer.

A good way to get started with the basics is to network your home. You can buy a wireless router, buy network cards, and connect your computers. This basic exercise will give you an idea of how to network machines together and gives you a foundation for computer networking.

Another way to show knowledge in the field is to study and take the CCNA exam. This exam tests you on basic system knowledge and shows potential employers that you know the information required to work with corporate networks. Some companies increase your salary when you get a CCNA certificate.

Another way to show knowledge in the field is to become CCNA certified. For those that don’t know, CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate and is one of the most highly regarded certifications in the IT industry. It proves your ability to install, configure, manage and support small to medium sized networks. If this is a career path you are looking into, the CCNA cert is a great stepping stone to getting your foot in the door. For more information on how you can start the process, fill out the form below for pricing information on our CCNA Quad Certification course (which includes CCNA R&S/CCENT/CCNA-Security/CCDA certifications- all in 7 days!).

CCNA Resources Salary

Network Administration Salaries

Network administration is the starting point for more critical roles such as network engineering. The median salary is about $80,000 – $90,000 each year. When you first start out as desktop support, salaries dip as low as $30,000 each year.

You can specialize in specific operating systems. For instance, a Linux network administrator can make as high as $73,000 each year. A more senior network administrator makes about $76,000.

A lead network administrator can make up to $120,000 each year, but this role takes much of the responsibility of network support. For instance, you’ll be responsible for complete network design, engineering, and any security for the network.

After you get some experience behind you, you can work yourself up to a senior network administrator, which is a role that takes more of a lead. Senior network administrators make about $76,000 each year.