Monday, February 3, 2014

RHT: Network Administrator: Great Career, Rising Salary in 2014

by Clea Badion  Robert Half Technology
February 3, 2014

Find out what skills you’ll need to become a network administrator.

If you like working with both hardware and software, and enjoy managing others, becoming a network administrator is a great career choice.
Fifty-seven percent of U.S. technology executives in a recent Robert Half Technology survey said network administration was the skill set in greatest demand.

And the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of network administrators will increase through 2022, with demand for those working in computer systems design and related services projected to grow as much as 35 percent.

“Network administrators are definitely in demand and this will only continue to be the case moving forward,” said Robert Half Technology division director, Andrew Carroll. “Systems and networks are the backbone of any company. As companies grow, their networks get larger and more complex, which raises the demand for people to support them.”
Network Administrator Salary: Projected to Increase in 2014

A starting network administrator salary is projected to increase 6.6 percent in 2014, with compensation ranging from $69,750-99,500.* (You can use our Salary Calculator to adjust an entry-level network administrator salary for your city.)

Network Administrator Job Description

Here are the essential qualifications for network administrators:
  • Solid technical skills and experience with a variety of network protocols, software and hardware involved in LAN and WAN operations.
  • Strong troubleshooting analytic and diagnostic skills, along with good communication abilities.
  • Often requires individuals to be on call 24/7 in case of network failures or emergencies.
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science or information systems; some companies will accept candidates with five or more years of work experience, as well as IT certifications offered by Cisco, Microsoft and others.
  • Strong attention to detail and customer-service orientation, as well as the ability to work on a team.
A typical network administrator job description includes:
  • Administering the operation of LAN/WAN-related network services according to company policies and procedures
  • Coordinating and implementing network software and hardware upgrades
  • Troubleshooting and resolving LAN/WAN performance, connectivity and related network problems
  • Administering LAN/WAN security, antivirus and spam control measures
Wanted: Great Communicator Who’s Calm Under Pressure

In addition to the skills listed above, Carroll says the best network administrators have excellentwritten and verbal communication skills: “They need the ability to clearly articulate issues to other team members,” he said. They should also have the ability to multi-task and have a calm demeanor in high-stress environments.”

While those looking to break into the field will need the technical and educational qualifications mentioned above, as well as a relevant IT certifications, there are other options. “Programs such asYear Up work to provide young adults with the training and experience they need to break into fields like this one,” said Carroll.

In addition to information on a starting network administrator salary and job description, you’ll find information on starting compensation for 70 IT jobs in 150 North American cities in our 2014 Salary Guide.

*A starting network administrator salary in Canada is projected to increase 6.7 percent in 2014, with compensation ranging from $67,250 – $88,250.

— Clea Badion

Clea Badion is an editor for the RHT Blog. She’s been writing about the workplace, career trends and technology for the past decade. Clea has 15 years of professional writing and editing experience and a master’s degree in visual studies. She’s a little obsessed with cute animal videos and the show ”American Ninja Warrior.” Follow her on Twitter @cleabadion.

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