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What does a Network Administrator do?

If you consider yourself organized, efficient and logical, and you enjoy knowing all about the latest computers and system configuration options, think about steering your career into the direction of computer network administration.

Network administrators organize and monitor wired or wireless LANs (local area networks), WANs (wide area networks), GANs (global area networks), network segments, and the Internet and intranet configuration within an organization. These computer professionals perform many functions, including individual system troubleshooting, analyzing system problems, gauging network functionality, and installing and upgrading software and hardware throughout the company.

Network administrators continually assess company and user needs and requirements in order to reinforce efficiency and system vigor, for both individual employees and the organization as a whole.

Where do network administrators work?

As a network administrator, you can find work in small companies or huge corporations (or somewhere right in between). Government groups, school districts, and universities employ a large number of network administrators, as well, with a heavy need for smooth-running networks and intranet systems.

What is an average work environment and day like for a network administrator?

The work environment for network administrators is typically a standard office setting or a computer laboratory room, with regular 8:00AM to 5:00PM business hours; although, some administrators are asked to remain "on call" in case there is a critical system failure or other major issue to be resolved.

Companies rely heavily on the knowledge and skills of their network administrators, and most show their appreciation by providing healthy salaries and continued training and resources as needed or requested.

Many network administrators spend a large portion of their work-day time managing and maintaining:
  • System usage
  • User accounts and privileges
  • Network logs
  • Software and hardware updates
  • Daily server traffic
  • Application, security and backup functions
  • Scheduled performance tests
  • Storage area networks
Network administrators also may provide subject-matter expertise for documentation and training departments, oversee computer support staff, and teach new employees to use company-specific computer software and hardware.

Job outlook and salary expectations for network administrators

Job growth is expected to grow by 23 percent, which is much faster than average for all occupations. Professionals working for financial services firms and computer equipment companies earn the highest salaries.

Organizations are always seeking well-trained, detail-oriented network administrators with knowledge of the best and latest networking, security, and software ideas for their specific needs. If these qualities sound like you, consider this lucrative, rewarding career.

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