Network Engineer Network Engineer

While everyone is familiar at this stage with the World Wide Web and mobile applications, people rarely consider the networks upon which they operate. While programming languages such as Java and Python help to create things online, the network is the infrastructure that connects computers and devices and allows the Internet to operate.

What does a network engineer do? 

A network engineer is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of computer networks. A network engineer will support and develop network infrastructures and ensure maximum performance for their users. In some cases, a network engineer will design communication networks within an organisation or between organisations.

What are the skills a network engineer should have?

Strong technical skills, ability to define network architectures and design methodologies are part of the skillset of a good network engineer. Beyond technical skills, a network engineer is a person with great attention to detail, creative thinking and attitude to master technologies in fast and efficient way. 

What salary can you expect?

A network engineer earns  in the UK an average salary of £30,336 per year (€38,505), according to PayScale. Skills that are associated with high pay for this job are Switches & Firewall Installation and Administration, Checkpoint, and IP Network. For the first five to ten years in this position, pay increases steeply, but any additional experience does not have a big effect on pay. Most people with this job move on to other positions after 20 years in this field.

Elle's first-hand experience:

To get a better understanding of the work of a network engineer, we can look at the story of Elle, a network engineering specialist who holds a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Switch certification.

"I believed that a career in networking would suit me because I was computer savvy, I was actually interested in technology from the standpoint of how it worked and I believed that I could be good at working with computers in general."

"There are a ton of things to learn on my job"

"In general, my team takes designs created by architects, planners and salespeople and makes changes to the network topology based on issues like traffic congestion, preventative maintenance, necessary infrastructure upgrades, customer issues, new product offerings, etc.
There are a ton of things to learn on my job. There are several different teams and projects always ongoing. I find it very interesting that my company is really moving into SDN (Software-Defined Networking). There is a team working on that and we are starting to use scripts more and more. I have started learning Python."

Want to know more? Check our sources:

If you are interested in a career in network engineering, the CompTIA A+ is a widely-recognised entry-level certification; course materials, sample questions and exam objectives can be found onCompTIA's website.

Read more about Elle's story here and here

Network Engineer Salary - PayScale

You can view and download the infographic in full HD pdf format here