Computer network management professionals can work as network computer system administrators or computer and information systems managers. These positions require a college degree and may require certification in specific software or systems. The median annual salary for administrators is about $78,000 and $132,000 for managers.
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Computer network management professionals install, monitor, and maintain data communications systems. Although some entry-level positions can be obtained with a postsecondary certificate, the majority of employers require a bachelor's degree in information science or a computer-related field. In addition, some employers will provide financial incentives for employees who receive certifications from product vendors and industry standard organizations.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree, though some employers will accept a postsecondary certificate|
|Other Requirements||Various incentives for achieving certification through product vendors or industry standard organizations|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||8% (Network and Computer Systems Administrators)|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$77,810 (Network and Computer Systems Administrators)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Salary Information for Computer Network Management Professionals
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer network administrators and computer systems administrators earned a median annual salary of $77,810 in May 2015. Per the BLS report that year, professionals ranking in the lowest 10% of earners made $47,460 or less per year, while the highest-paid 10% earned $124,090 or more annually. Industries paying the highest salaries in the field of network and computer system administration included pipeline transportation of crude oil, securities and commodity exchanges and support activity for mining, paying administrators more than $104,000 a year, on average.
The BLS also published information regarding the money earned by computer and information systems managers, reporting in May 2015 that the median annual salary earned by such managers was $131,600. Securities and commodities exchanges and security and security contract intermediation and brokerage offered the highest salaries to these workers in 2015, per the BLS.
Certification Effects on Salary
Acquiring and maintaining professional certifications from product vendors and industry standards organizations had a positive effect on salary. In a 2009 survey conducted by Certification Magazine, 52% of respondents reported receiving a raise after earning certification, with 30% reporting raises ranging between 10%-20% (www.certmag.com). The top five certifications corresponding with the highest annual salaries were offered by Brocade and the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. The survey indicated that these certifications each commanded annual salaries above $120,000 per year.
Career Information for Computer Network Management Professionals
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that network and systems administrators held approximately 374,480 jobs in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS stated that the field had a projected employment growth of 8% from 2014-2024. Prospects for computer and information systems managers were expected to increase by 15% during the same time period, and these workers held about 341,250 jobs in 2015.
BLS data showed the majority of network administrators worked in computer and systems design, though other industries that employed a large number of these professionals included business management services, telecommunications companies, and schools. Managers of information technology and computer systems found the most employment opportunities with computer systems design companies, management services firms, consulting services, insurance carriers, and software publishers.
Computer systems administrators and managers require a bachelor's degree in a computer related field, although some positions may accept completion of a certificate or associate's degree program. Certification in specific software and systems may be preferred and employees attaining certification are often incentivized. The job growth outlook for these professions is faster than the job market.