LAN Technician: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a local area network (LAN) technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

To become a local area network (LAN) technician, an associate's or bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is typically required. These programs help students learn the fundamentals of LAN technology, including how to manage and repair computer networks. Graduates may be prepared for IT certifications, which are often beneficial when seeking employment.

Essential Information

A local area network (LAN) technician provides support and maintenance to local area computer networks. An individual in this position ensures that the network runs smoothly and remains connected at all times. LAN technicians typically require a college degree or technical certification.

Required Education Associate's or bachelor's degree in computer science or similar field
Other Requirements Industry certifications often preferred and sometimes required
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% for network and computer systems administrators
Median Salary (2015)* $77,810 for network and computer systems administrators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description of a LAN Technician

A local area network provides communication among connected computers, word processors and additional office equipment within a specific area. Technicians are hired by organizations and companies to sustain network productivity and service levels. LAN technicians collect data in order to evaluate network performance, define user necessities, and establish system requirements.

LAN technicians often work outside regular office hours so employee workflow is not disrupted. Individuals may work in large corporations, government agencies, or small business environments.

Job Duties of a LAN Technician

A LAN technician performs various duties depending on the type of position. Typical duties include troubleshooting and performing disaster recoveries, as well as backing up data in the event of possible network issues or malfunctions. The replacement of defective applications and installation of software are also common components of the position.

LAN technicians commonly design and implement virus protection, computer hardware, and system software. The technician is typically required to document all network issues and changes, as well as confer with employees on network problems and solutions.

Job Requirements of a LAN Technician

Educational requirements vary; however, typically include an associate's or bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems, or a related field. A bachelor's degree is more appropriate for higher-level positions, while an associate's degree is often sufficient for entry-level technician jobs. These degrees will provide a solid foundation of knowledge in computer operating systems and networks. An associate's degree commonly takes two years to complete, while a bachelor's degree is typically a four-year program.

Some employers require LAN technicians to hold certification. Industry certifications from Microsoft or Cisco are preferred because the vast majority of businesses employ one of these systems. Certifications can be earned by passing a series of exams and recertification is typically required every two to three years.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary earned by network and computer systems administrators, the category under which LAN technicians fall, was $77,810 in May 2015. The employment of such administrators is expected to grow by 8% between 2014 and 2024, per the BLS.

Needed across numerous industries, LAN technicians perform a variety of duties on the job. These include data backup, troubleshooting and software installation. Maintaining a solid and up-to-date knowledge of computer systems and technology is essential for LAN technicians, and they can learn these skills in associate's and bachelor's programs in network technology or similar fields.

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