PC Network Administrator: Job Outlook & Career Requirements

Feb 18, 2021

Network Administrator Responsibilities

A PC system administrator is a part of a company's information technology (IT) staff responsible for maintaining and repairing personal computer local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network security and internet systems. PC network administrators might work alone in smaller businesses or as part of a large department of IT professionals in large corporations and government offices. This network administration definition is broad; the job can encompass a number of other facets. What are the jobs of a network administrator? Network admin responsibilities are variable, but they generally involve technical skills and the ability to solve problems as they arise based on the needs of a given company or organization.

Education Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Customer service, interpersonal communication, problem solving, technical skill
Median Salary (2019)* $83,510 (all network and computer systems administrators)
Job Growth (2019-2029)* 4% (all network and computer systems administrators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of a network administrator may include:

  • Configuring computer networks according to a company's needs
  • Troubleshooting network problems
  • Creating technology budgets for companies
  • Developing faster connection systems
  • Updating outdated equipment and policies
  • Helping to ensure digital security in the workplace
  • Assisting workers with the functioning of their devices

Network Administrator Work Environment

Computer network administrator jobs can be performed in a variety of environments. Some professionals apply their network administrator technical skills from home, working remotely to solve problems in a given work environment. Others perform network and computer systems administrators' jobs that must be done in person, either as an in-office IT support worker or as an on-call maintenance worker, depending on the exact nature of the problem that a given company is facing.

Network Administrator Career Info

What is the job of a network administrator? What education and skills are required for those who want to take on network administrator job responsibilities? Let's take a look at this career in more detail.

Required Education

Most PC network administrators have earned bachelor's degrees in information technology, computer science or related fields. The Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals offers optional certification for network administration as a method of demonstrating competency to employers. As a rapidly changing field, on-going education through seminars and training programs helps PC network administrators keep current with emerging technologies.

Skills Required

Administering network systems requires the ability to understand and solve complex systems and their problems. Supporting a variety of PC users of various skill levels requires strong interpersonal skills and the ability to explain technical information to an often non-technical audience. A successful network administrator has a focus on customer service.

System Administrator Job Outlook and Salary

Network administrator job growth is expected to expand by 4% from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is around average in terms of all jobs in the U.S.; nonetheless, the computer networking job outlook is considered good. The rise in mobile networks and increased demand for electronic security will fuel the demand for competent PC network administration teams.

In addition to a good network administrator job outlook, salary for these professionals is quite high. The BLS reported that network and computer systems administrators earned a median annual salary of $83,510 in May 2019. Maryland, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, California and New York were the states with the top-paying PC network administration positions in 2019.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators' Similar Professions

If you want to become a network administrator, you might also consider some occupations with similar duties, including those of computer support specialists and database administrators.

Computer Support Specialist

Also dealing with networks, computer support specialists help administrators perform maintenance and tests on network systems and assist users with hardware and software issues, repairing equipment as needed. Depending on the company and type of work performed, an associate degree may be all that is required to enter the field. However, many employers prefer to hire those with a bachelor's degree in a related area of study. The BLS projected an increase of 67,300 new jobs for computer support specialists between 2019 and 2029. Computer user support specialists earned an annual median salary of $52,270 in 2019.

Database Administrator

For those who want a career managing information databases, becoming a database administrator is a viable career option. These administrators analyze information and create a database, perform maintenance and testing, modify the structure when necessary and make sure all information is secure and accessible to the organization. A bachelor's degree in a related information technology or computer field is required for entry into this profession, and coursework in database languages is necessary. In May of 2019, the BLS stated that database administrators received a median salary of $93,750. It also expected a 10% increase in the employment of administrators during the 2019-2029 decade, which is much faster than average.

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