Wireless Network Administrator: Salary, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a wireless network administrator. 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.

Wireless network administrators support an organization's wireless network. They are typically required to have a bachelor's degree and knowledge of wireless technology. Certification and prior related experience may also be required.

Essential Information

A wireless network administrator installs and maintains wireless networks for professional organizations and companies. Education requirements for this position vary by employer, but a bachelor's degree and industry certification will likely yield the most job opportunities and the most competitive salaries.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in subject such as computer and information science or associate's degree with certification and relevant experience
Other Requirements In-depth knowledge of wireless standards, hardware, software and technology
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% (for network and computer systems administrators)
Mean Salary (2015)* $82,200 annually (for network and computer systems administrators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary Information for Wireless Network Administrators

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the annual average wage for network and computer system administrators was $82,200 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The 90th percentile salary was $124,090 or more per year, while the 10th percentile salary was $47,460 or less. Location and industry were cited as important factors in the yearly earnings of network and computer system administrators.

Wireless Network Administrator Job Duties

A wireless network administrator must be able to install, maintain and offer tech support for Wi-Fi systems in a variety of professional settings, such as schools, companies and government agencies. He or she must be knowledgeable about Radio Frequency (RF) technologies, wireless local area network (LAN) hardware and software, wireless security and antenna. Wireless network administrators also must have knowledge of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 wireless standards. Additionally, troubleshooting is at the forefront of a wireless network administrator's job duties, and communication skills are important when working with company employees who aren't tech savvy.

Job Requirements for Wireless Network Administrators

There are multiple ways to become a wireless network administrator. According to the BLS, many network administrators start their careers as computer support specialists before advancing to administrative positions. Educationally, network administrators usually hold a bachelor's degree in an area like computer and information science, but an associate degree may be sufficient if coupled with certification and work experience.

Certification in network administration often can lead to more competitive job opportunities. To earn the Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) credential, one must pass the PW0-104 exam offered by the Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) program, which sets industry standards in information technology. CWNA certification is valid for three years. Further exams are available for professional and expert certification in the wireless network field.

Wireless network administrators maintain and provide technical support for wireless networks. This position generally requires a bachelor's degree, prior related experience, and knowledge of wireless standards. Certification can lead to career advancement and is often preferred by employers.

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