Network technicians (NTs), also called computer network engineers or network specialists, are responsible for constructing and maintaining computer network systems. They design systems tailor-made for different institutions and companies. E-mailing, data sharing, internet and intranet applications are possible via hardware and software applications implemented and maintained by network technicians. They are well versed in contemporary standards and phraseology applied to local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN).
Network technicians design client’s network system and operate it. They administer these systems and troubleshoot problems as they arise. Costs are calculated in planning for a system. Depending on budget allocation, Network technicians use the latest network software and hardware. Network design must always serve the client’s needs, so they normally talk with the client on various issues that need to be addressed and resolved. Implementation of a network deals with installing and configuring of hardware and conflict resolution of hardware used. Hardware conflicts such as cards, cables and such are the most common. Network technicians create disaster recovery plans for potential malfunctioning systems. An extensive knowledge of protocols, network terminology and hardware is essential to avoid conflicts and incompatibilities in the system. Technical support is provided to non-technical staff and users.
Education and Training Requirements:
Employers usually hire Network technicians with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, electrical engineering or telecommunications. Certifications like Certified NetWare Engineer (CNE) or Certified Network Expert (CNX) may be needed or highly desired by some companies.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements:
Interpersonal skill is an essential skill because teamwork with other IT staff is needed to solve problems and maintain the IT infrastructure of the company. Extensive knowledge of new and existing network systems and hardware and software is essentially a must. Physical ability like being able to stand for a long time is essential for this job.
Network technicians usually work in well- lighted and clean offices. Their work requires traveling to a variety of locations, trouble shooting computers or parts of the network like servers and cables. They have a typical weekly work schedule but often spend extra, even weekends and holidays resolving, installing and maintaining computer and network systems. They experience stress and fatigue due to factors like deadlines and seemingly unsolvable system problems. Hazards such as eye strain and backaches occur due to prolonged computer exposure.
A network specialist makes $46,000 annually on average. Factors like size of company, location, nature of the industry, benefits and experience may make salaries vary considerably amongst network specialists.