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Computer Network Administrator

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A computer network administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operation of a company’s computer network. Depending on the size of the company, there can be more than one network administrator. A computer network administrator is often also called a system administrator.




Job Description and duties:

In a smaller company where there is only one network administrator, the duties involved are as followed:

  • Adding, maintaining and removal of user accounts
  • Installing new networking equipment such as routers, hubs, switches and servers.
  • Managing and configuring routers, switches, servers and other network connected devices like phones and printers.
  • Manage the back-ups of servers and workstations
  • Test the backups regularly
  • Monitor the performance of the network, its hardware devices and software programs. Troubleshoot network problems
  • Troubleshoot LANs and WANs
  • Recommend upgrades to improve slow performance

If the company is big enough, the network administrator hands off smaller network repairs to the network technician.

An administrator usually has his own office and remotely handles server issues and maintenance. Some travel might be required in order to troubleshoot network ports or installation of network devices.


Part-Time Potential

With the knowledge of a computer network administrator, you can handle many part-time network issues and installations for your own monetary benefit. A lot of small businesses can’t afford to pay a network administrator full-time, so they hire part-time consultants. These businesses are your local mom and pop shops, law firms and accounting firms.

Simple duties include:

  • Installation of a workgroup LAN

  • Installation of a network server (this client usually requires you to occasionally maintain their network)
  • Network cabling installation

The great thing is you can remotely handle some of the server issues they encounter and later collect your fee.

With a few jobs that you complete in one week, you will quickly see the high potential income you can earn part-time on your own.


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Computer Network Administrator Salary

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average median salary in 2010 for this job is $69,160 per year or $33.25 per hour. www.bls.gov

Job Growth - Employment is expected to grow 28 percent from 2010 – 2020. Demand is high.

Education - Most companies ask that their candidates have a Bachelor’s degree. They would consider candidates with an Associate’s degree and one or more of these certifications: MCSE, MCITP and CCNA.


Stand out from the crowd and Succeed!

If you really want to stand out consider earning a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Networking. Because network technology is continually changing, network administrators should keep up with the latest certifications.

Most employers will require you to have several years of experience in networking. If you earn these top certifications, the employer would not require so many years of experience because they respect these certifications and you would meet the minimum requirements.

The MCSE certification (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) covers Windows Server 2000 and 2003. Recently Microsoft had discontinued it and is offering the new MCSE. This time it covers Windows Server 2012 and it is again called MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert).

There are two I recommend you consider:

1.) MCSE: Server Infrastructure

2.) MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure

A lot of new technology has emerged like virtualization and cloud computing, so this certification will help you stay on top with the latest technologies.

Another highly regarded Microsoft certification is called MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) and it covers Windows Server 2008.

Most network administrator’s resumes show they have earned an A+, Network +, MCSE or MCITP and sometimes a CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate).

A CCNA would be more of a requirement for a network engineer and would earn a higher income than an administrator.

Armed with all of these certifications and an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, you are guaranteed for success.

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