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How to become a Network Administrator.

The term ‘network administrator’ is often used interchangeably with ‘system administrator’.  Computers are so much a part of business functionality and everyday life that there is an ever broadening span of jobs and job descriptions that related to computer use both singly and as a group.  Network administration involves oversight of computers interconnected and utilized by many individuals to communicate and accomplish tasks.

A network administrator may or may not have designed the network, but he/she is responsible for both network hardware and software.   The administrator analyzes and fixes problems – and monitors the network to ensure that all end users are properly connected and have full functionality. Administrators also may plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures.

Working in network administration may not require a bachelors’ degree, although some employers will insist on it.  A degree in computer science or IT is an excellent platform for entry into the field and will probably be necessary if you intend to move up to system design, expansion and development.

However many employers will take in an applicant with an associates’ degree in a related field, particularly if the job is maintenance oriented.  This is still a field where experience is often just as valuable as a degree, at least at the entry level point.  At any level however, you may find it necessary to take certification courses for an operating system or software package in order to stay current. 

The rapid evolution of customer service software and accounting systems seem to keep many businesses redesigning their computer network functions on a periodic basis.  An ambitious network administrator will stay on top of new developments in the field of database management and networking.  A recent graduate of a network administration program will find the median salary in the business to be in the neighborhood of $60,000.

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Salaries with Network Administration Degrees

Average annual earnings with Network Administration Degrees in May 2004.

  • Lowest 10 % earned $37,100
  • Median $58,190
  • Highest 10% earned $91,300

Related occupations with Network Administration Degrees:

  • Wired telecommunications carriers $65,120
  • Computer systems design and related services 63,710
  • Management of companies and enterprises 61,600
  • Elementary and secondary schools 51,420
  • Colleges, universities, and professional Schools 51,170