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Career profile Network Technician

Also known as Computer Network Specialist, IT Consultant (Information Technology Consultant), Network Specialist, Network Support Specialist, Network Technical Analyst, Network Technician, Personal Computer Network Analyst, Systems Specialist

Network Technician

Also known as Computer Network Specialist, IT Consultant (Information Technology Consultant), Network Specialist

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$40,620 - $110,450 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
  • Judgment and Decision Making
Knowledge Areas
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Telecommunications
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • Back up network data.
  • Configure security settings or access permissions for groups or individuals.
  • Analyze and report computer network security breaches or attempted breaches.
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What does a Network Technician do?

Network Technicians analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), cloud networks, servers, and other data communications networks.

In addition, Network Technicians perform network maintenance to ensure networks operate correctly with minimal interruption.

What kind of tasks does a Network Technician perform regularly?

Network Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Back up network data.
  • Configure security settings or access permissions for groups or individuals.
  • Analyze and report computer network security breaches or attempted breaches.
  • Identify the causes of networking problems, using diagnostic testing software and equipment.
  • Document network support activities.
  • Configure wide area network (WAN) or local area network (LAN) routers or related equipment.
  • Install network software, including security or firewall software.
  • Analyze network data to determine network usage, disk space availability, or server function.
  • Troubleshoot network or connectivity problems for users or user groups.
  • Provide telephone support related to networking or connectivity issues.
  • Evaluate local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) performance data to ensure sufficient availability or speed, to identify network problems, or for disaster recovery purposes.
  • Perform routine maintenance or standard repairs to networking components or equipment.
  • Configure and define parameters for installation or testing of local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), hubs, routers, switches, controllers, multiplexers, or related networking equipment.
  • Install new hardware or software systems or components, ensuring integration with existing network systems.
  • Monitor industry websites or publications for information about patches, releases, viruses, or potential problem identification.
  • Test computer software or hardware, using standard diagnostic testing equipment and procedures.
  • Install or repair network cables, including fiber optic cables.
  • Create or update technical documentation for network installations or changes to existing installations.
  • Train users in procedures related to network applications software or related systems.
  • Test repaired items to ensure proper operation.
  • Install and configure wireless networking equipment.
  • Document help desk requests and resolutions.
  • Maintain logs of network activity.
  • Research hardware or software products to meet technical networking or security needs.
  • Create or revise user instructions, procedures, or manuals.
  • Run monthly network reports.

The above responsibilities are specific to Network Technicians. More generally, Network Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

What is a Network Technician salary?

The median salary for a Network Technician is $65,450, and the average salary is $71,040. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Network Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Network Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Network Technicians earn less than $40,620 per year, 25% earn less than $50,730, 75% earn less than $85,930, and 90% earn less than $110,450.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Network Technicians is expected to change by 7.5%, and there should be roughly 15,500 open positions for Network Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$65,450
Typical salary range
$40,620 - $110,450
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
7.5%

What personality traits are common among Network Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Network Technician are usually higher in their Realistic and Enterprising interests.

Network Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Network Technicians typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Network Technician tend to value Achievement, Support, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Network Technicians strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Network Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Network Technicians moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Network Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as cooperation, analytical thinking, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Network Technicians, ranked by importance:

Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Network Technicians need?

Many Network Technicians will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Network Technicians usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Network Technicians

  • 0.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 10.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 24.5% completed some college coursework
  • 15.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 37.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 10.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Network Technicians

Network Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as computers and electronics, telecommunications, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Network Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Telecommunications
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Network Technicians

Network Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Network Technicians need abilities such as deductive reasoning, oral comprehension, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Network Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Critical Skills needed by Network Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Network Technicians frequently use skills like critical thinking, active listening, and judgment and decision making to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Network Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.