As more and more companies make the shift to big data, the importance of network engineers continues to increase in the IT industry. Plus, a network engineer has the opportunity to work in almost every industry with IT professionals. Now more than ever, the demand for this role grows just as fast as the tech industry. Learn everything you need to know on how to become a network engineer including its skills and salary.

Network Engineer job description and responsibilities

If have an interest in learning how to become a network engineer, know you should hold a strong grasp of networking basis. They hold the responsibility for the installation, administration, and management of all network-related hardware. Also, they support the foundation of an organization’s IT system ensuring the networks function properly. 

Currently, a relevant part of the network engineer job description includes the present growth of the occupation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that network engineer employment will grow five percent from 2018 to 2028. This estimate stands above average for all occupations.

A network engineer’s responsibilities can vary depending on the job. However, below lists common responsibilities.

  • Provide design and operational support of the entire LAN/WAN data network infrastructure.
  • Manage network deployment in a mission-critical, highly virtualized VoIP environment.
  • Proactively identify, monitor, and report health and performance of network and analyze network trends.
  • Troubleshoot complex data and voice network issues while providing the root cause analysis to executive management.
  • Manage outage planning and sending notifications to all involved parties.
  • Evaluate new products/technologies to determine applicability and impact on existing system configurations and capacity planning models.

Salary for Network Engineering

The 2019 Median Pay for Network Engineers was $112, 690 per year and $54.18 per hour.

Skills and Experience for a Network Engineer

For those seeking to learn how to become a network engineer, know employers will typically require a bachelor’s degree. Degrees include information technology, computer science, or a related field. In some fields, employers will consider relevant experience in lieu of a degree. However, senior-level network engineers will usually require a master’s.


Positions in network engineering require around five years of relevant IT and networking experience. Upon receiving your degree, it is important to begin building a networking foundation through an entry-level role. Computer network technicians perform the hands-on installation of network systems. Starting out as in an entry-level role such as this one will help you gain the technical experience you need to become a network engineer.

Technical Skills

  • Knowledge of TCP/IP protocols and associated routing and switching protocols including STP, EIGRP, BGP, IPSec, MPLS, SD-WAN, QoS, and complex routing protocol setup
  • Troubleshooting skills of network functions such as security, servers, and routing
large hallway of networks and databases

Certifications for Network Engineers

IT certifications pave the way for higher salaries, secure job opportunities, and technical skill growth. To become a network engineer, read through some of the common certifications that will help you advance your career path.

CompTIA certifications are some of the most common for network engineers.

  • CompTIA IT Fundamentals 

  • CompTIA Cloud Essentials 

  • CompTIA A+

  • Linux Essentials

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2016

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Core Infrastructure

  • VMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization

Cisco network certifications for network engineers are among the most popular. 

  • Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) – Entry

  • Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) – Entry

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA Routing and Switching) – Professional

  • Cisco Certified Network Professional Level (CCNP) – Professional

  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing and Switching (CCIE Routing and Switching) – Expert

  • Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) – Expert

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