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Working As a Network Architect

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $113,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Network Architect Do

Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.

Duties

Network and computer systems administrators typically do the following:

  • Determine an organization’s network and computer system needs before setting one up
  • Install all network hardware and software and make needed upgrades and repairs
  • Maintain network and computer system security and ensure that all systems are operating correctly
  • Collect data in order to evaluate and optimize network or system performance
  • Add users to a network and assign and update security permissions on the network
  • Train users in the proper use of hardware and software
  • Interpret and solve problems when a user or an automated monitoring system alerts them that one exists

Administrators manage an organization’s servers and desktop and mobile equipment. They ensure that email and data storage networks work properly. They also make sure that employees’ workstations are working efficiently and stay connected to the central computer network. Some administrators manage telecommunication networks.

In some cases, administrators help network architects design and analyze network models. They also participate in decisions about buying future hardware or software to upgrade their organization’s network. Some administrators provide technical support to computer users, and they also may supervise computer support specialists who help solve users’ problems.

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How To Become A Network Architect

Most employers require network and computer systems administrators to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. Others may require only a postsecondary certificate.

Education

Although some employers require only a postsecondary certificate, most require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. There are degree programs that focus on computer network and system administration. However, because administrators work with computer hardware and equipment, a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering usually is acceptable as well. Programs in these fields usually include classes in computer programming, networking, or systems design.

Because network technology is continually changing, administrators need to keep up with the latest developments. Many continue to take courses throughout their careers and attend information technology (IT) conferences to keep up with the latest technology. Some businesses require that an administrator get a master’s degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally offered directly from vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates knowledge and best practices required from network and computer systems administrators. Companies may require their network and computer systems administrators to be certified in the product they use. Microsoft and Cisco offer some of the most common certifications.

Other Experience

To gain practical experience, many network administrators participate in internship programs while in school.

Advancement

Network administrators can advance to become computer network architects. They can also advance to managerial jobs in information technology (IT) departments, such as computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Administrators need analytical skills to evaluate network and system performance and determine how changes in the environment will affect them.

Communication skills. Administrators must be able to describe problems and their solutions to non-IT workers.

Computer skills. Administrators oversee the connections of many different types of computer equipment and must ensure that they all work together properly.

Multitasking skills. Administrators may have to work on many problems and tasks at the same time.

Problem-solving skills. Administrators must be able to quickly resolve any problems that arise with computer networks.

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Network Architect Career Paths

Network Architect
Senior Network Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Network Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Network Engineer Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director, Technical Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Senior Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Network Engineer Network Manager
Director, Network Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Network Engineer Network Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Network Engineer Network Manager Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Architect Senior Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Architect Senior Engineer Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Architect Senior Systems Analyst Senior System Administrator
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Project Manager Director Of Technology And Services
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Security & Network Engineer Senior Security Engineer Information Technology Security Manager
Director Of Information Technology Security
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior System Administrator Help Desk Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Software Engineer Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Senior Network Administrator Infrastructure Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Network Engineer 3.1 years
Network Architect 3.0 years
Network Consultant 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Network Architect
Consultant 4.2%
Engineer 2.3%
Architect 2.1%
Manager 1.6%
Top Careers After Network Architect
Consultant 6.3%
Architect 4.4%
Owner 3.0%
Engineer 2.3%

Do you work as a Network Architect?

Average Yearly Salary
$113,000
Show Salaries
$89,000
Min 10%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Median 50%
$142,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Cupertino, CA
Highest Paying State
Maryland
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does a Network Architect make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Network Architect in the United States is $113,223 per year or $54 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $89,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $142,000.

Real Network Architect Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Computer Network Architect Howard Systems International, Inc. Rye, NY Oct 15, 2015 $198,265
Network Architect Howard Systems International, Inc. Rye, NY Jul 08, 2015 $198,265
Computer Network Architect Howard Systems International, Inc. Rye, NY Jul 08, 2015 $198,265
Principal LTE Network Architect Ruckus Wireless, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 16, 2016 $175,000
Network Architect, Manager Pricewaterhousecoopers Advisory Services LLC McLean, VA May 17, 2016 $174,533
Network Architect, Manager Pricewaterhousecoopers Advisory Services LLC McLean, VA Jan 20, 2016 $174,533
Network Architect Kovarus Inc. San Ramon, CA May 09, 2016 $165,000
Lead Network Architect Groupware Technology, Inc. Campbell, CA Jun 20, 2016 $160,000
Network Architects-IV HCL America, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 04, 2016 $158,454 -
$178,000
Network Architect Randstad Technologies, LP Milpitas, CA Oct 31, 2016 $156,000
Network Architect Calypso Soft Inc. Durham, NC Jul 28, 2016 $155,000
Computer Network Architects (Lead Infrastructure Enablement Engineer) Salesforce.com Herndon, VA Aug 06, 2016 $150,378
Network Architect Engineer Frontier Communications Corporation Allen, TX Oct 02, 2015 $105,000
Network Modeling Architect Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. Richardson, TX Aug 06, 2015 $105,000
Network Architect/Devops Engineer Clearent LLC Clayton, MO Feb 27, 2015 $104,125 -
$115,000
Network Architect Intermedia Group, Inc. Coppell, TX May 25, 2016 $102,000
Network-On-Chip Architect Netspeed Systems San Jose, CA Apr 18, 2016 $102,000
Computer Network Architect NTT Data, Inc. Plano, TX Jan 08, 2016 $101,982 -
$120,000
Computer Network Architect Itcaps LLC Philadelphia, PA Jun 13, 2016 $86,861 -
$93,915
Computer Network Architect Swifttech Solutions Inc. Irvine, CA Sep 16, 2015 $86,000
Computer Network Architects Swifttech Technology Solutions Irvine, CA Sep 06, 2015 $86,000
Computer Network Architect Swifttech Solutions Inc. Irvine, CA Sep 18, 2015 $86,000
Network Architect Pinnacle Technical Resources Inc. Austin, TX Mar 06, 2016 $85,922
Network Architect IBM India Private Limited Lexington, KY Jun 15, 2015 $85,677
Computer Network Architect NTT Data, Inc. Plano, TX Jan 08, 2016 $85,634 -
$110,000

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Top Skills for A Network Architect

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Architecture
  3. Firewall
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Determine infrastructure security requirements for several organizations.
  • Led architecture and design sessions with customers; initiated technical meetings with customer engineers to further engage and identify additional opportunities.
  • Redesigned and improved proxy server and Nokia/Checkpoint firewalls for security and redundancy.
  • Design and installation of load balancing solution leveraging Foundry network equipment for a web server hosting facility.
  • Served as Project Manager for Cisco Works implementation of enterprise-wide operations management for over 500 routers internationally.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Network Architects

  1. Maryland
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Virginia
  4. New Jersey
  5. California
  6. Massachusetts
  7. North Carolina
  8. South Dakota
  9. Texas
  10. Rhode Island
  • (717 jobs)
  • (249 jobs)
  • (1,268 jobs)
  • (510 jobs)
  • (1,807 jobs)
  • (402 jobs)
  • (537 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (1,235 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)

Network Architect Demographics

Gender

Male

85.0%

Female

8.4%

Unknown

6.6%
Ethnicity

White

56.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Asian

12.4%

Black or African American

11.5%

Unknown

6.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Carrier

35.7%

Spanish

25.0%

Portuguese

7.1%

French

7.1%

Korean

7.1%

Arabic

7.1%

Chinese

3.6%

Czech

3.6%

German

3.6%
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Network Architect Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.7%

University of Maryland - University College

6.8%

University of Colorado at Boulder

6.1%

Strayer University

6.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.3%

Southern Methodist University

5.3%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.3%

George Mason University

4.5%

Purdue University

4.5%

Naval Postgraduate School

4.5%

Arizona State University

3.8%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.8%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.8%

DePaul University

3.8%

Western Governors University

3.8%

Johns Hopkins University

3.8%

Western Washington University

3.0%

University of Cincinnati

3.0%

Columbia College Chicago

3.0%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.0%
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Majors

Computer Science

19.5%

Electrical Engineering

15.6%

Business

12.0%

Computer Information Systems

8.3%

Computer Networking

6.8%

Information Technology

6.8%

Computer Engineering

4.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.3%

Information Systems

3.2%

Finance

3.0%

Management

2.2%

Economics

1.8%

Communication

1.8%

Telecommunications Management

1.7%

Engineering

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.5%

Project Management

1.5%

Systems Engineering

1.5%

Mathematics

1.5%

Physics

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.5%

Masters

24.4%

Other

17.2%

Associate

9.6%

Certificate

3.3%

Doctorate

2.8%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.1%
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Internship
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Top Network Architect Employers

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Jobs From Top Network Architect Employers

Network Architect Videos

Cisco Digital Network Architecture Overview

TechWiseTV: Digital Network Architecture, Part I: The Design

Career Connections (2015) Network Architect

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Updated May 19, 2020