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Become A Network Designer

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Working As A Network Designer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $111,890

    Average Salary

What Does A Network Designer Do

Computer network architects design and build data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets. These networks range from small connections between two offices to next-generation networking capabilities such as a cloud infrastructure that serves multiple customers. Network architects must have extensive knowledge of an organization’s business plan to design a network that can help the organization achieve its goals.

Duties

Computer network architects typically do the following:

  • Create plans and layouts for data communication networks
  • Present plans to management and explain why they are in the organization’s best interest to pursue them
  • Consider information security when designing networks
  • Upgrade hardware, such as routers or adaptors, and software, such as network drivers, as needed to support computer networks
  • Research new networking technologies to determine what would best support their organization in the future

Computer network architects, or network engineers, often work with their organization’s chief technology officer (CTO) to predict where the organization will most need new networks. They spend most of their time planning these new networks. Some computer network architects work with engineers such as computer hardware engineers who help build the network a network architect has designed. Network architects are often experienced staff and have 5 to 10 years of experience working in network administration or with other information technology (IT) systems.

Computer network architects also create models to predict future network needs by analyzing current data traffic and estimating how growth will affect the network. They also keep up to date on new hardware and software technology and test how it can improve network performance. In addition, computer network architects have to keep security in mind and when network vulnerabilities arise, implement security patches or other countermeasures.

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How To Become A Network Designer

Most computer network architects have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field and experience in a related occupation, such as network and computer systems administrators.

Education

Computer network architects usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, engineering, or a related field. Degree programs in a computer-related field give network architects hands-on laboratory work in classes such as network security or database design. These programs prepare network architects to be able to work with the wide array of technologies used in networks.

Employers of network architects sometimes prefer applicants to have a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems. MBA programs generally require 2 years of study beyond the undergraduate level and include both business and computer-related courses.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Network architects generally need to have at least 5 to 10 years of experience working with information technology (IT) systems. They often have experience as a network and computer system administrator but also may come from other computer-related occupations such as database administrator or computer systems analyst.

Certification

Certification programs are generally offered by product vendors or software firms. Vendor-specific certification verifies a set of skills to ensure network architects are able to work in specific networking environments. Companies may require their network architects to be certified in the products they use.

Advancement

Some network architects advance to become computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Computer network architects have to examine data networks and decide how to best connect the networks based on the needs and resources of the organization.

Detail oriented. Computer network architects create comprehensive plans of the networks they are creating with precise information describing how the network parts will work together.

Interpersonal skills. These workers must be able to work with different types of employees to successfully design and implement computer and information networks.

Leadership skills. Many computer network architects direct teams of engineers who build the networks they have designed, such as computer hardware engineers.

Organizational skills. Computer network architects who work for large firms must coordinate many different types of communication networks and make sure they work well together.

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Network Designer jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Network Operator 3.3 years
Network Technician 3.1 years
Network Engineer 3.1 years
Network Designer 3.0 years
Designer 3.0 years
Network Architect 2.9 years
Network Integrator 2.9 years
Lan/Wan Engineer 2.7 years
Network Associate 2.6 years
Network Consultant 2.4 years
WAN Engineer 2.2 years
Network Installer 2.2 years
NOC Engineer 1.7 years
Network Assistant 1.7 years
Network Internship 0.6 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 4.8%
Consultant 3.7%
Mover 3.2%
Top Employers After
Consultant 7.8%
Owner 3.4%
Engineer 3.4%
Designer 2.4%

Network Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

77.6%

Female

17.2%

Unknown

5.2%
Ethnicity

White

70.8%

Asian

13.6%

Hispanic or Latino

11.3%

Unknown

3.7%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.7%

Carrier

20.0%

Chinese

13.3%

Hindi

13.3%

Telugu

6.7%

German

6.7%

Sindhi

6.7%

Cheyenne

6.7%
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Network Designer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.0%

Georgia Southern University

6.0%

University of Kentucky

6.0%

Colorado Technical University

6.0%

George Washington University

6.0%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

6.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.0%

University of Connecticut

4.0%

California State University - Chico

4.0%

Ohio University -

4.0%

Northeast Technical Institute

4.0%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

4.0%

Evergreen State College

4.0%

Albertus Magnus College

4.0%

Auburn University

4.0%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.0%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.0%

Marquette University

4.0%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.0%

Southern Methodist University

4.0%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

19.0%

Business

14.9%

Computer Science

10.7%

Information Technology

6.6%

Computer Information Systems

5.8%

Computer Networking

5.8%

Information Systems

4.5%

Computer Engineering

4.1%

Management Information Systems

3.3%

Management

2.9%

Project Management

2.9%

Mathematics

2.9%

Engineering

2.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.5%

Telecommunications Management

2.5%

Finance

2.1%

Communication

2.1%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.7%

Systems Engineering

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.2%

Masters

25.6%

Other

20.3%

Associate

5.6%

Doctorate

3.4%

Certificate

2.5%

Diploma

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Network Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Network Designer Fox Group, News America, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Dec 27, 2010 $125,008
Network Designers The Matlen Silver Group Hopewell, NJ Feb 14, 2008 $120,000
Network Designers The Matlen Silver Group Hopewell, NJ Oct 31, 2007 $120,000
Network Designers Alcatel USA, Inc. Plano, TX May 29, 2008 $110,160
Global Network Designer Havas Worldwide, LLC New York, NY Sep 14, 2016 $100,000
Network Designer BT Americas, Inc. Newington, CT Dec 01, 2014 $98,800 -
$148,200
Network Designers Neustar Sterling, VA Oct 11, 2012 $93,000
Senior RAN Network Design and Optimization Nokia Siemens Networks Us LLC Arlington Heights, IL Aug 27, 2013 $85,000
Network Designers Dell USA LP Round Rock, TX Dec 07, 2007 $85,000
Network Designer Alcatel USA, Inc. Plano, TX Jul 24, 2008 $83,000
Network Designer The Jewelry Channel, Inc. Austin, TX Apr 03, 2009 $69,326
Network A/V Designer Fusionstorm San Jose, CA Jan 04, 2010 $65,000
Network Designer Aim Technical Consultants Atlanta, GA Oct 01, 2010 $62,610
Network Designer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Santa Ana, CA May 27, 2011 $60,000
Network Designer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Edison, NJ Apr 22, 2010 $50,295
Network Designer Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited Edison, NJ Apr 23, 2010 $50,295

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Top Skills for A Network Designer

NetworkDesignComputerHardwareLan/WanTcp/IpFiberCapacityInternetVendorsWindowsNetworkInfrastructureTDataNetworkVPNIgrpFrameRelayATMFirewallsEthernetCADVoip

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Top Network Designer Skills

  1. Network Design
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Lan/Wan
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Lead engineering team member for network design of CDC nation-wide Network Monitoring Center initiative.
  • network equipment, cabling infrastructure, computer hardware and software.
  • Maintain, test and configure hardware for LAN/WAN to include remote site installations, maintenance and site surveys.
  • Utilized strong background in TCP/IP, DNS, addressing and sub netting.
  • Utilize Fluke Meter to analyze copper and fiber optic cable issues.

Top Network Designer Employers

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Network Designer Videos

Day in the Life: Software Engineer

Building Small Office Network - Part1 - Network Design

Network Engineer: Expectations vs Reality

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