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Become A Network Operator

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Working As A Network Operator

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

  • Repetitive

  • $97,020

    Average Salary

What Does A Network Operator 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 Operator

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 Operator jobs

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Network Operator Career Paths

Network Operator
Network Administrator Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Windows System Administrator Senior System Administrator
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Network Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Consultant Senior Manager
Director, Network Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Network Engineer Infrastructure Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Computer Operator 4.6 years
Network Manager 3.9 years
Network Supervisor 3.8 years
LAN Administrator 3.3 years
Systems Engineer 3.2 years
Network Technician 3.1 years
Network Designer 3.1 years
Network Engineer 3.1 years
Network Operator 3.0 years
Network Architect 2.9 years
Network Integrator 2.9 years
Computer Networker 2.9 years
Lan/Wan Engineer 2.7 years
Network Associate 2.6 years
Network Consultant 2.4 years
Network Installer 2.2 years
NOC Operator 2.0 years
NOC Technician 1.9 years
NOC Engineer 1.7 years
Network Assistant 1.7 years
Network Internship 0.6 years
Top Employers Before
Manager 5.2%
Consultant 4.2%
Technician 3.7%
Internship 2.8%
Top Employers After
Manager 4.9%
Consultant 3.1%
Engineer 2.9%
Technician 2.6%

Network Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

80.7%

Female

17.3%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

76.4%

Hispanic or Latino

11.2%

Asian

9.2%

Unknown

2.5%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.8%

Carrier

12.7%

French

7.3%

German

6.4%

Korean

3.6%

Swedish

1.8%

Cheyenne

1.8%

Russian

1.8%

Portuguese

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Turkish

0.9%

Azerbaijani

0.9%

Mandarin

0.9%

Danish

0.9%

Norwegian

0.9%

Dari

0.9%

Armenian

0.9%

Finnish

0.9%

Tagalog

0.9%

Italian

0.9%
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Network Operator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.4%

Strayer University

10.4%

Community College of the Air Force

7.9%

University of Maryland - University College

7.6%

George Washington University

4.2%

Webster University

3.9%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.7%

Park University

3.4%

American InterContinental University

3.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.4%

Colorado Technical University

3.4%

Northeastern University

3.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.1%

George Mason University

3.1%

Excelsior College

3.1%

Kaplan University

3.1%

Western Governors University

2.8%

American University

2.8%

Capella University

2.8%
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Majors

Business

18.8%

Computer Science

10.7%

Computer Information Systems

10.6%

Information Technology

10.0%

Computer Networking

7.4%

Electrical Engineering

7.1%

Management

4.2%

Communication

3.6%

Project Management

3.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.3%

Information Systems

3.1%

Criminal Justice

3.0%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Computer Engineering

2.3%

Finance

2.3%

Computer Systems Security

2.3%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.6%

Accounting

1.4%

General Studies

1.3%

Economics

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.9%

Other

21.3%

Masters

19.5%

Associate

13.0%

Certificate

5.3%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

0.7%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Network Operator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Network Operations Senior Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co. Reston, VA Dec 09, 2016 $115,086 -
$127,000
Harris Stratex Networks Operating Corporation Harris Stratex Networks Operating Corporation Morrisville, NC Sep 30, 2009 $92,934 -
$94,392
Network Operator Senior Barclays Bank Delaware Wilmington, DE Mar 16, 2015 $75,000 -
$95,000
Network & Storage Operations Specilaist Universal Information Solutions Atlanta, GA Dec 01, 2012 $75,000
Network Operator ICAP Services North America LLC Jersey City, NJ Jul 25, 2011 $72,800
Senior Network Operator Valero Energy Corporation San Antonio, TX Aug 22, 2011 $64,000
Telecommunications Network Operations Center Operator Globalstar, Inc. Covington, LA Aug 29, 2016 $50,003
Telecommunications Network Operations Center Operator Globalstar, Inc. Covington, LA Aug 24, 2016 $50,003
Telecommunications Network Operations Center Operator Globalstar Inc. Covington, LA Nov 17, 2016 $50,003

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Top Skills for A Network Operator

NetworkOperationsProceduresCustomerServiceRoutersNetworkInfrastructureNOCWindowsServerRemoteTroubleshootTcp/IpTechnicalSupportLan/WanInternetWebVoipUnixActiveDirectoryDisasterRecoveryWindowsNetworkTechniciansVideo

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Top Network Operator Skills

  1. Network Operations
  2. Procedures
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed Network Operations broadcast tape library
  • Train users and operators in new or modified software and procedures.
  • Provided telephone and desktop support for all end users while maintaining excellent customer service
  • Perform basic configuration of routers, switches, servers and computers.
  • Supported senior Network engineers in research, planning and implementation of wireless and wired network infrastructure.

Top Network Operator Employers

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Network Operator Videos

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Operator CDN Overview with Akamai Director of Network Operator Marketing Frank Childs

Network Engineer: Expectations vs Reality

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