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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

  • $79,563

    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
Systems Engineer Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Manager
Data Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information Technology Security
12 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Network Technician Information Technology Director
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Network Technician Network Manager
Director, Network Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Director
Director, Technical Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Network Operation Technician Network Engineer Lead Network Engineer
Incident Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Support Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Network Operation Technician Senior Network Engineer Infrastructure Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Analyst Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Technical Support Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Specialist Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Network Operator?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Network Technician 3.1 years
Network Operator 3.0 years
Network Associate 2.7 years
Network Assistant 1.8 years
Network Internship 0.6 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 4.2%
Technician 4.2%
Consultant 3.1%
Top Employers After
Consultant 3.1%
Technician 3.1%

Do you work as a Network Operator?

Network Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

80.5%

Female

16.9%

Unknown

2.6%
Ethnicity

White

58.2%

Hispanic or Latino

16.0%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

9.8%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.5%

French

8.1%

Carrier

8.1%

Korean

5.4%

Cheyenne

5.4%

Chinese

2.7%

German

2.7%

Armenian

2.7%

Mandarin

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%
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Network Operator Education

Schools

University of Maryland - University College

12.0%

University of Phoenix

11.1%

Strayer University

7.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

6.5%

American InterContinental University

5.6%

ECPI University

4.6%

Community College of the Air Force

4.6%

Murray State University

3.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.7%

California State University - Northridge

3.7%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.7%

DePaul University

3.7%

Western Governors University

3.7%

More Tech Institute

3.7%

Central Texas College

3.7%

Dutchess Community College

3.7%

Kaplan University

3.7%

Colorado Technical University

3.7%

Capella University

3.7%

Baruch College of the City University of New York

3.7%
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Majors

Computer Information Systems

13.8%

Business

13.2%

Computer Science

12.7%

Information Technology

12.3%

Computer Networking

8.6%

Electrical Engineering

5.1%

Communication

4.4%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Management

3.3%

Computer Systems Security

3.3%

Computer Engineering

2.9%

Information Systems

2.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

General Studies

1.8%

Project Management

1.5%

Psychology

1.5%

Accounting

1.5%

Education

1.3%

Management Information Systems

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.0%

Other

23.5%

Associate

17.4%

Masters

13.4%

Certificate

5.1%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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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 Sep 12, 2016 $115,086 -
$127,000
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

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  1. Computer
  2. Customer Service
  3. Routers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided prompt problem tracking and follow-up on problem situations effecting T/P customers including Installing all local terminals and personal computers.
  • Represented company in Business Weekly magazine in an article about online customer service and satisfaction.
  • Hired initially as a customer support representative to provide first level product support for Motorola/Vanguard routers and modems.
  • Monitor, operate, reconfigure, maintain and troubleshoot military digital networks in an operational environment resulting in minimal outages.
  • Provided network operations support and problem resolutions through coordination of a variety of administration and technical support services.

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Top 10 Best States for Network Operators

  1. Maryland
  2. Virginia
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Texas
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Nevada
  7. California
  8. New Jersey
  9. Georgia
  10. North Carolina
  • (707 jobs)
  • (1,310 jobs)
  • (225 jobs)
  • (1,234 jobs)
  • (48 jobs)
  • (122 jobs)
  • (1,857 jobs)
  • (361 jobs)
  • (456 jobs)
  • (449 jobs)

Top Network Operator Employers

Jobs From Top Network Operator Employers

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