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Become A Principal Network Engineer

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Working As A Principal Network Engineer

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

  • Repetitive

  • $117,934

    Average Salary

What Does A Principal Network Engineer 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 Principal Network Engineer

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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Principal Network Engineer jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Network Manager 3.9 years
Network Supervisor 3.8 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Network Engineer 3.1 years
Network Designer 3.1 years
Network Architect 2.9 years
Network Integrator 2.9 years
Network Associate 2.6 years
Network Consultant 2.4 years
WAN Engineer 2.2 years
Firewall Engineer 2.1 years
NOC Engineer 1.7 years
Network Internship 0.6 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 4.5%
Engineer 2.4%
Top Employers After
Engineer 3.7%
Consultant 3.0%
Manager 3.0%

Principal Network Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

88.1%

Female

7.6%

Unknown

4.3%
Ethnicity

White

74.3%

Asian

11.4%

Hispanic or Latino

10.3%

Unknown

3.4%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Carrier

33.3%

French

16.7%

Spanish

16.7%

Portuguese

8.3%

German

8.3%

Japanese

8.3%

Arabic

8.3%
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Principal Network Engineer Education

Schools

Strayer University

16.1%

University of Phoenix

14.3%

University of Maryland - University College

7.1%

Southern Methodist University

5.4%

Community College of the Air Force

5.4%

Arizona State University

5.4%

George Mason University

5.4%

Central Texas College

3.6%

University of Pennsylvania

3.6%

Ohio State University

3.6%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.6%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.6%

George Washington University

3.6%

Northeastern University

3.6%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.6%

Villanova University

3.6%

Associated Technical College

3.6%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

1.8%

Eastern Michigan University

1.8%

Lewis-Clark State College

1.8%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

18.0%

Business

14.1%

Computer Science

12.5%

Computer Information Systems

10.2%

Information Technology

7.8%

Information Systems

5.5%

Computer Networking

4.7%

Computer Engineering

3.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

Engineering

3.1%

Psychology

2.3%

Finance

2.3%

Computer Systems Security

2.3%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Management

1.6%

Management Information Systems

1.6%

Public Relations

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Systems Engineering

0.8%

Statistics

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.4%

Masters

24.0%

Other

9.6%

Certificate

6.8%

Associate

6.2%

Doctorate

2.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Principal Network Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Network Engineer Netsuite Inc. San Mateo, CA Aug 15, 2016 $180,000
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products LP Santa Clara, CA Jul 18, 2016 $161,120
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Sep 19, 2016 $161,120
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products, LP San Jose, CA Sep 19, 2013 $160,000
Principal Network System Engineer Symantec Corporation Mountain View, CA Nov 03, 2014 $160,000
Principal Network System Engineer Symantec Corporation Mountain View, CA Mar 11, 2014 $160,000
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Jan 19, 2015 $160,000
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products LP Santa Clara, CA Apr 20, 2016 $156,550
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Jan 09, 2016 $156,118
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Oct 01, 2015 $155,002
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products, LP Santa Clara, CA Apr 28, 2014 $155,000
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Nov 17, 2014 $154,785
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products, LP Santa Clara, CA Jul 01, 2015 $153,750
Tech Yahoo, Network Engineer, Principal Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 10, 2016 $153,448 -
$205,500
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Sep 13, 2016 $147,698
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Dec 07, 2016 $145,647
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products LP Santa Clara, CA Mar 02, 2016 $145,647
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Oct 01, 2015 $145,604
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Sep 21, 2015 $145,604
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Nov 17, 2014 $145,602
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Jan 21, 2016 $145,600
Principal Network Engineer Aruba Networks, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 30, 2013 $145,600
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products LP Round Rock, TX Jun 05, 2014 $126,395
Principal Engineer 2, Network Engineer Directv LLC El Segundo, CA Nov 21, 2014 $124,567 -
$144,567
Principal Network Engineer Aruba Networks, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 01, 2010 $124,363 -
$171,250
Principal Network Engineer Alaska Airlines, Inc. Seattle, WA Sep 08, 2015 $123,344 -
$172,100
Principal Network Engineer Aruba Networks, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 14, 2011 $123,282 -
$153,472
Principal Network Engineer Aruba Networks, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 01, 2011 $123,282 -
$147,500
Network Engineering Principal Engineer 2 Directv, Inc. El Segundo, CA Sep 01, 2010 $120,016
Network Development Principal Engineer Dell Products LP Round Rock, TX Jun 26, 2015 $118,747

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Top Skills for A Principal Network Engineer

NetworkInfrastructureSeriesRoutersBladeServersHardwareWindowsTcp/IpCapacityPlanningVPNMplsFirewallBGPActiveDirectoryNexusInternetASAOspfJuniperDataCentersVideoStorage

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Top Principal Network Engineer Skills

  1. Network Infrastructure
  2. Series Routers
  3. Blade Servers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked in Embassy and counselors across the world building network infrastructures.
  • Install HP blade C700 enclosure and installed eight blade servers with virtual machine.
  • Constructed fiber optic, Cat 5, and proprietary cables for network hardware.
  • Manage creation and/or deletion of new and existing accounts in a Windows 2008 Active Directory environment.
  • Developed TCP/IP HAIPE TACLANE architecture on MUOS SIEM Test Ground Station.

Top Principal Network Engineer Employers

Principal Network Engineer Videos

A Day In The Life of Information Technology (Mac Network)

Moving to IPv6, by Marcus Keane, Principal Network Engineer, Microsoft

Career Advice on becoming an Audio Designer by Ross N (Full Version)

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