Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of computer networks.

Work Environment: Network and computer systems administrators work with the physical computer networks of a variety of organizations and therefore are employed in many industries.

How to Become One: 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 or an associate’s degree.

Salary: The median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators is $84,810.

Job Outlook: Employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 5 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of network and computer systems administrators with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a network and computer systems administrator with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Network Administrator Jobs

  • Network Administrator - Car Finance Giant - London

    #Troubleshooting and administering existing server infrastructure. #Regularly auditing configurations and health of systems.

  • Network Engineer and System Administrator - Advanced Wireless Technology Group - London

    Design and implement full IT networks. Subject matter expert in IP networks, IT infrastructure, Network Security and System Integration.

  • IT System / Network Administrator - Confero - London

    Being able to maintain a Microsoft network environment and related technologies is a vital attribute of the system administrator.

See all Network Administrator jobs

Top 3 Computer Systems Administrator Jobs

  • Computer Systems Administrator - Diamond Light Source - Didcot

    Modern computer systems; common hardware configurations, management of same. The Diamond Scientific Software, Controls and Computation (SSCC) division provides…

  • (Assistant) Windows Computer Systems Administrator - Diamond Light Source - Didcot

    At the Senior level you will contribute to the design and development of high-performance computer systems and use your technical experience for system…

  • Technical Systems Administrator - TPP - Leeds LS18

    Actively resolving problems and issues with computer and server systems to limit work disruptions within the company.

See all Computer Systems Administrator jobs

What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Do[About this section] [To Top]

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 of Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Network and computer systems administrators typically do the following:

  • Determine an organization's system needs and install network hardware and software
  • Make needed upgrades and repairs to networks and ensure that systems are operating correctly
  • Maintain network and computer system security
  • 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 a problem 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.

Administrators may 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.

Work Environment for Network and Computer Systems Administrators[About this section] [To Top]

Network and computer systems administrators hold about 350,300 jobs. The largest employers of network and computer systems administrators are as follows:

Computer systems design and related services 19%
Educational services; state, local, and private 10%
Information 10%
Finance and insurance 10%
Management of companies and enterprises 7%

Although many network and computer systems administrators are employed by firms in the computer systems design and related services industry, they work in a variety of settings. Some might administer systems and networks for financial firms, and others work in hospitals or local government offices.

Network and computer systems administrators work with many types of workers, including other IT workers, such as computer support specialists, database administrators, computer network architects, and computer and information systems managers.

Network and Computer Systems Administrator Work Schedules

Most network and computer systems administrators work full time. Organizations depend on their computer networks, so administrators may need to work overtime to ensure that the networks are operating properly around the clock.

How to Become a Network or Computer Systems Administrator[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Network and Computer Systems Administrators near you!

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 or an associate's degree.

Education for Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Although some employers require only a postsecondary certificate or an associate's degree, 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 frequently include classes in computer programming, networking, or systems design.

Because network technology is constantly 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 administrators have a master's degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Network and Computer Systems Administrators

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

Advancement for Network and Computer Systems Administrators

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 for Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Analytical skills. Administrators need to evaluate networks and systems to make sure that they perform reliably and to anticipate new requirements as customers' needs change.

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

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

Problem-solving skills. Administrators must quickly resolve problems that arise with computer networks.

Network and Computer Systems Administrator Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators is $84,810. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $52,830, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $134,970.

The median annual wages for network and computer systems administrators in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Finance and insurance $89,910
Information $89,660
Management of companies and enterprises $89,300
Computer systems design and related services $87,190
Educational services; state, local, and private $75,230

Most network and computer systems administrators work full time. Organizations depend on their computer networks, so administrators may need to work overtime to ensure that the networks are operating properly around the clock.

Job Outlook for Network and Computer Systems Administrators[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 5 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations.

Despite limited employment growth, about 24,900 openings for network and computer systems administrators are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

See all computer jobs.

Employment of Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Demand for information technology (IT) workers should continue to grow as firms invest in newer, faster technology and mobile networks. Employment growth also is expected as the use of IT in healthcare increases. However, an increase in cloud computing could raise the productivity of network administrators, slowing their employment growth across many industries.

Employment projections data for Network and Computer Systems Administrators, 2020-30
Occupational Title Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30
Percent Numeric
Network and computer systems administrators 350,300 369,100 5 18,800


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


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