How to Become a Network Administrator in 2023

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Network administrators are highly sought-after professionals in the IT field. They are responsible for the day-to-day operations of computer networks, from local area networks (LANs) to wide area networks (WANs). These professionals play a vital role in keeping organizations running smoothly and efficiently by managing the network infrastructure, troubleshooting any issues that arise, and maintaining system security.

Network administrators must possess a wide range of technical knowledge and skills. They must be proficient in using both Linux and Windows servers, understand how to configure Cisco networking equipment, implement information security systems, and more. Additionally, they must be able to think logically and analyze complex problems quickly while also understanding how different components of a network fit together.

Aside from hard technical skills, it is also essential for network administrators to have strong soft skills such as communication and teamwork. As part of their job responsibilities, they often need to collaborate with others throughout an organization to ensure that their networks are running smoothly and securely. In addition, they may be required to provide training or assistance to end users who are having trouble connecting to a network or using certain software applications.

Given the complexity and importance of the role of a network administrator, it is no surprise that this position typically offers very competitive salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a Network or Systems Administrator is around $84,810 per year or $40.77 per hour. This makes it one of the most lucrative jobs in the IT field!

If you’re considering becoming a network administrator, now is an excellent time! There is plenty of demand for skilled professionals in this field as businesses continue to rely on technology more than ever before. With hard work and dedication, you can become an expert in this field and reap the rewards!

How to Become a Network Administrator in 2023 1

The Role of a Network Administrator

Network administrators oversee the day-to-day operations of an organization’s networked computer systems, which include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets, and other data communication systems. They are responsible for configuring, maintaining, and troubleshooting these networks in order to ensure they are functioning correctly and securely. Network administrators are also responsible for performing regular system updates and upgrades, creating user accounts and passwords, monitoring system performance, and providing technical support to users. Additionally, they may develop policies and procedures related to network security and disaster recovery plans.

Examples of Network Administrators

Network administrators are responsible for the overall operation, maintenance, and security of a network. Examples of network administrators include systems engineers, IT professionals, systems analysts, network architects, and webmasters. They must be knowledgeable in a variety of areas such as networking protocols, server administration, and computer security. Network administrators also set up and configure routers, firewalls, switches, and other hardware components to create an efficient, secure, and reliable network environment. They also monitor the performance of the network to ensure that it is performing optimally and diagnose and troubleshoot any problems that arise. Network administrators must stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends in order to ensure their networks are secure and running smoothly at all times.

Skills of a Network Administrator

A network administrator must have a range of technical, interpersonal, and analytical skills to be successful in the job. On the technical side, a network administrator should be well-versed in computer networking hardware and software, including routers, switches, firewalls, and other network devices. They should also have experience with cloud-based computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. Additionally, they need to understand protocols such as TCP/IP, DNS, DHCP, and VPNs to properly configure secure networks.

On the interpersonal side, a network administrator should demonstrate strong communication and problem-solving skills to effectively collaborate with team members and troubleshoot problems. They also need to have good organizational skills to manage multiple projects at once and prioritize tasks accordingly.

Finally, on the analytical side, a network administrator should have an understanding of basic scripting languages such as Python or Shell Scripting in order to automate processes and create scripts for automated backups or monitoring systems. They should also have experience using various diagnostic tools such as ping or traceroute for troubleshooting purposes. Additionally, an understanding of security best practices is essential for ensuring that networks remain secure from potential threats.

The Salary of a Network Administrator in IT

Yes, a Network Administrator is a high-paying IT job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for Network Administrators was $84,810 in 2019. That’s more than double the median yearly wage for all occupations in the United States at that time, which was $39,810. Additionally, salaries for Network Administrators vary greatly depending on experience, geographic location, and other factors. For example, Network Administrators in metropolitan areas like New York or San Francisco can earn significantly more than their counterparts in smaller cities or rural areas. In addition to the base salary offered by employers, many Network Administrators also receive bonuses and other incentives based on performance and skillset. All in all, becoming a Network Administrator is an excellent way to make a lucrative career in IT.

Is Network Administration an IT Job?

Yes, a network administrator is an IT job. Network administrators are responsible for managing, maintaining, and troubleshooting computer networks of all sizes, from small local area networks (LANs) to large enterprise-wide systems. They must be knowledgeable about the latest networking technologies and be able to ensure that the organization’s network is secure, reliable, and efficient. Network administrators must have excellent communication skills and be able to work with other members of the IT team and other departments within the organization. They must also have strong problem-solving skills in order to identify and resolve any potential issues quickly. Additionally, they should have an understanding of best practices related to network security as well as experience with virtualization technologies. As technology advances, network administrators must stay up-to-date with the latest developments in order to keep their organization’s networks running smoothly and efficiently.

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The Difficulty of Learning Network Administration

Network administration can be a difficult skill to learn. It requires a deep understanding of network protocols, troubleshooting techniques, and hardware configurations. It also requires the ability to think logically and solve abstract problems. This means that it can take some time to become proficient in network administration. Additionally, since networks are always changing, you will need to keep up with new technologies and learn how they can help improve your network’s performance. Finally, since network administration involves giving access to sensitive data and infrastructure, it is essential that you understand the security risks involved with these tasks. All of these factors combine to make network administration a challenging field of IT to master.

Types of Administrators

There are four primary types of system administrators based on their roles and responsibilities: Network Administrators, Database Administrators, Server/Web Administrators, and Security Systems Administrators.

Network Administrators are responsible for managing the entire network infrastructure of an organization. This includes configuring and maintaining hardware, software, network connections, and security measures. They also monitor system performance to ensure that all components are functioning properly.

Database Administrators manage the organization’s database systems and ensure that they are secure and available to users when needed. They configure database architecture, create backup plans, implement security protocols, monitor usage statistics, and troubleshoot any problems that arise with database access or performance.

Server/Web Administrators manage the server systems that run an organization’s applications and websites. This includes installing software updates, configuring access permissions, creating new user accounts, monitoring system performance, managing databases, and troubleshooting any issues with web servers or applications.

Security Systems Administrators are responsible for ensuring the security of an organization’s systems by deploying firewalls, setting up authentication procedures and protocols, monitoring suspicious activity on networks or systems, auditing data storage policies for compliance with regulations or standards, and responding to security incidents as they occur.

Experience Requirements for Network Administrators

For a Network Administrator position, employers typically prefer at least 5 to 10 years of related work experience. In addition to this, a bachelor’s degree is often required. For more senior roles, supervisory experience as a Network Administrator can be beneficial. It is also important for candidates to have hands-on experience with networking hardware, software, and protocols as well as an understanding of network security and disaster recovery procedures. Having knowledge of common operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X is essential. Having experience working with virtualized systems, cloud services, and storage solutions can also be beneficial. Good communication skills are also essential in order to effectively work with colleagues and customers alike.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Network Administrator?

It typically takes 3-5 years to become a network administrator with a bachelor’s degree. However, there are many ways to pursue a career as a network administrator, including earning an associate’s degree or certificate and gaining internship experience. An associate’s degree in information technology or computer science can take two years, while certificate programs may be completed within one year. After completing an educational program, individuals should consider gaining additional experience in the field through internships or finding entry-level positions with IT companies. With the right combination of education, training, and experience, you can become an entry-level network administrator in a few years.

Is CCNA Certification Sufficient for Network Administration?

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is an entry-level certification that provides a comprehensive foundation of networking knowledge and skills. This certification can help prepare you for many network-related roles in IT, such as network specialist, network administrator, and network engineer.

Having the CCNA certification alone is not enough to qualify someone for a network administrator role. The CCNA covers basic networking concepts, including how to configure routers and switches, but additional experience and certifications will likely be needed to demonstrate full competence as a network admin.

It is important to note that the CCNA certification does not expire; however, it is recommended that those who hold it stay up-to-date with industry trends and technology by taking courses or earning more advanced certifications. There are several higher-level Cisco certifications available that can help demonstrate expertise in areas such as security and wireless networks. Additionally, experience working in an IT environment or on projects related to networking can also be beneficial when pursuing a career as a network admin.

Becoming a Network Administrator Without a Degree

Becoming a network administrator without a degree is possible, but it will require dedication and hard work. To begin, you should develop a strong understanding of computer networks and network protocols. There are many online courses and tutorials available for free or for purchase that can help you build this foundation. You should also become familiar with the various networking tools used in the industry, such as routers, switches, firewalls, and more.

Next, you should look into obtaining industry certifications to demonstrate your knowledge and skill level. CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ are two of the most widely recognized certifications in the field of network administration. Earning these certifications shows employers that you have what it takes to be successful in this role. Additionally, it may help open up new job opportunities that would otherwise not be available to someone without a degree.

Finally, you should use networking resources to find job openings or internships related to network administration. Many companies have programs specifically designed for people who don’t have degrees but have demonstrated their knowledge and skills through certifications or other means. You can also use professional organizations such as CompTIA or IEEE to connect with employers or find job postings related to your desired field. With hard work and dedication, it is possible to become a successful network administrator without a degree!

What is the Highest-Paying Field in IT?

The IT field with the highest salary depends heavily on a variety of factors, such as experience, location, and the specific job. Generally speaking, Data Scientists earn the highest salaries within the IT field, with salaries varying between $116,000 to $190,000 per year. Other IT jobs that are typically high-paying include Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Architects ($132,000 – $185,000), Big Data Engineers ($129,000 – $191,000), Software Architects ($125,000 – $193,500), Blockchain Engineers ($115,500 – $142,500), and DevOps Engineers ($128,400 – $187,000). Cloud Architects also tend to make a good salary (up to $173,750) as do Full-Stack Developers (up to $143,500). It should is noted that these figures are just estimates and actual salaries can vary based on a number of factors.


In conclusion, network administrators are essential to the success of any organization, providing crucial support and maintenance to networks and computer systems. Their expertise in both hard skills, such as Linux and Windows servers, Cisco networking equipment, and information security systems, as well as soft skills like interpersonal communication, make them invaluable resources that are often very well-compensated for their services. With the ever-increasing complexity of networks and computer systems, it is clear that Network Administrators will remain a vital part of any organization in the years to come.

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James Walker

James Walker has a deep passion for technology and is our in-house enthusiastic editor. He graduated from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and loves to test the latest gadgets and play with older software (something we’re still trying to figure out about himself). Hailing from Iowa, United States, James loves cats and is an avid hiker in his free time.