How to Become a Network Administrator

Two Parts:Getting the Skills and Education RequiredApplying for the Position

Technology is a critical component today for any business or organization. A network administrator is responsible for maintaining any technological systems or networks that an organization might make use of. To become a network administrator you will need specialized training and education in the computer and information science fields. Learn more about what this position requires and start working towards your goals.

Part 1
Getting the Skills and Education Required

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    Obtain the required skill sets. Being a network administrator will require you to have some common skills and abilities, no matter where you actually begin working. Take a moment to review the following skills to get a better understanding of which ones you will need:
    • Systems analysis, critical thinking, reading comprehension, and complex problem solving are all required.
    • You will need to have the ability for both inductive and deductive reasoning, understanding verbal instruction, and understanding information ordering concepts.
    • A network administrator will regularly interact with computers, gather information, solve problems, and effectively communication with co-workers.
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    Become familiar with the position's responsibilities. The main function of a network administrator is to maintain and operate computer networks. Network administrators are employed in a variety of industries, however, some functions are shared in common. Examine the following items to learn some of the general tasks required of a network administrator.[1][2]
    • Installing new hardware and software to the system.
    • Supervise the system to make sure it is functioning properly and all users have access.
    • Back up critical data and prepare for disaster recovery.
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    Get your degree. You will need college level education in order to obtain most positions as a network administrator. By taking the right courses, you will greatly enhance your knowledge and skills, enabling you to obtain the position.[3][4]
    • Your courses will be in the computer or information sciences.
    • Some employers will accept a post secondary certificate, but most will require a bachelor's degree.
    • For a detailed list of courses, you will need to speak with your advisor at whichever campus you choose to enroll in.
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    Become certified. In addition to your degree, you may want to become certified in specific technological programs and uses. Acquiring these certifications will help you to be more skilled in your field and be a more appealing candidate when you apply for a position. Review the following list to gain an understanding of some common certifications:[5]
    • Red Hat Certified Engineer
    • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
    • Cisco Certified Network Professional
    • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert
    • CompTIA's Network+
    • Find a full list of certifications at “”
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    Seek out an internship. An internship is a great way to get hands-on experience and bolster your skills. Internships are also a great addition to your resume and can help you obtain a full time position when you apply. Most colleges or universities will offer an internship program that you can apply to.[6]
    • Many internships are unpaid. You should expect this and plan for it.
    • Some internships can lead directly to a full or part time position.
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    Stay up to date. Technology and network practices change frequently and your skills will have to change with them. Stay up to date with modern and current practices in this field to either help you obtain a new position as a network administrator or perform at your best in your current position.[7]
    • Continuing education is a common aspect of any network administration position.
    • You will likely need to obtain new certifications for any new technology that is introduced.
    • Take advantage of free programs and presentations, such as “webinars” or on-demand classes.

Part 2
Applying for the Position

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    Update your resume. Before you start searching for an open position as network administrator, you should make sure your resume is up to date. This will not only allow you to best represent yourself and your skills to a potential new employer but will also help you to learn which position would be the best fit.[8][9]
    • Make sure your contact information is accurate and current.
    • Add any new skills that you may have recently acquired.
    • Check that your education history is current and accurate.
    • Always be honest on your resume.
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    Search for a job opening and apply. Once your resume is completed, you can start searching for open network administrator positions. You will want to find a position that you are most qualified for, as well as one that meets your own personal needs.
    • Many jobs are posted on-line, either on websites that cater to those looking for work, or directly posted on a specific company's website.
    • Networking, either digitally or in person, is a great way to make contacts and locate potential job openings.
    • Your college or university may have job openings or provide a list of job openings elsewhere.
    • Make sure you meet the requirements for the position and are confident in your ability to perform any duties listed.
    • Ideally, you should search for a position that also meets your needs such as desired pay rate and location.
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    Make the most out of your interview. Interviewing can be a stressful process, however, there are a few standard methods that you can use to make the most out of it. Try some of the following tips to help you relax and go confidently into your interview:[10]
    • Ask your contact before the interview if you have any questions.
    • Do some research on the organization or company that is hiring you.
    • Plan your route and travel time before your interview so that you can avoid being late.
    • Dress appropriately for the interview.
    • Arrive around five minutes early to your interview.
    • Come prepared with questions about the position.
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    Negotiate your pay rate. Before you pursue a career as a network administrator you should learn what you are likely to earn. By understanding what income level you can expect to receive, you will be able to better negotiate your pay rate and make sure you are being adequately compensated.[11]
    • Network administrators earn on average $72,560 per year.
    • On a per hour basis, network administrators earn $34.88.
    • Pay levels may fluctuate depending on location, experience, and qualification.
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    Consider the future of the industry. The job outlook for a position will show how much the position is likely be in demand in the future. Knowing this will allow you to determine how likely you might be to obtain the position of a network administrator.[12]
    • The expected rate of growth for network administrator is around 12%, from 2012 to 2022.
    • Positions that involve cloud computing will enjoy the highest rates of growth.

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Categories: Administrative Careers