Computer Network & Systems Administration Required Skills/Job & Salary Outlook

Analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system. Perform network maintenance to ensure networks operate correctly with minimal interruption. 


TASKS

  • Analyze network data to determine network usage, disk space availability, or server function.
  • Configure and define parameters for installation or testing of local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), hubs, routers, switches, controllers, multiplexers, or related networking equipment.
  • Configure security settings or access permissions for groups or individuals.
  • Configure wide area network (WAN) or local area network (LAN) routers or related equipment.
  • Document network support activities.
  • Evaluate local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) performance data to ensure sufficient availability or speed, to identify network problems, or for disaster recovery purposes.
  • Identify the causes of networking problems, using diagnostic testing software and equipment.
  • Install and configure wireless networking equipment.
  • Install network software, including security or firewall software.
  • Install new hardware or software systems or components, ensuring integration with existing network systems.

TOOLS USED IN THIS OCCUPATION

  • Circuit tester - Continuity testers; Test lights
  • Computer servers - Caching engines; Network address translation NAT appliances
  • Facsimile machines - Fax machines
  • Network analyzers - Asynchronous transfer mode ATM analyzers; Port analyzer adapters; Synchronous optical network SONET analyzers; Throughput testers
  • Photocopiers - Copy machines

TECHNOLOGY USED IN THIS OCCUPATION

  • Administration software - Cisco Systems CiscoWorks; ifconfig *; ipconfig *; SolarWinds software
  • Backup or archival software - EMC NetWorker; NovaStor NovaBACKUP; Roxio Retrospect; Tape backup system software
  • Network monitoring software - Dartware InterMapper; Ethereal *; WildPackets OmniPeek Network Analyzer; Wireshark *
  • Network security or virtual private network VPN management software - Intrusion prevention system IPS software; Network and system vulnerability assessment software; NIKSUN NetDetector; Sonicwall SonicOS Enhanced
  • Operating system software - Apple Macintosh OS; Microsoft Hyper-V Server; Microsoft Windows; Microsoft Windows PowerShell
  • Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

EDUCATION

  • This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
  • Computer Science - Computer and Information Sciences, General; Computer and Information Systems Security; Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst; Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

WORK VALUES

  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

STATE AND NATIONAL WAGES & EMPLOYMENT TRENDS

Location Pay
Period
2011
10% 25% Median 75% 90%
United States Hourly $13.93 $17.78 $22.91 $30.06 $39.03
Yearly $29,000 $37,000 $47,700 $62,500 $81,200
Pennsylvania Hourly $13.76 $17.01 $21.52 $27.77 $36.00
Yearly $28,600 $35,400 $44,800 $57,800 $74,900
United States Employment Percent 
Change
Job Openings1
2010 2020
Computer Support Specialists 607,100 717,100 +18% 26,950
Pennsylvania Employment Percent 
Change
Job Openings1

2008

2018

1Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.


Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.


Information provided by CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration