What Do Network Technicians Do

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

When a computer experiences network connectivity issues, a Network Technician is often responsible for solving the problem.

Unlike Network Engineers, Network Technicians do not design computer networks. They are typically involved in the installation and troubleshooting of networks.

Compared to other IT jobs, Network Technicians tend to spend more time dealing with hardware. A typical day may include installing new cabling or routers along with routine network monitoring. Here is a closer look at what Network Technicians do.


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Network Technicians

Network Technicians install, upgrade, and fix computer networks. They may physically examine and connect network cabling, update software and hardware, and install new network equipment.

Salary: $69400
Salary Rank: B
Education: Bachelor's degree
Suitable Personality: The Thinker

Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius


What they do

Network Technicians install, upgrade, and fix computer networks. They may physically examine and connect network cabling, update software and hardware, and install new network equipment.

Monitor and Maintain Computer Networks

Network Technicians monitor both local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WAN). Their main duty is to maintain internet and intranet connectivity.

Network Technicians ensure that computer networks continue to run smoothly by monitoring the network for any changes in performance. They look for issues that may indicate connectivity problems or faulty hardware. When a Network Technician detects a hardware problem, they are often the ones responsible for replacing the equipment.

Network Technicians also monitor computer networks for security threats, requiring knowledge of network security protocols. They look for suspicious data packets and unusual requests that may indicate the presence of a virus or an attempted hack.

Install and Upgrade Computers and Network Equipment

Network Technicians handle the hardware side of IT, installing and upgrading the physical components of the network. They may install or replace network cabling, routers, computers, servers, and other related equipment.

Equipment may need to be replaced when updating a computer network or upgrading to better equipment. Equipment may also become outdated or suffer from wear due to exposure to heat or cold.

Along with hardware upgrades, Network Technicians may carry out software updates. The software updates may be part of a scheduled update or intended to address a specific issue uncovered when monitoring the performance of the network.

Network Technicians also assist with the rollout of security updates. They may update the routers and workstations to protect against data breaches.

Troubleshoot and Resolve Network Issues

Network Technicians fix network issues. They may uncover connectivity problems while monitoring the network or receive a support request from another employee.

Network Technicians often have a queue of support requests. Depending on the size of the organization, the requests may be prioritized and completed throughout the day.

After accepting a support request, the Network Technician begins troubleshooting the issue. They may attempt to recreate the problem and determine if it is an isolated issue. Support requests may be completed over the phone or in person.

Network Technicians often attempt to resolve connectivity issues that impact end users, such as trouble signing into the network or issues retrieving email. More serious issues, such as a potential security threat, typically require the Network Technician to notify a senior member of the IT department, such as a Network Administrator or a Network Manager.

Collaborate with Other IT Professionals

Network Technicians typically work as part of a team with Network Engineers, Administrators, Network Security Officers, and other IT professionals. However, Network Technicians are junior members of the team and are often tasked with completing the most mundane and repetitive tasks, such as testing the performance of the network and compiling important data for Network Engineers to review.

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What is the job like

Pros

You May Feel Valued for Your Work

Network Technicians always have the chance to solve problems and help others get back to work after experiencing network issues, which can make this job satisfying and rewarding.

You Get to Complete a Wide Range of Tasks

Each day provides something different for Network Technicians, as they often need to respond to a variety of technical support requests and other issues.

You May Find It Easy to Relocate

Due to the demand for Network Technicians and IT professionals in almost every industry and region, you should have no problem finding work in any part of the country.

You May Explore Other IT Careers

Working as a Network Technician is a common starting point for other IT positions in networking. You may eventually work your way up to Network Manager or Network Engineer.

Cons

You May Perform Repetitive Tasks

As Network Technicians are often entry-level workers, they typically need to complete the most mundane tasks. The repetitive work may occasionally become boring and tiring.

You May Struggle to Solve Network Issues

Network Technicians cannot always successfully walk someone through a network connectivity issue. You may occasionally grow frustrated when trying to explain the steps needed to resolve a problem.


Where they work

Tech Companies
Insurance Companies
Healthcare Providers and Hospitals
State or Federal Government


Network Technicians work in a wide range of industries, but the biggest employers are technology companies, such as cloud computing providers and IT service providers. Network Technicians also work in the insurance industry, as insurance companies maintain large networks. Healthcare providers also hire Network Technicians due to the need to maintain patient records, which may lead to employment at hospitals or clinics.

State and federal government agencies also employ Network Technicians and other IT professionals. Network Technicians may seek employment at any organization with an IT department, as it is one of the most common IT positions.

How to become one

Step 1: Take Computer Classes

Aspiring Network Technicians should take computer classes in high school to become more comfortable with technology. Taking a computer hardware technician course is also recommended, as Network Technicians often need to understand both hardware and software.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Network Technicians typically need a Bachelor’s degree but may find entry-level work with an Associate’s degree in some regions. However, a Bachelor’s degree is still the preferred minimum educational requirement.

Step 3: Obtain Voluntary Certifications

Voluntary certifications can increase an aspiring Network Technician’s job prospects. The most common certifications include certifications from CompTIA and Cisco Systems. Many Network Technicians have the CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ certifications.

Step 4: Look for Work as a Network Technician

A Network Technician is an entry-level job, making it easy to quickly find work after finishing college and earning a certification or two.

Should you become one

Best personality for this career
The Thinker

People with this personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally. You can read more about these career personality types here.

Network Technicians require exceptional problem-solving skills, as they need to quickly troubleshoot network connectivity issues to avoid work stoppages or slowdowns. Attention to detail is also important for Network Technicians due to the technical nature of this job and the importance of IT solutions within an organization. Successful Technicians also possess great communication skills, which are useful when walking someone through the troubleshooting process or collaborating on a project.

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