Network technicians are employed by a variety of entities to help ensure that a company’s computer network is reliable. Technicians install, maintain and repair computer networks as well as establish a disaster recovery plan in the event of a network failure. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, network and computer systems administrators earned a median annual salary of £43,101 in May 2008.
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Most employers require network engineers to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a field such as computer science or information systems. Most bachelor's programs take four years to complete. Students take courses that include statistics, math, computer programming in preparation of configuring computer networks. Candidates planning to advance into supervisory or management positions often obtain master’s degrees, as well. A master's program typically requires an additional two years of study in fields such as information systems management.
Some employers accept a computer networking associate degree along with adequate experience. Many local colleges and vocational universities offer computer networking training programs, including these two-year degrees. Students receive hands-on training that includes setting up computer networks.
Computer network technicians often obtain professional certification indicating they are knowledgeable in network applications.A Comptia Network certification, for example, requires passing an exam taken through Pearson VUE and Prometric. Professional certification increase employment and promotion opportunities. Many employers provide vouchers to pay for employees’ study and exams.
Network technicians must be detail-oriented in ensuring a customer’s network is reliable. In addition to technical skills, technicians should possess the personal skills to communicate with fellow technicians, with management and with employees. The job demands flexibility, as technicians often perform as a part of a team at times and work unsupervised at others. Technicians must be able to respond to emergencies in the event a problem with a computer network arises.
Many companies hire only technicians who have previous experience installing and configuring a computer network. Experience hones skills including troubleshooting network problems and effectively assisting users connected to a network. With experience, technicians also expand their knowledge of different hardware, which is helpful in the event the technician is required to set up and connect a company’s computer network.
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