What does a network administrator do?

  • Network Administrator: Network administrators are basically the network equivalent of Freelance system administrators: they maintain the Hardware and Software of the network. This includes the deployment, maintenance and monitoring of the network gear: Switches,  Routers, Firewalls, etc. Management activities of a network usually include address assignment, assignment of routing protocols and configuration tables routing as well as configuration of authentication and authorization services.

    Frequently some other activities are included such as the maintenance of network facilities such as the controllers and adjustments of the Computers and Printers. Sometimes it also includes the maintenance of some types of servers such as VPN, intrusion detection systems, etc.

    Analysts and network specialists concentrate on the design and security of the network, particularly in solving problems or debugging problems related to the network. His work also includes the maintenance of the network authorization infrastructure.

    As a network administrator, you do not necessarily need comprehensive knowledge of the entire bandwidth of the information technology infrastructure. Depending on the size of a company and the complexity of the provided IT structures, there are different specializations, each requiring different core competences. So you can specialize in the following areas and tasks:

    • Storage Specialization: As a dedicated network administrator, you are responsible for configuring and managing the centralized storage infrastructure such as the Storage Area Network segment. Your most important activities are the management of central backup solutions, the control of access rights and the administration of storage space in central pools.
    • Specialization on operating systems: Here, the focus is on the workstation and server systems that you need to deal with as a topic-specific specialized Freelance network analyst. Your field of activity will focus on, for example, the administration and optimization of hardware and software, user care and administration, system integration, performance analysis and customization, and backup and recovery.
    • Specialization in databases: In this case, you become more or less the database administrator (DBA), who takes care of the installation, the coordination and the basic administration of relational databases.
    • Specialization in networks or infrastructure: As a specialized network administrator, you are responsible for the design and monitoring of the physical structure, the network structure, the network components, the infrastructure server including the directory services (LDAP, DNS, etc.) as well as the company-wide printing services.
    • Specialization in web servers or mail systems: Within this specialization you are primarily concerned with the configuration and administration of the web server as well as the mail and groupware systems.

    Career and salary of a network administrator

    As a rule, your starting network administrator salary is around $60,000 to 70,000 a year. The more work experience you have and the more responsibility you can take on or take over, the more salary you will get from your employer as a rule. So you reach after only a few years, a salary of an average of 75,000$ per year. Note that this is only an average. In practice, there can be blatant "outliers" both up and down. The fact is, however, that in this industry depends strongly on the size of each company. The more employees are employed in a company, the higher your income will usually be. An IT administrator or network administrator which operates in a company with over 1,000 employees, therefore comes in the year quite well at $80,000 . If this merit is compared with the salary of, for example, an IT system electronics engineer, a truly enormous discrepancy can be observed. On average, an IT system electronics engineer with a completed vocational training earns little more than $48,000  per year.