Network administrators (LAN/WAN) are responsible for maintaining computing environments, identifying system requirements, handling repairs, installing upgrades, and monitoring network operations and efficiency for their organizations. They also confer with end-users and management, set up permissions and workstations, access protocols, perform security upgrades, and patch critical vulnerabilities in network systems.
These administrators work with vendors to fine-tune network stability and usefulness, and with end-users to handle training and data security measures. As the technology in this position is constantly growing and changing, those in this position must always stay up-to-date by researching and taking advantage of educational opportunities in their field.
This is typically an indoor position, though it may involve work from behind a desk to crawling through ceilings to install new wire-runs. These administrators must have an array of professional-level skills, including: network performance tuning, exceptional LAN knowledge, network design and implementation, strategic planning, coordination, and quality-focus.
Many positions require at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, as well as more specific certifications such as Microsoft Server, MySQP, MS SQL, and others which deal with hardware and software on a regular basis. In some cases, this may be a 24-hour on-call position, in which sufficient training and preparation will be provided.
Network Administrator, LAN / WAN Tasks
- Support operating capability of networks, both wireless and wired.
- Respond to unplanned events that adversely affect the network or computing environment.
- Investigate, recommend, and install enhancements and operating procedures that regulate network availability.
- Oversee network infrastructure and monitor system reliability and performance.
- Plan and implement network security, set up firewalls, manage host security, apply cryptography to network applications, and regulate file permissions.