The work of network engineers revolves around their employers' computer network designs and implementations, and they are salaried instead of paid on an hourly basis. They generally work in offices to troubleshoot problems related to their company’s enterprise-wide network, and they must ensure that their systems' security and firewall software is up-to-date.
Network engineers must be knowledgeable of a variety of networking technologies, such as routing, cryptographic tunneling, firewalls, and others. A bachelor's degree in information technology, computer science, or a related field is generally required for this position; however, some companies may accept candidates with significant prior experience instead of a degree. Network engineers should also be proficient in Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook) and be able to troubleshoot various network and computer system problems. They must also ensure that their employers' computer networks, perhaps including their corporate office, regional office, and other sites, are optimal and efficient.
Strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to work well in a team environment are important in this position, and they must be able to speak clearly, by phone or in-person, with various network users regarding their companies' computer network issues. They also keep records of system problems and resolutions using databases or similar software and generate reports to be presented to managers or executives. They must always stay up-to-date with ever-changing technology in the marketplace and continuously learn new skills by attending college classes, workshops, conferences, etc. They are also encouraged to read professional journals relevant to their field, and some may be required to train and coach new or junior network engineers. They may also occasionally need to travel to vendors' or clients' offices.
Network Engineer Tasks
Plan, design, and troubleshoot local and wide area network infrastructure, including routers, firewalls, switches, gateways, DNS servers, DHCP servers, clustering solutions, and related hardware, software, and services.
Test and document system behavior, performance, and security.
Providing tier 4 support and network disaster recovery expertise.