A network support engineer is a position in the information technology (IT) field concerned mostly with the development and ongoing upkeep of various Internet, intranet, and online storage capabilities for a company. They normally work for larger companies that rely on online connectivity to do business. The engineer may be concerned with two aspects of network functionality. For companies that rely on online retail sales from outside customers, the quality of servers provide access to the Internet at large is important. The engineer must work to ensure there are redundant systems that keep the site online at all times.
The other side of the networking equation involves internal communication requirements a company may have. Larger companies typically maintain an intranet to facilitate the easy and secure transmission of data and information. The network support engineer works to ensure this intranet is constantly maintained and that employees needing access have the available hardware in the form of smartphones, tablets, and computers to do so. For employers such as banks and other financial institutions, secure internal Internet connections are necessary to connect to central market and exchanges as well.
In addition to maintaining this connectivity, the other major issue for a network support engineer is security. They must maintain outside server connections in a retail environment so that consumer data is protected in a transparent way that follows best practice norms in the industry. For internal networks, the support engineer works to ensure that employees use only accepted protocols for access, and the engineer must monitor all connected devices constantly for malware and virus intrusions.
The network support engineer normally works during regular business hours, but it is not unusual for the IT requirements of a company to require network engineers to be “on call” and available to handle any emergency situations that arise.
Network support engineers typically have either a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or a related field. Some employers also accept persons for employment with relevant training from vocational or technical institutions. The engineer likely needs to maintain some sort of certifications for working with various operating systems as required by the company.
Network Support Engineer Tasks
- Identify, replicate, and troubleshoot to resolve customer network problems.
- Document all customer interaction, including configuration and network requirements.
- Provide high quality customer service, including training and offering preventative solutions.
- Assess technical needs and metrics to provide strategic assessments and reports.