Engineering Career Resources

Network Engineer Job Description

Network Engineer Job Description

Network engineers are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of an organization's computer networks. They oversee both the hardware and software which is essential to keeping Local Area Networks (LAN) or Wide Area Networks (WAN) running smoothly, and they analyze and troubleshoot any technical issues that may arise within the network. Network engineers are also known as network architects, as they construct a corporation's high performance computer networks using the appropriate data communications and components.

Network engineers typically install and maintain computer networks within a single company or organization or between organizations, and are in charge of ensuring that communication networks run smoothly. They can be employed by an organization full time or work externally as part of an IT consulting firm and provide services to a variety of clients.

Network engineers’ jobs can include different types of networks, such as LANs, WANs, GANs (global area networks), and MANs (metropolitan area networks).


Network engineers must have an excellent knowledge of all components of a computer network, and very good analytical and problem solving skills, as their work involves a lot of troubleshooting. Good communication skills and the ability to explain technical issues to non-technical staff are always an asset.

As network technology and software are a continually changing aspect of information technology, network engineers must keep up with the new trends. They must also have a good understanding of their customers and end users to be able to serve their needs.


A bachelor’s degree either in information technology, network administration, computer software, computer science, mathematics or electrical/electronic engineering is required for most network engineering jobs. It is possible to find work with an HND, but competition for network engineer roles is tough and an academic degree gives candidates a definite advantage. Regardless of degree and experience, network engineers must make further training a part of their career development and acquaint themselves with the new technologies as they come.

Organizations and businesses may require network engineers to be certified in products that they use. Targeted software and network training certifications, such as the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA), Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), and Microsoft Network Engineer certification, can give a job seeker a competitive edge.


The typical work activities of a network engineer will change depending on the size of the company they work for. Smaller firms may look to the network engineer as a general troubleshooter of any IT-related problem that comes up. Larger corporations will have several network engineers who may focus on only one aspect of that company's computer network. They might monitor the web use of employees, manage spam and virus protection, and handle email issues. Network engineers will help to resolve any issue that the company might have, ranging from a forgotten email password to installing new software infrastructure, to a major system crash. They will also train employees on how to use new software, resolve technical support issues with printers and scanners, and manage the company website. Network engineers will also open new user accounts, grant user permissions, assign passwords, and ensure that all technical equipment complies with industry standards.