How to be a Network Administrator – A Complete Guide

Network Administrator working on a laptop posing

Working in the information technology (IT) world can be rewarding, and present numerous opportunities to advance in your career. We compiled a guide on how to be a network administrator so you can easily have access to the knowledge needed for your success.

What is a Network Administrator?

It’s important to understand what you will be doing in this position before we dive into how you can get there. As a network administrator, you will be working to ensure your company or organization's computer network needs are met. This means keeping the network updated and operating smoothly. This is essential in our modern world today, and every company will require experts in this role.  

Some of your duties will include:

    • Assembling and installing computer networks / systems
    • Configuring and maintaining them once installed
    • Budgeting for equipment 
    • Upgrading software and hardware
    • Providing support 
    • Working with IT support 
    • Improving network performance 

What you Need for the Role

To work in this position, you need either a college Network Administration diploma or a bachelor’s degree in a related field, which will give you the knowledge and skill set essential for positions as a network administrator. Some job opportunities are also specific and require knowledge of various types of computer softwares and operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Apple. It’s a good idea to confirm what the program you take offers, so you have everything you need to know about networks and computer systems once you enter the real world. 

Aside from education, you will also need excellent communication skills and have natural problem solving abilities. 

Some skills you will need include: 

    • Analytical
    • Communication
    • Computer proficiency
    • Critical thinking 
    • Problem solving
    • Multitasking
    • Collaboration
    • Teamwork 
    • Research 

The average starting wage for a network administrator according to provincial information (ALIS), is $28.63 per hour, which increases to $42.50 per hour as you gain work experience and develop your skills with network hardware and software. 

Your career path working in I.T. presents opportunities for advancement into other areas such as computer programming, interactive media development and systems analysis to name a few.

Curious about getting started with a program to prepare you for this career? Check out the Network Administrator Diploma program offered by ABM College in Calgary.

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