Graduate Job Profile - Network Engineers

Network engineers install and maintain computer networks within an organisation or between organisations. Typically Network Engineers will be employed by a company on an in-house IT support team basis or on a consultancy basis for a number of clients.

This is a technical role that requires the engineer to work closely with the general IT manager in designing and configuring systems that meet clients' needs. The Network engineer may also be responsible for then maintaining the network after installation.

A BTEC HNC/HND, foundation degree or degree will be required for entry into this career and you need to have a good understanding of computer networks, communications systems, internet communications, computer science, digital communications and networking technologies.

A Graduate Professional Development Award (GDPA), which has been developed by e-skills in conjunction with higher education institutions and employers in the IT sector, is also available. To enhance career prospects, you can study for the British Computer Society's (BCS) Professional Examination.

Networking engineers can work in a variety of sectors including the IT industry. The typical career path could see you promoted to network management roles or, with additional training, move into other areas of IT such as project management depending on experience. Many network engineers go into consultancy work as a network analyst on a self-employed basis or through a company specialising in IT consultancy.

Starting salaries tend to be around £12,000 to £16,000 a year. With experience, salaries average between £17,000 and £24,000. A senior engineer can earn £25,000 to £35,000 a year.

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