Network engineering is a high level career that requires experienced applicants to oversee all maintenance and upgrades of a corporate network. They must be able to identify security threats and mitigate damages to avoid data theft. Any performance issues and additions to the network are also managed by a network engineer, so applicants need a wide range of hands-on IT experience.

Job Description: What Does a Network Engineer Do?

Job descriptions for network engineers vary according to the position and the corporation. If it’s a small company, applicants might be responsible for all network resources including desktops, servers, routers, switches, printers, and any other equipment. Large corporations usually give each engineer a specific area of the network and have a team manage it. Network engineers maintain current systems, upgrade hardware and software, and manage any additions to the network. These positions are competitive, but the IT industry continues to have additional jobs available for new and existing businesses.

Network Engineer Job Responsibilities and Duties

Network engineers have several duties, and most engineers know several platforms and operating systems to work in any job. Most engineers specialize, however, in either Windows or Linux operating systems. Job responsibilities depend on the size of the network and the hardware implemented by the team. Some network engineers are responsible for security and protecting internal assets from external Internet viruses, trojans and other malware.

Some daily tasks that most engineers must do include:

  • Manage employee user accounts and passwords
  • Protect the network from viruses and other cyber threats
  • Maintain networking hardware and software
  • Support user issues and troubleshoot any problems related to the IT department
  • Deploy new hardware and software
  • Upgrade existing hardware and software with security patches
  • Configure and maintain firewall settings
  • Monitor servers and audit files
  • Create backups for disaster recovery plans
  • Identify system performance issues and repair them

Network engineers take years of experience to gain the knowledge necessary to manage enterprise networks. Applicants have options for jobs related to network engineering, and even positions that get them started for a future in network engineering. Most companies offer positions with a team of other engineers, or as a junior level engineer with the opportunity for advancement. These positions are more competitive, but they offer future engineers the opportunity for hands-on experience.

With several years of experience, network engineers can open their own technology consulting firm. These consultants help corporations identify cyber threats, protect the networking environment, and offer upgrade suggestions to help with network performance.