Upskill for the career you love! Call us on 1300 009 924
SkillsTalk

How to become a network engineer

By Jana Angeles | 08 July 2019


You may have decided that becoming a network engineer is an ultimate career goal for you, or perhaps you haven’t decided what you want to specialise in the IT field but are looking to see if this role best matches your skills and experience. 

No matter your situation, it’s important to learn the cold hard facts about the industry, what type of qualifications you need and the skills required to be successful in the role. 

Whether you’re looking for a career change, or if you’re already someone working as a networking specialist wanting to climb the ranks, Skillstalk answer some of the most popular questions that could help you build a career in network engineering.

Network engineer career questions

  1. What does a network engineer do?
  2. What is the salary of a network engineer? 
  3. What skills do I need in network engineering?
  4. What is the job growth in network engineering?
  5. What study pathways are available at Upskilled?

1. What does a network engineer do?

Network engineers, also known as network architects, generally work with a company’s computer network and they are responsible for creating network systems for employees to use. These data networks include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets and extranets. 

They also ensure that the company networks are running smoothly and that the right security measures are implemented to keep these networks protected from breaches or attacks. 

2. What is the salary of a network engineer? 

salary concept

According to Payscale*, these are the salary expectations for a network engineer. The more experienced you are, the higher the salary.
 
  • Early career network engineer (1-4 years of experience): average salary of AU$67,732.
  • Mid-career network engineer (5-9 years of experience): average salary of AU$83,386.
  • Experienced network engineer (10-19 years of experience): average salary of AU$91,641.
  • Late career network engineer (20+ years of experience): average salary of $110,015.
*Please note that salary figures may change overtime. Refer to Payscale for further salary updates.

3. What skills do I need in network engineering?

If you want to succeed in a network engineering role, having the following skills will help you undertake your duties successfully.
  • Communication: communication skills are key to being a successful network engineer. Talking with team members and clients about their networking needs is important as it can help you understand what type of support they need from you and the data network systems they need to make their organisation work better.  
  • Analytical: you need to have a strong understanding of complex computer systems and be comfortable with evaluating their performance. You are also responsible for monitoring network usage pertaining to traffic and activity. As a network engineer, it is also important to keep up-to-date with relevant information technologies so undertaking further training and study can help. 
  • Technical: the role of network engineer requires a lot of technical knowledge and skills, so you can find yourself recommending software and hardware improvements to computer networks, troubleshooting problems with computer networks and also setting up new computer networks or upgrade existing ones. 

4. What is the job growth in network engineering?

job growth concept

According to Job Outlook, there is a strong future growth for network engineering jobs in Australia and unemployment is lower than average in this particular sector. Most network engineers work full-time and are classified as highly skilled workers. 

While there is a demand for network engineers, it’s important that they continually upskill and do further study and training to keep their skills relevant. With the roll out of new and emerging technologies such as Software Defined Networking (SDN), there is pressure for network engineers to build their knowledge and skills that will help them do their job effectively. 

5. What study pathways are available at Upskilled?

Most network engineers generally hold a Bachelor degree in Information Technology or Computing with a major in systems administration, network engineering, network security or software development. However, studying a VET course could lead to a career path in network engineering, so the following courses may help kickstart your career in the field.
  • ICT40418 - Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking: this course is suitable for those with up to 1 year of experience with ICT products, or has studied a Certificate II or III in a similar discipline. Students will study a broad range of subjects, gaining relevant knowledge in virtualisation, technical documentation, ICT privacy, ethics and copyright and project management. Students can complete this course within 12 months or earlier depending on their progress. 
  • ICT50418 - Diploma of Information Technology Networking: interested students wanting to study this course ideally should have 1-2 years of experience with ICT products, or have studied a Certificate III or IV in a similar discipline. They should also hold a premier vendor certification. Students will study a range of specific topics such as designing, building and testing of network servers; the designing and implementing of security perimeters; and the management of such systems. In addition to this technical skills training, they will also learn the basics of disaster recovery, WHS and the privacy, ethics and copyright within an ICT environment. Students can complete this course within 12 months or earlier depending on their progress. 
  • ICT60215 - Advanced Diploma of Network Security: interested participants should have 3-5 years of experience with ICT products, or have studied a Diploma in a similar discipline. They should also hold a premier vendor certification. Students will cover similar topics to the ICT50418 - Diploma of Information Technology Networking but in addition to this, they will learn skills in the integration of sustainability in the planning and design of ICT projects, and the implementation of secure encryption technologies. Students will also be able to specialise in several areas of study including voice, wireless, network infrastructure and sustainability. Students can complete this course within 12 months or earlier depending on their progress. 

Ready to commit to study?

Becoming a network engineer isn’t easy but it’s possible given you’ve got the right qualifications and experience. Upskilled offers a broad range of IT networking courses and studying a course could help you achieve this career path, or even open up other career opportunities. 

Courses are delivered online, meaning you can study around your current working hours and other commitments. Contact one of Upskilled’s education consultants by calling 1300 009 924 and start studying IT networking today. 
 
View all Study online articles

Related courses

Enquire now

Start your next course with Upskilled. Enter your details in the form below.