Network engineers are accountable for maintaining the IT network connectivity within an organization. They’re in charge of setting up, developing and maintaining computer networks and ensuring the integrity of high network infrastructure to optimize users’ performance. So, if you have a passion for networking, this is the career for you. This guide and the resume samples in it will provide you with extensive information regarding the job of a network engineer to equip you to successfully customize your resume.
To start, let’s take a look at sample resumes by three network engineers at different levels in their career.
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Job Duties of a Network Engineer
A network engineer (in IT data and system administration) is specialized in planning, implementing and maintaining in-house computer network connections and operating systems. They oversee the audio-video data, its transmission and wireless network services. They are responsible for monitoring and optimizing the company’s network performance. Their duties vary according to the difference or complexity of the computing environment. However, the job requires them to perform several tasks as part of their daily routine. Some of these are:
Plan to incorporate new inventions into the existing network infrastructure according to the requirements of the company.
Perform recovery and data backup of the networking system and maintain a solution or blueprint for it.
Maintain and administer the organization’s computer networks and related hardware, system software, application software and configurations.
Design, configure, implement and test the networking performance, networking software and hardware and operating system.
Confer with the network users through email or phone to solve their problems or for initial requirements.
Implement IT security policies within the networking environment and monitor system access.
Collaborate and extend support to project management teams, on-site engineers, service desk engineers and end-users during installation.
Provide compatible remedies for security threats, daily troubleshooting, traffic congestion, installation problems and upgrade IT infrastructures.
Assist organizations with cloud networking and cloud infrastructure deployment.
Network Engineer Median Salaries
According to PayScale, an American compensation and data company, a network engineer’s average salary is $75,363 annually.
Top Skills for Network Engineers
A network engineer is a high-level professional in data and system administration who designs, plans, implements and monitors networking services within a company or firm. They are responsible for maintaining and operating services like data transmission (audio and video), providing solutions to connectivity issues, solving troubleshooting problems and upgrading and configuring security systems.
If you are planning to get a job as a network engineer, you will need some of these skills to help you get recruited:
- Networking operation: Network engineers are in charge of the overall internet connectivity of a company. They are tasked with operational networking activities like monitoring networks, backup, storage management, installing software and firewalls, monitoring different networks (LAN/ WAN systems), cloud resources, firewalls, communication circuits and system routers. A network engineer must also prioritize, recognize and identify network requirements of the business, third-party providers and customers.
- Troubleshooting technique: A skilled network engineer foresees network problems (like no internet connection, lag in network connection, buffering or low-quality calls) through analytical skills and must resolve issues within the networking system before they arise. They systematically approach, identify and solve network errors or bugs while taking preventive measures to reduce malfunctions.
- Security measures: Network security is an integral part of a network engineer's job. They should monitor, prevent and address unauthorized users and ethical threats to the organization's networking system. Using a wide range of cybersecurity software, such as Cisco, Citrix Gateway, Pulse Policy Secure, Blumira Automated and Fortinet firewall, they detect various viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware or keyloggers that affect the network spectrum's proper functioning.
- Network automation: Automation and virtualization enable the network to configure and provide connections known as orchestration. Network engineers use this process to maximize efficiency and functionality. They also use technology like Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to configure and control software based on business, clients or service needs.
- Communication skills: A network engineer must be an avid communicator to effectively explain network problems to different team members and remote workers or stakeholders. It is also essential to coordinate with end-users by extending network advice.
- Planning and organizational skills: The process for deploying a complex network issue is a complicated matter that requires network engineers to analyze systems and digital infrastructures periodically. They also need to focus on other tasks such as adopting new technologies and implementing them to the existing system, understanding the business and user’s needs and working collaboratively with other team members. This is why network engineers must plan out their day in advance and adopt an organized lifestyle.
Educational Requirements for Network Engineers
DegreeNetwork engineers should have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer software/ IT engineering, computer networking, electrical/electronic engineering, mathematics or physics. These programs are offered in many universities throughout the United States, such as Louisiana State University or Regis University or colleges like Essex County College or Lorain County Community College. The specialized courses must also be accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) to be considered valid.
CertificationsThere are many options of certifications for aspiring network engineers, such as the Cisco Certificate. Cisco certification programs are available at different levels like CCENT (entry-level), CCNA (associate level), CCNP (professional) and CCIE (expert).
CompTIA certifications ensure the candidates’ talents in the field of IT. CompTIA A+ is an entry-level certificate in IT that certifies a candidate's foundational IT skills and knowledge of operating systems. CompTIA Network+ certifies that the holder has the essential skills to design, configure, manage and troubleshoot any wired or wireless devices. To accelerate their career options, network engineers in cybersecurity prefer CompTIA CySA+ and CompTIA CASP+. They also like CompTIA Cloud Essentials and CompTIA Project+ for further professional advancement.
The Juniper Network Certification Program (JNCP) is a multitier, in-lab experience program available in four levels of experience. The Data Center Certification Track ensures participants’ develop competencies in data center technology, configuration and troubleshooting. The Design Certification Track demonstrates participants’ competence in network designing and its implementation, and it is for associates and specialists.
Another certification includes VMware Certified Network Virtualization. This course enhances network engineers' knowledge about network virtualization concepts and is available for different professional levels.
Network Engineer Resume-writing Tips
Employers are seeking competent network engineers who can perform their duties efficiently. Now that you know the job’s responsibilities, you need an effective resume to showcase your skills. Below are some tips to help you make an outstanding resume to impress employers:
- Write a captivating resume summary: Your professional summary should grab the recruiter's attention to prompt them to read your resume all the way through. You can choose between a professional summary or an objective statement, depending on your skills and experience. If you are an experienced worker, use a professional summary to highlight your work expertise. If you are a newcomer to the respective field, use an objective summary to emphasize your skills that benefit the job and the organization.
- Frame your skills systematically: Strategizing which skills to include according to the job description will maximize your chances of being considered the ideal candidate for the job. When applying for the designation of network engineer, you need to focus on technical and soft skills. If you have work experience, summarize the skills gained from it; if you are not experienced, detail the skills that will make you suitable for the job.
- Use the right keywords: Identify the keywords from the job description and add them to different sections of your resume, like the resume summary, skills section and work history. This tip will make your resume pass the scrutiny of the applicant tracking system (ATS). Some of the network engineer job keywords you may find are: network administration, network automation, troubleshooting, data backup, scripting, automation tools and cybersecurity.
- Quantify your achievements: Boost your resume with your related qualification and varied work experience. If you are experienced, use numbers, data and percentages to measure the profundity of your knowledge. If you are inexperienced, show your skills and qualifications that will prompt the same results. Instead of saying, “Made operational improvements that sped up the network’s performance,” add specific quantities to your achievements like, “Made yearly operational improvements that sped up the network’s performance by 50%.”
Do a network administrator and a network engineer share the same duties and responsibilities?
No. Both jobs seem the same, but they aren't. A network administrator is responsible for managing, maintaining and overseeing the smooth functioning of the organization's computer network. They are referred to as IT experts. They coordinate and connect different computer systems within the firm and monitor the devices' communication process or data flow.
On the other hand, a network engineer is responsible for implementing, monitoring and managing the computer network connections. They create system configuration, document and manage the new network installation or upgrade the existing system. They continuously monitor and optimize network performances by strictly maintaining security and access policies.
Is a network engineer an essential part of an organization?
Yes. They are essential to balance an organization’s network performance, especially with the ever-growing demand for flexible and faster connectivity and computing. They also keep the networking system safe from security breaches from outside or within the firm. Most firms invest in a network engineer to ensure the smooth functioning of their network by eliminating any disturbance or damage. A network engineer’s job is progressively in high demand in today's internet-based world.