Network engineers are responsible for providing the business with the network systems, data speeds and security needed to facilitate daily operations and to support new initiatives.
The job involves working with physical network equipment, like cables, routers, switches and devices, and logical topologies, like network protocols.
The role is often divided into lead network engineers (team leaders) and network engineers (2nd or 3rd line support). They work alongside network analysts or NOC analysts, who provide the 1st line of support.
Network engineer job description and responsibilities
A network engineer keeps everyone in the business connected using a mix of intranets, extranets, LANs and WANS. They monitor the business’ data throughput rate and assess whether upgrades are needed in order to meet future demands.
Engineers work alongside infrastructure engineers, infrastructure architects and product/sales teams, and report to the CTO or infrastructure manager.
Network engineer duties include:
- Installing and maintaining network devices and services
- Providing support and troubleshooting in accordance with SLAs
- Assessing the technical needs of staff or clients
- Managing firewalls
- Performing software and firmware upgrades to help maintain security
- Working alongside the IT security team to uphold policies and procedures
- Documenting operational processes
- Maintaining operational status by working with third parties/vendors
Network engineer job qualifications, skills and experience
To gain a role in network engineering, employers will be looking for a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or similar, and experience with network administration.
Desirable skills include:
- CCNA, CCNP OR CCIE certification (dependent on role level)
- Cisco, Palo Alto or Juniper routing/firewall experience
- Public cloud experience (Azure/AWS certified, Office 365, Dynamics)
- Knowledge of IP networks
- Experience in physical network engineering
Employers will also look for some of the following soft skills and characteristics:
- Good problem-solving skills
- Excellent time management
- Organisational skills
- Critical thinking
- Good attention to detail
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
- The ability to work as part of a team