How to become a Network Engineer

There are several steps you can take to help you obtain a position as a network engineer.

1. Understand the typical requirements: Read the job listings for this position in the geographic area that you wish to work in to understand what most employers require.

2. Pursue an educational credential: Usually, employers require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field for this position, so focus on gaining this qualification if necessary.

3. Gain work experience: You could be eligible for a higher salary and a better job with relevant work experience. Consider working while you study to gain work experience in maintaining a computer network and to improve your job prospects.

4. Improve your skills: There are several hard skills needed for this job such as proficiency in using Active Directory and the Domain Name System. Gain the skills you need for this role through work experience, research, volunteering or getting a skill certification.

5. Prepare for a satisfactory interview: Use free online resources to develop a professional resume, respond to an interview request properly, answer interview questions effectively and negotiate for a good salary.

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What skills help Network Engineers find jobs?

  • Network Engineering
  • Juniper
  • Computer Networking
  • MPLS
  • BGP
  • LAN
  • Routing Protocols
  • Cisco ASA
  • OSPF
  • Load Balancing
  • IPsec
  • Network Administration
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Career progression for Network Engineer

Education levels for Network Engineers

Based on the requirements of Network Engineer job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
Bachelor's Degree69.7%
Master's Degree13.6%
Associate's Degree7.9%
High School Diploma or GED5.3%
Doctoral Degree3.5%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Network Engineer in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0-4$62,200
4-8$76,400
8-12$100,700
12-16$91,700
16-20$90,300
20-24$90,900
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Common qualifications for Network Engineers

  • CCNP
  • CCNA
  • CCIE
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CCDP
  • IAT
  • CCDA
  • IAT Level II
  • CompTIA Network+
  • JNCIA
  • CCNA Security
  • MCSE
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Frequently asked questions

Common questions about career advices for a Network Engineer

Can I become a network engineer with a high school diploma?

Employers prefer a bachelor's degree for the network engineer position. However, when combined with an industry-relevant skill certification and work experience, a high school diploma could be sufficient for some employers.

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What skill certification could improve my employability as a network engineer?

A skill certification such as Network+ from CompTIA can improve your employability and help you to develop the hard skills needed for network engineers.

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What are the main soft skills needed for network engineers?

Verbal and written communication, interpersonal skills and time management are the main soft skills needed for network engineers.

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