Career Profile: Network Systems Administrator

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What is a Network Systems Administrator?

As a network systems administrator, you would be tasked with managing and maintaining the entire network throughout an organization. That includes support for the LAN, WAN, Internet systems, or the network system as a whole. You would need to be able to work as part of a team, but without a lot of supervision. Communication skills are also important because you will regularly be dealing with people who aren’t as knowledgeable about computers as you are and you will need to be able to make the information palatable to them as you work towards a solution. Network and computer systems administrators need to have advanced knowledge in how to measure system performance drops, in addition to configuring specific ports for other users. Attention to detail is critical in this position as well.


As a network systems administrator, you would be responsible for administrating and managing the network and network-related tasks across systems within the organization you were working for. That includes hardware, software, applications, and all associated configurations. You would need to make sure that everything was properly backed up in case of an emergency, and if that emergency took place, you would be responsible for restoring the system correctly. You would be responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing security systems across the network to protect against viruses, protect hardware, and all the data your company stores and uses. You would be responsible for routine startup and shutdown procedures, and maintaining records associated with this, and everything else. You would need to keep detailed records of everything about the network, function logs, repairs, and so on. You would need to train people within the organization how to use their computers, or other hardware/software correctly. You would need to maintain an inventory of parts for emergency maintenance on all the equipment used by your employer. You would also need to stay up to date by attending seminars, or classes, reading trade articles, and more. You would also be responsible for applying that knowledge and implementing new technologies. You would also play the role of technical support for the people within the company. You would need to stay up to date on how to use and repair all of the technology in the building so that you could assist your associates if something were to go wrong. You would need to keep records of equipment performance and know how to analyze the information to suggest improvements or replacements as necessary. You would need to plan, design, configure, and test email applications, virus protection programs, hardware, networking software, and perhaps even operating systems. You would also be responsible for smaller routine maintenance tasks like loading tapes and disks, installing or updating software, and even making sure there was paper in the printer.


Salaries for network systems administrators start at $42,511 and can reach up to $99,036 a year! The average salary for someone doing this job today is $63,896 a year. Experience is the largest contributing factor to increased wages in this position and rises steadily until the 20-year mark, at which PayScale reports a sharp decline. For that reason, people don’t typically spend that long in this position; there is plenty of advancement opportunity. Profit sharing and bonuses can also be a source of additional wages. Proficiency in Microsoft Exchange, Linux, HMTL, and Windows Server 2012 R2 also positively affect the salary of network system administrators. Those who are skilled with Windows Server 2012 R2 are paid 12% more than the national average.


To qualify to do this job you will need a Bachelors in Computer Science.

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