A Day in the Life of a Network Engineer

A network engineer handles all of the “plumbing” for a company’s computers, connecting offices with T1 lines, hooking them up to the Internet, and configuring all internal systems such as net routers and firewalls. The position usually spills over into some Unix systems administration work, but “basically, it’s a plumbing job,” says one engineer. Configuring a start-up Web company is a pretty easy network design job; most of these companies have a small staff and only one location. But if you work for Citibank, for example, the network is incredibly complicated with tiers and tiers of network engineers. If you’re willing to wear a suit and tie every day, go to work for a bank where you’ll make twice as much as anywhere else.

A network engineer needs to know how to use some basic network devices like “packet sniffers,” but the work itself doesn’t utilize a lot of tools. “It’s a ‘noodly’ job; you have to be able to think your way through problems and understand how stuff works,” says one professional. You don’t spend a lot of time typing, but rather in front of white boards (like a chalk board you write on with markers) drawing pictures to visualize your solutions.

how much do network engineers make?

A typical day demands atypical hours; network engineers usually work off-hours when they’re tinkering with something, otherwise they’ll interrupt everyone else’s work. It’s the earmark of techies to show up later, often around 10 or 11 a.m., but they’re usually there until 7, 8 or 9 p.m. And most likely they’re wearing a pager and are always on call. Networking has a culture unto itself, and a subculture among those who work on the Net. But networking is really only glamorous to people in the field. “Anyone in the general public would not be like, ‘cool, you’re a network consultant,’” says one insider.

Source: princetonreview.com

Network Engineer duties and responsibilities

  • Design and deploy company LANs, WANs, and wireless networks, including servers, routers, firewalls, load balancers hubs, switches, UPSs, and other hardware
  • Configure, tests, and maintains LAN/WAN equipment and related services
  • Identifies, diagnoses, and resolves network problems
  • Architecting, creating, managing and maintaining Network, Server and PC health for clients (as defined by SLA)
  • Managing existing and deploying new system configurations, including Windows Server, Virtualization Systems, Mobile Devices, Mobile Platforms and Desktops (Windows and MAC)
  • Provide Tier 2 and 3 support for internal and external customers
  • Provide formal corporate communications on directional changes or changes that will impact existing services
  • Select and implement security tools, policies, and procedures in conjunction with the company’s security team
  • Monitor and maintain all levels of network security internally and externally
  • Create and maintain comprehensive documentation for all implemented networks

Network Engineer requirements and qualifications

  • Previous working experience as a Network Engineer for (x) year(s)
  • BS/MS in Computer Science, Engineering or similar relevant field
  • Cisco certifications, CCNA, CCNP or CCIE
  • In depth knowledge of TCP/IP
  • Hands on experience with equipment from HP, Fortinet or Cisco
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Analytical, data driven problem solver

Design and deploy company LANs, WANs, and wireless networks, including servers, routers, firewalls, load balancers hubs, switches, UPSs, and other hardwareConfigure, tests, and maintains LAN/WAN equipment and related servicesIdentifies, diagnoses, and resolves network problemsArchitecting, creating, managing and maintaining Network, Server and PC health for clients (as defined by SLA)Managing existing and deploying new system configurations, including Windows Server, Virtualization Systems, Mobile Devices, Mobile Platforms and Desktops (Windows and MAC)Provide Tier 2 and 3 support for internal and external customersProvide formal corporate communications on directional changes or changes that will impact existing servicesSelect and implement security tools, policies, and procedures in conjunction with the company’s security teamMonitor and maintain all levels of network security internally and externallyCreate and maintain comprehensive documentation for all implemented networksNetwork Engineer requirements and qualificationsPrevious working experience as a Network Engineer for (x) year(s)BS/MS in Computer Science, Engineering or similar relevant fieldCisco certifications, CCNA, CCNP or CCIEIn depth knowledge of TCP/IPHands on experience with equipment from HP, Fortinet or CiscoExcellent organizational and time management skillsAnalytical, data driven problem solver