Network Engineer

Job Description:

Network engineers build and fix computer networks

Job Category:
IT Industry

What you will do:

Network engineers design computer networks that support the structure and network necessities of an organisation.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • designing and implementing physical and wireless networks
  • managing the electronic equipment that activates network pieces
  • researching and integrating new technologies into the network lifecycle
  • working with network administrators to manage or assist problems
  • installing and configuring new software and hardware
  • setting up user accounts, permissions and passwords to allow access to the network
  • making sure security is at the right level to block unauthorised access
  • finding and fixing network faults
  • setting up a maintenance plan to prevent faults
  • giving technical support to people who use the network
  • providing training on new systems
  • planning and implementing future developments

These tasks may be included as part of a broader IT support or helpdesk role.


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

As well as:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork)
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptable)
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • network engineering
  • computer science
  • electronic engineering
  • network security
  • software engineering

Related subjects like physics, maths or electrical engineering can also be useful.

You could do a college course to get a job as a network technician. You could then train more to qualify as an engineer.

Some of the courses you could take include (in the UK you’d need a Level 4 Certificate or Diploma)

  • Certificate in Networking and Architecture
  • Certificate in Network Services
  • Diploma in Network Security

You may be able to do a:

  • network cable installer advanced apprenticeship
  • network engineer higher apprenticeship
  • digital and technology solutions degree apprenticeship

You could start as a network technician and train with a recognised industry, such as Cisco Certified or CompTIA Network+.

Career tips
You may find it useful to get experience in related areas like IT support or computer repair.

Working Hours and Environment:

With experience you could progress to network management jobs or you could move into other areas of IT like project management, information security or consultancy.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could progress to network management jobs or you could move into other areas of IT like project management, information security or consultancy