Career Detail


Network and Computer Systems Administrators
“Tech Support to the Rescue”
Design, install, and support the computer and communication network systems for a company or organization.
The Job
Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for local-area networks (LAN), wide-area networks (WAN), network segments, and Internet and intranet systems. They maintain network hardware and software, analyze problems, and monitor networks to ensure their availability to system users. These workers gather data to identify customer needs and then use the information to identify, interpret, and evaluate system and network requirements. Administrators also may plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures. Systems administrators are responsible for maintaining network efficiency. They ensure that the design of an organization's computer system allows all of the components, including computers, the network, and software, to work properly together. Administrators also troubleshoot problems reported by users and by automated network monitoring systems and make recommendations for future system upgrades. They usually work about 40 hours a week, but if their employer requires computer support over extended hours, they may be "on call" for rotating evening or weekend work.
Work Environment
Computer support specialists and systems administrators constantly interact with customers and fellow employees as they answer questions and give advice.
College Majors
computer science, information systems
Minimum Qualifications
A bachelor's degree is required for many network and computer systems administrator positions. For some jobs, relevant computer experience and certifications may substitute for formal education.
Personality traits helpful for this career
strong problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills because troubleshooting and helping others are vital parts of the job.
Quick Facts
  • Growth in network and computer system administrator jobs will be much faster than average.
  • There are many paths of entry to these occupations.
  • Those who work as consultants are away from their offices much of the time, sometimes spending months working in a client's office.
  • More Info: The League of Professional System Administrators, Internet: http://lopsa.org
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of network and computer systems administrators were $66,310 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $51,690 and $84,110. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,000, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $104,070.
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