What is a Network Administrator?

A network administrator implements, manages, and troubleshoots a company's networks. They look at an organization's needs and oversee communication systems to ensure information is flowing properly.

A network administrator continually checks data to ensure a network system is optimized, and looks for problems that could either be caused by the network or by users. They also train fellow employees on proper uploading and downloading of material that could affect the system.

What does a Network Administrator do?

A network administrator working on his computer.

Network administrators analyze the needs of an organization, install and maintain the necessary hardware and software to meet those needs, and solve any problems that arise along the way. A network administrator's job can be wide or narrow, depending on the organization and how complex its networks are.

Responsibilities of network administrators may include:

  • Installing & supporting an organization’s network and computer systems
  • Monitoring the network systems to improve performance
  • Ensuring availability to all system users
  • Examining website functions to ensure optimal performance
  • Maintaining system security & telecommunication networks
  • Upgrading network and computer systems
  • Fixing problems with the network and its hardware, software, and systems

A network administrator's workday responsibilities can be grouped into the areas of implementation, management, troubleshooting, and self-education:

  • Implementation - includes installing and configuring networking software and applications software, laying out and connecting cables between servers and nodes, establishing user accounts, installing wireless transmitters and receivers, and installing storage area networks.
  • Management - includes training new users, updating network, application and security software; maintaining user accounts and access privileges; monitoring daily server traffic and system usage; maintaining network logs; performing scheduled tests; performing scheduled backups; assisting with special projects; and writing user documentation.
  • Troubleshooting - includes responding to user reports about service interruptions, analyzing network logs, and applying appropriate solutions. Solutions include adjusting software configurations, installing patches, restoring broken or intermittent connections, and rebooting the entire system.
  • Self-education - includes researching hardware and software upgrades, reading trade publications to keep abreast of new networking technology, recommending purchases, and helping with planning and designing special projects.

Are you suited to be a network administrator?

Network administrators have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also enterprising, meaning they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.

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What is the workplace of a Network Administrator like?

Network administrators typically work full-time in an office setting, and overtime work is often required. They are in demand in a variety of areas, such as computer system design firms; manufacturing plants; landline telecommunications companies; elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools; financial services firms; and local, state, and federal agencies.

Network Administrators are also known as:
Network Admin