Network administrators design, install and maintain computer hardware and software networks, from one-building LANs (local area networks) to worldwide WANs (wide area networks).
Network administrators usually earn
$61K-$102K per year
Source: AbsoluteIT, 'Tech Remuneration Report', 2018
Pay for network administrators varies depending on skills and experience. According to an AbsoluteIT salary survey, network administrators in the:
- lowest-paid group earn an average of 61,000 a year
- middle pay range earn an average of $75,000
- highest paid group earn an average of $102,000.
Network administrators working as contractors earn an average of $50 to $100 an hour.
Source: AbsoluteIT, 'Tech Remuneration Report', January 2018.
- AbsoluteIT, 'Tech Remuneration Report', January 2018
- PAYE.net.nz website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Network administrators may do some or all of the following:
- design and configure linked computer network systems
- install systems and their parts, such as cabling, routers, switches, servers, and wifi devices
- maintain networks, and identify and fix faults
- make sure networks are secure and have enough capacity
- assess and recommend network and software improvements
- provide support and technical assistance to network users.
Skills and knowledge
Network administrators need to have knowledge of:
- computer systems, software and technology
- networking systems, methods and devices
- project management.
- usually work full time and often work evenings, weekends and on call
- work in offices in conditions that may be stressful when working to strict deadlines
- may travel locally or overseas to meet clients.
There are no specific requirements to become a network administrator. However, you usually need:
- a diploma or degree in networking, systems administration, computer science or information systems
- relevant industry-based certification with a well-known company such as Microsoft or Oracle
- experience in related IT roles such as systems administrator.
Network administrators gain skills on the job and may attend courses to update their knowledge and skills.
If you are a graduate from other fields, you can gain a fast-tracked IT-related qualification through ICT Graduate Schools.
- Microsoft website - information on Microsoft certification programmes
- Oracle website - information on Oracle certification programmes
- NxtStep website - find IT internships and graduate programmes
- Summer of Tech website - information on the IT internship programme
- Tertiary Education Commission website - information on ICT graduate schools
A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter tertiary training. Useful school subjects include digital technologies, maths, physics and English.
For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.
Network administrators need to be:
- methodical, accurate and patient
- able to work well under pressure, and meet deadlines
- able to work well as part of a team, and with minimal supervision
- skilled problem solvers
- good communicators, to explain complex information about computers in easily understood terms.
Useful experience for network administrators includes:
- technical computer work
- computer helpdesk and support work
- customer service.
Network administrators spend a lot of time using computers, so they need to know how to use computer equipment properly to avoid occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).
Network administrators may choose to become certified through associations such as the Institute of IT Professionals.
Find out more about training
- Institute of IT Professionals
- 0800 252 255 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.itp.nz
- NZ Tech
- (09) 475 0204 - email@example.com - www.nztech.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Demand for network administrators is strong because:
- organisations rely on computer systems and networks to operate effectively
- network administrators are needed to develop, maintain and administer computer networks and operating systems
- organisations need network administrators to ensure networks are secure and can handle all the traffic.
There are not enough network administrators to meet demand, and there are not enough information technology (IT) trainees.
As a result, computer network and systems engineer, and network administrator appear on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled network administrators from overseas to work in New Zealand.
According to the Census, 747 network administrators worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Types of employers varied
Employers of network administrators include:
- private companies that provide computer, database and network services to clients
- government departments
- telecommunications companies.
- AbsoluteIT, 'Digital Remuneration Report', August 2017, (www.itsalaries.co.nz).
- AbsoluteIT, 'Employer Insight Report', March 2017, (www.itsalaries.co.nz).
- Hays, 'Hotspots of Skills in Demand, January – June 2018', (www.hays.net.nz).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Long Term Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'New Zealand Sectors Report Series – Information and Communications Technology', 2017, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Network administrators may progress to set up their own business, become enterprise architects (providing IT solutions for a whole organisation), or move into management roles.
Last updated 18 October 2020