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
$80K-$140K per year
Source: Recruit I.T., 2021
Pay for network administrators varies depending on skills, experience and where you work, with pay in Auckland being higher.
- Network administrators usually earn $80,000 to $140,000 a year.
Sources: 'Recruit I.T. 'Technology and Digital Salary Update Auckland', July 2021; and Recruit I.T. 'Technology and Digital Salary Update Wellington', July 2021.
(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.
- 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
A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter tertiary training. Useful 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?
Network administrators in demand
Demand for network administrators is strong because organisations need network administrators to:
- develop, maintain and administer computer networks and operating systems
- ensure networks are secure and can handle expected traffic.
Shortage of experienced network administrators
There are not enough experienced network administrators to meet demand. Nearly two thirds of IT employers report skills shortages, and there aren't 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
- government departments
- telecommunications companies.
- Hays, 'IT Salary Guide and Recruiting Trends', accessed November 2021, (www.hays.net.nz).
- Recruit I.T. 'Technology and Digital Salary Update Auckland'; and 'Technology and Digital Salary Update Wellington', July 2021, (www.recruitit.co.nz)
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Long Term Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.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 20 January 2023