This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Network administrators design, install, configure and monitor the computer hardware and software systems that make up a computer network. Networks can range from local area networks in one building, to wide-area networks connecting multiple offices across the world.
Network administrators earn an average of
$50K-$78K per year
Source: AbsoluteIT, 'Remuneration Report', July 2015.
Pay for network administrators varies. According to an AbsoluteIT salary survey, network administrators in the:
- highest-paid group earned an average of $78,000 a year
- middle pay range earned an average of $64,000
- lowest-paid group earned an average of $50,000.
Network administrators working as contractors earn an average of $50 to $95 an hour.
Source: AbsoluteIT, 'Remuneration Report', July 2015.
- AbsoluteIT website - 2015 remuneration report (PDF - 348KB)
- MoreBusiness.com website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job information)
What you will do
Network administrators may do some or all of the following:
- design and configure a linked computer network system
- install cabling, routers, switches, servers, and wifi devices
- maintain the network, identify faults, and fix problems
- monitor the network to ensure it is secure and has enough capacity to cope with the needs of the organisation
- assess and recommend improvements to the network and related software
- 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 and weekends, or may be on call
- work in offices in conditions that may be stressful because they sometimes work to strict deadlines
- may travel locally or overseas to meet clients.
To become a network administrator you usually need a diploma or degree in networking, systems administration, computer science or information systems.
Network administrators gain many skills on the job and may attend a wide range of courses to update their knowledge and skills.
A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter tertiary training. Useful school subjects include computing/digital technologies, maths, physics and English.
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 at problem-solving
- skilled at verbal and written communication.
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 it is important that they know how to use computer equipment properly to avoid occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).
Network administrators may choose to become certified through the Information Technology Certified Professional scheme.
Find out more about training
- (04) 473 2023 - email@example.com - www.futureintech.org.nz/
- Institute of IT Professionals
- 0800 252 255 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.iitp.org.nz
- New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTIA)
- +64 9 475 0204 - email@example.com - www.nztech.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Demand for network administrators is high because organisations are increasingly relying on complex computer networks to operate effectively. Network administrators are needed to design and maintain these networks.
Shortage of network administrators
While demand for network administrators is expected to remain strong, the number of IT trainees coming through is insufficient to meet demand. The number of students studying information technology fell by more than 20% between 2008 and 2014.
A survey of IT employers in February 2015 reported that 79% of employers were planning to hire additional staff. However, 28% of employers also reported greater difficulty finding staff in 2015 than in 2014.
As a result of these factors, network administrator appears on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled network engineers from overseas to work in New Zealand.
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, 'Employer Insight Report', February 2015, (www.itsalaries.co.nz).
- AbsoluteIT, 'Remuneration Report', July 2015, (www.itsalaries.co.nz).
- Hudson Recruitment, 'Hudson Report, Q3, 2015', 2015, (nz.hudson.com).
- Hudson Recruitment, 'New Zealand Hiring Expectations – Quarter 3, 2015', 2015, (nz.hudson.com).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Long-term Skill Shortage List', July 2015, accessed January 2016, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Information and Communications Technology Report – 2015', 2015, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Network administrators may progress to become enterprise architects (people who define how IT will provide benefit for the business), managers, consultants, or run their own businesses.
Last updated 20 September 2017