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Network engineer

Alternative titles for this job include Network administrator

Network engineers are in charge of transferring data across digital networks.

Average salary (a year)

£21,000 Starter


£52,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

on call flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a network engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • network engineering
  • computer science
  • electronic engineering
  • network security
  • software engineering

Related subjects like physics, maths or electrical engineering can also be useful.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could do a college course to get a job as a network technician. You could then train more to qualify as an engineer.

Some of the courses you could take include:

  • Level 4 Certificate in Networking and Architecture
  • Level 4 Certificate in Network Services
  • Level 4 Diploma in Network Security

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

More Information


You may be able to do a:

  • network cable installer advanced apprenticeship
  • network engineer higher apprenticeship
  • digital and technology solutions degree apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could start as a network technician and train with a recognised industry, such as Cisco Certified or CompTIA Network+.

More Information

Career tips

You may find it useful to get experience in related areas like IT support or computer repair.

Further information

You can get more advice about careers in networking from techskills and The Chartered Institute for IT.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • decide how data is sent across computer networks
  • set up accounts, permissions and passwords for users
  • make sure security is at the right level to block unauthorised access
  • find and fix network faults
  • give technical support to people who use the network
  • train staff on new systems
  • plan and implement future developments
  • record the decisions you make

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a client's business.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You'll need to stay up to date with new technology.

With experience, you could:

  • specialise in a specific area, such as security
  • work with more complicated technology
  • manage a team or a project
  • use your skills as an IT security co-ordinator
  • become a freelance consultant

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £23,000.00 Annually
  • Location: 201 Grafton Gate East, Milton Keynes

Real Time Systems Degree Apprenticeship – (Prenton)

  • Wage: £18,870.00 Annually
  • Location: Not known

Courses In England

Network Engineering (Systems Administration) - Foundation Degree (HTQ)

  • Start date: 11 September 2023
  • Location: Blackpool

BTEC HNC Computing (Network Engineering)

  • Start date: 18 September 2023
  • Location: Middlesbrough

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