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Network engineer

Alternative titles for this job include Network administrator

Network engineers design, set up and maintain physical and virtual IT communication systems for organisations.

Average salary (a year)

£25,500 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 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 which may help you to find a trainee network engineer position.

Courses include:

  • Level 3 Certificate in Networking and Architecture
  • Level 3 Diploma in Networking and Cyber Security
  • T Level in Digital Support Services
  • Level 4 Certificate in Network Services
  • Level 4 Diploma in Network Security

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

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

More Information


You could do an apprenticeship like:

  • Network Cable Installer Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Network Engineer Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship - networking option

These can take between 1 and 3 years to complete.

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 do an industry recognised certificate on the job, such as Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) or CompTIA Network+.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about computing careers and training through The Chartered Institute for IT and techskills.

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

As a network engineer, you could:

  • design, install and upgrade network systems for clients
  • set up accounts, user permissions and firewalls
  • give technical support to staff
  • monitor network performance and fix faults
  • make sure systems meet all technical, security and data standards

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

With experience, you could:

  • specialise in cyber security, data analysis or software development
  • become a network manager, business analyst or technical architect
  • set up your own business and work as a freelance consultant

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Network Cable Installer Apprentice

  • Wage: £15,000 a year Annually

Data Network Engineer Apprentice

  • Wage: £12,480 to £22,308 a year Annually
  • Location: Farnborough

Courses In England

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

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Blackpool

Computing (Network Engineering) HTQ Higher National Diploma

  • Start date: 23 September 2024
  • Location: Leicester

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