1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Network engineer

Network engineer

Alternative titles for this job include Network administrator

Network engineers design, implement and maintain the way data is transferred across digital and telecommunications networks.

Average salary (a year)

£21,000 Starter


£56,000 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, which may help you to get a network technician's job. Once working, you could do more training to qualify as an engineer. Courses 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, a network engineer higher apprenticeship, or a degree apprenticeship in digital and technology solutions.

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 take industry-recognised training and certification on the job, like Cisco Certified Network Associate or Professional or CompTIA Network+.

More Information

Career tips

Experience in related areas like IT support or computer service and repair could be useful.

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:

  • design the way data is sent or 'routed' across computer networks
  • set up user accounts, permissions and passwords to allow access to the network
  • 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
  • carry out day-to-day administration
  • plan and implement future developments
  • document the processes used in your job

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 keep your skills up to date to keep up with technological changes. You could become a specialist in a specific area of technology like DevOps, network security and 'cloud' technologies, or work in more complex technology environments.

You could progress into project or people management, service planning or delivery. You may be able to transfer your technical skills to information security or become a freelance consultant.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a network engineer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Network Engineering (Systems Administration) - Foundation Degree

  • Start date: 13 September 2022
  • Location: Blackpool

HND Computing (Network Engineering), Level 5

  • Start date: 12 September 2022
  • Location: Worcester

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.