Network and Computer Systems Administrators

What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Do

Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of computer networks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3kIfqDCY14

Work Environment

Network and computer systems administrators work with the physical computer networks of a variety of organizations and therefore are employed in many industries.

How to Become a Network and Computer Systems Administrator

Most employers require network and computer systems administrators to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. Others may require only a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree.

Pay

The median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators was $83,510 in May 2019.

Job Outlook

Employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for information technology (IT) workers is high and should continue to grow as firms invest in newer, faster technology and mobile networks.

Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.

Duties

Network and computer systems administrators typically do the following:

  • Determine an organization’s system needs and install network hardware and software
  • Make needed upgrades and repairs to networks and ensure that systems are operating correctly
  • Maintain network and computer system security
  • Evaluate and optimize network or system performance
  • Add users to a network, and assign and update security permissions on the network
  • Train users in the proper use of hardware and software
  • Interpret and solve problems when a user or an automated monitoring system alerts them that a problem exists

Administrators manage an organization’s servers and desktop and mobile equipment. They ensure that email and data storage networks work properly. They also make sure that employees’ workstations are working efficiently and stay connected to the central computer network. Some administrators manage telecommunication networks.

Administrators may help network architects design and analyze network models. They also participate in decisions about buying future hardware or software to upgrade their organization’s network. Some administrators provide technical support to computer users, and they also may supervise computer support specialists who help solve users’ problems.

Network and computer systems administrators held about 373,900 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of network and computer systems administrators were as follows:

Computer systems design and related services 18%
Educational services; state, local, and private 10
Information 10
Finance and insurance 9
Management of companies and enterprises 7

Although many network and computer systems administrators are employed by firms in the computer systems design and related services industry, they work in a variety of settings. Some might administer systems and networks for financial firms, and others work in hospitals or local government offices.

Network and computer systems administrators work with many types of workers, including other IT workers, such as computer support specialists, database administrators, computer network architects, and computer and information systems managers.

Work Schedules

Most network and computer systems administrators work full time. Organizations depend on their computer networks, so administrators may need to work overtime to ensure that the networks are operating properly around the clock.

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of network and computer systems administrators.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2019

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization.

Bachelor’s degree $146,360

Computer Hardware Engineers

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components.

Bachelor’s degree $117,220

Computer Network Architects

Computer network architects design and build data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Intranets.

Bachelor’s degree $112,690

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly.

Bachelor’s degree $86,550

Computer Support Specialists

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to computer users and organizations.

See How to Become One $54,760

Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and find a solution that is more efficient and effective.

Bachelor’s degree $90,920

Database Administrators

Database administrators (DBAs) use specialized software to store and organize data.

Bachelor’s degree $93,750

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.

Bachelor’s degree $99,730

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment.

Bachelor’s degree $101,250

Software Developers

Software developers create the applications or systems that run on a computer or another device.

Bachelor’s degree $107,510

Web Developers

Web developers design and create websites.

Associate’s degree $73,760

For more information about computer careers, visit

Association for Computing Machinery

CompTIA

IEEE Computer Society

For information about opportunities for women pursuing information technology careers, visit

National Center for Women & Information Technology

O*NET

Network and Computer Systems Administrators


Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Network and Computer Systems Administrators,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm (visited ).