How can I become a successful network technician?
The role of a network technician is critical within any business setting that uses computer networks.
They’re responsible for overseeing and managing the networking system within an organisation, making it an increasingly demanded role in today’s computer-driven society.
As the ICT sector is one of the fastest-growing industries in the UK, and the lockdown has made many businesses increasingly reliant on digital networks, we can expect to see the role of a network technician become even more important in the future.
Here’s what you need to know about succeeding in this field:
What does a network technician do?
Network technicians have a broad range of responsibilities, all of which come under the ICT category of computer and network systems.
In essence, a network technician installs, maintains, fixes and upgrades computer and network equipment and systems.
For computer network technicians, this includes maintaining and supervising the use of LANs, WANs, and data centre infrastructure, as well as the internet, intranets and extranets of organisations.
It’s a highly technical role that requires a deep understanding of hardware and software, computer networks and connectivity, with network technicians doing everything from installing new systems to protecting against cyber-attacks and providing support to users.
Some network technicians have specialist knowledge in specific network environments, such as Cisco.
How can you become a network technician?
A bachelor’s degree in information systems or computer science can be beneficial to get started in this career, as can qualifications in network engineering, electronic engineering and network security.
You can also do a college course to help get a network technician job, including a Level 4 Certificate in Networking and Architecture, Level 4 Diploma in Network Security or Level 4 Certificate in Network Services.
Another route to the market is via an apprenticeship, such as a network engineer higher apprenticeship or degree apprenticeship in digital and technology solutions.
In addition to skills in hardware, software and computer operating systems, network technicians should have a keen eye for detail, analytical thinking skills, a logical approach to problem-solving and the ability to work well under pressure.
Communication skills are also key, as technicians must be able to clearly convey instructions and suggestions to users and colleagues.
How can you progress in this career?
Like many ICT roles, hands-on experience is essential.
Relevant network environment experience can help you to progress within this industry, along with specific network certifications and accreditations.
On-the-job training is usually a big factor in developing as a network technician.
One of the clear progression pathways within this career is from network technician to network engineer.
To do this, technicians should complete on-the-job industry-recognised training and certification, such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification or CompTIA Network+.
With experience and ongoing training, network technicians could also progress into network management, IT project management or information security.
Being a Network Technician Engineer can also take you around the world, and as Spain's IT sector is burgeoning, it is becoming a top destination for IT professionals from around the globe.
Find your next ICT job with Quanta
Whether you’re looking for a network technician job or another role within ICT, Quanta can help you find your next career opportunity.
ICT is where our recruitment story began, which means we have a wealth of experience recruiting in this field.
If you’re looking for a permanent or contract role in the UK or internationally, we’d love to help.
View our latest ICT vacancies or send us your CV so we can get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the duties of a network technician?
A network technician in the UK is responsible for establishing, maintaining, and troubleshooting an organisation's digital communication systems.
Their duties typically include:
Installing, configuring, and maintaining network hardware and software.
Monitoring and optimising network performance.
Troubleshooting and resolving network issues.
Implementing network security measures, including setting up firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
Documenting network configurations, changes, and diagrams.
Assisting with network architecture planning and implementation.
Training staff on new technologies and systems.
Keeping abreast of advancements in networking technologies.
Is a network technician a good career?
Yes, being a network technician is considered a rewarding career for several reasons:
Demand: With the growth of digital communication and reliance on efficient network systems, there's a consistent demand for skilled network technicians.
Career Progression: Network technicians, such as network engineers or administrators, often have pathways to more advanced IT roles.
Learning Opportunities: The tech field always evolves, offering continual learning and adaptation.
Compensation: Network technicians typically receive competitive salaries and benefits, reflecting the importance and complexity of their roles.
What skills do you need to be a network technician?
To thrive as a network technician, one should possess a mix of technical and soft skills, including:
Technical Proficiency: Understanding of network hardware, software, and protocols.
Problem-solving: Ability to diagnose and troubleshoot network issues effectively.
Attention to Detail: Ensuring network systems run smoothly requires meticulous work.
Communication: Clear articulation of complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders.
Project Management: Overseeing network projects, ensuring they remain on schedule and within budget.
Adaptability: Staying updated with the fast-paced evolution of network technologies.
Teamwork: Collaborating with IT colleagues to ensure optimal network performance.
What is the highest salary for a network technician?
The salary for network technicians can vary widely based on experience, qualifications, location, and employer.
As of 2021, an entry-level network technician in the UK might earn between £18,000 to £25,000 annually.
With experience, certifications, and specialisation, a senior network technician can earn upwards of £40,000 to £50,000 or more, especially in areas with a higher cost of living or for major corporations.
It's worth noting that the highest salaries are often reserved for those with advanced certifications and several years of experience in the field.