- In-demand role making sure computer and communication networks are installed and working properly
- You'll need to have great technology skills and knowledge and good problem-solving ability
- Progress into management roles, or specialise in project management, information security or consultancy
As a network engineer, you'll be responsible for the smooth running of communication systems for clients.
- Installing and configuring new software and hardware
- Setting up user accounts, permissions and passwords to allow access to the network
- Making sure security is at the right level to block unauthorised access
- Finding and fixing network faults
- Setting up a maintenance plan to prevent faults
- Giving technical support to people who use the network
- Providing training on new systems
- Carrying out day-to-day administration
- Planning and implementing future developments
You'll work in an office or at a client's business.
To be a network engineer, you'll need knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software, the ability to work well with others, analytical thinking skills, thoroughness and attention to detail, flexibility and openness to change, broadcasting and telecommunications knowledge, and excellent verbal communication skills.
You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in network engineering, computer science, electronic engineering, network security, or software engineering.
You could also do a college course, which might help you get a network technician's job. While working, you could do training to qualify as an engineer on courses such as Level 4 Certificates in Networking and Architecture, or Network Services, or a Level 4 Diploma in Network Security.
You may be able to get into this role through a network cable installer advanced apprenticeship, a network engineer higher apprenticeship, or a degree apprenticeship in digital and technology solutions.
You could start as a network technician and take industry-recognised training and certification on the job, like Cisco Certified Network Professional or CompTIA Network+.
Experience in related areas like IT support or computer service and repair might be useful.
With experience you could progress to network management jobs or you could move into other areas of IT like project management, information security or consultancy.