Network Support Technician Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

About this article
What are the pros and cons of a network support technician career? Get real job descriptions, career outlook and salary info to see if becoming a network support technician is right for you.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of a Network Support Technician Career

Network support technicians work to maintain the security and functionality of computer network systems for companies or individual clients. Check out these pros and cons to see if becoming a network support technician is right for you:

Pros of a Network Support Technician Career
Minimum education requirements (usually 2-4 years)*
Possibility to work from home*
Multiple pathways for advancement*

Cons of a Network Support Technician Career
Slower-than-average growth field (7% increase from 2012-2022)*
Long periods of time in front of a computer*
Possible unorthodox work hours, including nights and weekends*
Continued education or training may be required*
Need to effectively communicate with non-IT personnel*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Essential Career Info

Job Duties

Whether you work for a software company or an IT firm, your job as a network support technician will revolve around the various networks used by an organization. In some cases, you may set up and install wide area networks, local area networks and Internet access for a company. You would work to maintain security on any existing networks and troubleshoot issues that may arise. Although you would spend much of your time using network software at a computer, you may also need to physically deal with the hardware involved. You need to have good communication skills in order to talk to non-IT workers to explain any problems with the networks in a way that they can understand.

Salary and Career Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2014 that computer network support specialists, a group that includes network support technicians, made a median annual wage of about $62,000 (www.bls.gov). Many of the new jobs projected by the BLS will be in the computer systems design, software design and data processing industries, though some of the largest employers of computer support specialists are elementary and secondary schools. As many types of businesses adopt advanced technologies to organize and secure their data, network support technicians will be needed to maintain those technologies. After gaining some experience, you may be able to advance to management, software development or programming positions, particularly if you enhance your knowledge with continuing education from industry leaders and product vendors.

Education and Training Requirements

Employers have varying educational requirements for entry-level network support technicians and computer support specialists in general. While in some cases, a high school diploma, 1-year certificate or 2-year associate's degree program could be enough to get you started in the field, many employers prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor's degree. Some applicable majors include those in information technology, computer science or information science.

After completing your degree and gaining employment, you may have some on-the-job training to get you started as a network support technician. Even after your initial training, your company may pay for continuing education courses in order to keep you apprised of developing technologies and IT trends.

What Employers are Looking for

In addition to technical knowledge, companies are generally looking for candidates with good communication skills. Check out these summaries of job postings open in March 2012 to get an idea of what employers are looking for:

  • An accounting firm in Florida was looking to hire a network support technician to perform installations and maintenance on network infrastructure. Candidates were expected to have Windows networking experience and be willing to work some nights and weekends.
  • An electrical contracting company in Massachusetts wanted to hire a network support technician with a college degree, three years of experience and strong problem solving skills. Applicants were also expected to be able to lift computer equipment weighing up to 75 pounds.
  • A healthcare IT company in Indiana was looking for a network technician with three years of experience, expert knowledge in a specific vendor's products and the availability to travel.

How to Stand out in the Field

Get Certified

A professional designation can demonstrate your knowledge and ability to potential employers and give you a step up in the job hunt. Networking product vendors and software companies offer various certifications specific to their technologies. For instance, Cisco has five levels of certifications for networking professionals, from entry-level to architect. To gain a designation, you typically need to pass an exam as administered by the company. Having certifications in multiple areas and various products may make you a desirable employee.

Continue Your Education

A common advancement for network support technicians is to a management role, which may be more easily obtained if you have studied business management or related subjects. Because communication skills are important to this position, you may also want to enroll in English, communications or psychology courses in order to hone your interpersonal acumen.

Other Careers to Consider

If you're more interested in creating software than working within it, consider a career as a computer programmer or software engineer. The education for both of these careers involves studying advanced math and computer science, which can be a heavy course load. Employment for software engineers, who earned a median wage of $89,000 in 2011, was projected to increase 30% through 2020.

If you'd like to work overseeing a company's IT systems but not its network, you could look into becoming a database administrator. You would maintain, update and troubleshoot the databases that compile and secure all types of information, working with various types of software. You generally need a bachelor's degree in a field like computer science or information science to begin work as a database administrator. The BLS reported in May 2011 that database administrators made a median annual wage of $73,000, and employment for this group was projected to increase by 28% between 2010 and 2020.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Technology Management
      • MBA: Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Public Safety Leadership and Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Project/Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Management and Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Technology Management
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
      • Bachelor: Technology Management
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology Admin and Management With No Declared Minor or Concentration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
      • Associate of Science - Technology Studies
    Certificate
      • Networking Systems Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA with an Emphasis in Data Analytics
      • Bridge (Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Data Analytics)
    Master's
      • Bridge to the M.S. in Information Technology Management
      • M.S. in Information Technology Management
      • M.S. in Instructional Technology
      • Master of Science in Cyber Security
      • Master of Science in Cyber Security (Bridge)
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. in Information Technology
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems
      • Bachelor of Science in Applied Business Information Systems
      • B.S. in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity
      • B.S. in Computer Programming
  • Campus and Online Programs
    4. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
      • BS - Game Design (Campus)
  • Online Programs Available
    5. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of IT: Project Management
      • Master of Information Technology - Information Assurance and Security
      • Master of Science in Information Technology
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: IT - Network Admin
      • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security
      • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
      • Bachelor of Information Technology - Digital Investigation
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Management - Technology Management (Executive Format)
      • Doctorate: Computer Science
      • Doctorate - Computer Science: Information Assurance (Executive Format)
      • Doctor of Computer Science - Big Data Analytics (Executive Format)
    Master's
      • M.S. - Information Technology - Network Management
      • MS - Computer Science - Computer Systems Security
      • M.S. - Information Technology
      • MS - Management - Information Systems Security
      • M.S. - Management: IT and Project Management
      • Master of Science in Computer Science
    Bachelor's
      • BS - IT - Network Management
      • Bachelor: Information Technology
      • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security - Computer Systems Security
      • BS - Business Administration - IT
      • BS - IT - Security
      • BS - Management - Cybersecurity Management
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S.s - Management Information Systems
      • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security
    Associate's
      • Associate of Sciences - Information Technology
  • Campus Locations:
    8. Brightwood College

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Computer Networking Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Computer and Information Security
      • PhD Technology and Innovation Management Computer Science
      • PhD in Business Admin - Computer and Information Security
      • PhD Technology and Innovation Management Cybersecurity
    Master's
      • MBA - Applied Computer Science
      • MS Technology and Innovation Management Computer Science
      • MS Technology and Innovation Management Information Systems
      • MBA - Management Information Systems
      • MBA - Computer and Information Security
      • MS Technology and Innovation Management Cybersecurity
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
      • HS Diploma
      • High School with a Concentration in Information Technology

Featured Schools

Georgetown University

  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Herzing University

  • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Technology Management
  • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
  • Networking Systems Certificate

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA with an Emphasis in Data Analytics
  • Bridge to the M.S. in Information Technology Management
  • B.S. in Information Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Full Sail University

  • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
  • BS - Game Design (Campus)

What is your highest level of education?

American InterContinental University

  • Master of IT: Project Management
  • Master of Information Technology - Information Assurance and Security
  • Bachelor: IT - Network Admin
  • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security

Are you a US citizen?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor of Management - Technology Management (Executive Format)
  • M.S. - Information Technology - Network Management
  • BS - IT - Network Management

Are you a US citizen?

Keiser University

  • B.S.s - Management Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security
  • Associate of Sciences - Information Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Brightwood College

  • Computer Networking Technology

What is your highest level of education?