Summary of occupation
Network administrators manage the day to day operations of an organisation's IT systems to ensure that they run effectively. They install, configure, test and maintain hardware and software such as servers, software database applications and workstations. They diagnose and resolve network faults, perform network upgrades, and also ensure the efficient performance of printers and personal computers. They may also offer desktop support and provide training for users.
Installs and maintains hardware and software, documents diagnosis and resolution of faults, manages user passwords, security and inventory documentation, ensures the efficient performance of servers, printers and personal computers, and attends to other operational tasks. May also perform tasks such as help desk support and user training.
Network specialist, Network support
A network administrator needs:
- a genuine interest in IT and developments within the IT industry
- to be able to keep up to date with rapid changes to technologies
- the ability to apply analytical and problem solving skills
- good written and oral communication skills
- good organisational and time management skills
- the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
Network administrators usually work in an office environment. They are able to access networks remotely and look after systems that are located in another room or building. However, they may be required to travel to other sites to provide IT support. They may provide face to face or phone-based desktop support to computer users within the organisation. They may be required to work evenings and weekends to perform major system upgrades or resolve system faults.
On average, network administrators can expect to earn between $1 154 and $1 731 per week ($60 000 and $90 000 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a network administrator develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.
Network administrators use a variety of computer hardware and software. They must be familiar with a range of operating systems and programs commonly used on the computer systems that they look after, such as Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange or SQL Server Management Studio. They also work with printers and photocopiers connected to the IT system. They may also back up data to external hard drives, minimising data loss in cases of system failure.
To become a network administrator you usually need to complete a qualification in information technology networking.
The Certificate IV in Information Technology (Networking) and the Diploma of Information Technology (Networking) are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also complete a traineeship. The network administrator traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.
You can complete a degree in information technology or computer science, or a degree in commerce with a major in business information systems.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.