Computer Network Architects

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$126,900 Median Wage (2022)
10,200 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
3.50% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Design and implement computer and information networks, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), intranets, extranets, and other data communications networks. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning, including analysis of capacity needs for network infrastructures. May also design network and computer security measures. May research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Master's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 2 years, up to and including 4 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: N.A.

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Maintain computer networks to enhance performance and user access.
  • Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
  • Provide technical support for computer network issues.
  • Coordinate software or hardware installation.
  • Coordinate project activities with other personnel or departments.
  • Design integrated computer systems.
  • Configure computer networks.
  • Teach others to use computer equipment or hardware.
  • Develop specifications for computer network operation.
  • Resolve computer network problems.
  • Develop testing routines or procedures.
  • Develop models of information or communications systems.
  • Maintain contingency plans for disaster recovery.
  • Document network-related activities or tasks.
  • Develop information communication procedures.
  • Manage documentation to ensure organization or accuracy.
  • Develop computer or information security policies or procedures.
  • Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems.
  • Manage budgets for appropriate resource allocation.
  • Monitor the performance of computer networks.
  • Analyze website or related online data to track trends or usage.
  • Estimate time or monetary resources needed to complete projects.
  • Evaluate project designs to determine adequacy or feasibility.
  • Communicate project information to others.
  • Maintain computer hardware.
  • Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems.
  • Modify software programs to improve performance.
  • Install computer software.
  • Install computer hardware.
  • Manage financial activities of the organization.
  • Conduct research to gain information about products or processes.
  • Test computer hardware performance.
  • Supervise information technology personnel.
  • Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
  • Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Develop or recommend network security measures, such as firewalls, network security audits, or automated security probes.
  • Develop disaster recovery plans.
  • Monitor and analyze network performance and reports on data input or output to detect problems, identify inefficient use of computer resources, or perform capacity planning.
  • Coordinate network or design activities with designers of associated networks.
  • Develop conceptual, logical, or physical network designs.
  • Develop and implement solutions for network problems.
  • Determine specific network hardware or software requirements, such as platforms, interfaces, bandwidths, or routine schemas.
  • Communicate with system users to ensure accounts are set up properly or to diagnose and solve operational problems.
  • Visit vendors, attend conferences or training sessions, or study technical journals to keep up with changes in technology.
  • Evaluate network designs to determine whether customer requirements are met efficiently and effectively.
  • Participate in network technology upgrade or expansion projects, including installation of hardware and software and integration testing.
  • Adjust network sizes to meet volume or capacity demands.
  • Prepare detailed network specifications, including diagrams, charts, equipment configurations, or recommended technologies.
  • Develop network-related documentation.
  • Estimate time and materials needed to complete projects.
  • Supervise engineers or other staff in the design or implementation of network solutions.
  • Coordinate network operations, maintenance, repairs, or upgrades.
  • Develop procedures to track, project, or report network availability, reliability, capacity, or utilization.
  • Research and test new or modified hardware or software products to determine performance and interoperability.
  • Communicate with customers, sales staff, or marketing staff to determine customer needs.
  • Prepare design presentations and proposals for staff or customers.
  • Design, build, or operate equipment configuration prototypes, including network hardware, software, servers, or server operation systems.
  • Prepare or monitor project schedules, budgets, or cost control systems.
  • Develop plans or budgets for network equipment replacement.
  • Coordinate installation of new equipment.
  • Explain design specifications to integration or test engineers.
  • Develop or maintain project reporting systems.
  • Use network computer-aided design (CAD) software packages to optimize network designs.
  • Maintain or coordinate the maintenance of network peripherals, such as printers.
  • Develop and write procedures for installation, use, or troubleshooting of communications hardware or software.
  • Communicate with vendors to gather information about products, alert them to future needs, resolve problems, or address system maintenance issues.
  • Maintain networks by performing activities such as file addition, deletion, or backup.
  • Design, organize, and deliver product awareness, skills transfer, or product education sessions for staff or suppliers.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.