How to Become a Network Systems Administrator

Are you regularly helping friends with computer issues? Do you enjoy maintaining and building networks, upgrading systems and providing assistance as needed? A career as a network systems administrator may be in your future – read on!

Job Overview
Bachelor's Degree
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Network systems administrators are responsible for keeping their company’s computer systems and networks operational. From upgrading software, planning and creating new networks, analyzing data to ensure the network is running at peak efficiency and maintaining security on system computers and networks, these busy individuals are the string that ties their organization together.

They provide hardware and software training to company employees, manage email and data storage and manage the organization’s servers.

Requirements and Qualifications

Network systems administrators often work full time hours, with some overtime, evening and weekend hours to handle problems that may arise outside of normal work hours to ensure that their company or organization is able to continue functioning normally.

Qualities you should sharpen for a network systems administrator position include analytical and problem-solving skills, computer knowledge and experience, communications and multi-tasking.

Typical Education

Though a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science is the standard in the industry, due to the extensive work with hardware, computer engineering or electrical engineering degrees are also usually considered acceptable. Continuing education to stay on top of technological advances and changes is also requisite to this position.

Steps to Become a Network System Administrator

Once you finish your degree program, you should pursue a variety of certifications. Certifications show your familiarity and knowledge of that particular system, making you more hirable. Many companies have begun to require their network system administrators to have certifications in the products they work with. After you have a few certifications under your belt, you can begin job hunting.

Similar Jobs

Don’t want a nine to five job? Not quite sure this is for you? Here are some related fields you may find more interesting:

  • Good with the big picture? Computer and information system managers plan and direct activities related to an organization’s computer assets.
  • Want to beat on it and see if it breaks? Computer hardware engineers plan, design and test computer hardware.
  • Are you a code-talker? Computer programmers take software plans and turn them into realities using a variety of computer languages.
  • Can you give great advice? Computer support specialists help customers and organizations with their technical difficulties.
  • Do you see room for improvement? Computer systems analysts observe an organization’s computer assets and make recommendations to make them more efficient.
  • Good with organization? Database administrators organize, store and retrieve electronic data in a secure fashion.
  • Have an electric personality? Electrical and electronics engineers plan, build and test a variety of electrical and electronic equipment and machinery.
  • Want to specialize more? Information security analysts, web developers and computer network architects provide security, web presence and network layout to achieve their company’s goals.
  • Like to imagine new ways to do thing? Software developers plan and design software that keeps computers running or allows certain tasks to be done.


Network systems administrators earned an average of $69,160 annually as of May 2010. Over 90% of network systems administrators worked full time, with overtime and non-office hours being common to fix system problems and keep the business or organization running.

Job Outlook

Network system administrators have promising future! It is expected over the next decade that opportunities in this field will grow by 28%, faster than average of all jobs. Much of this growth will be in health care as more records and patient information is being digitized. There will be favorable opportunities for you, especially with a bachelor’s degree and if you keep up to date on recent technological developments.

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