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Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Summary

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Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3kIfqDCY14.
Quick Facts: Network and Computer Systems Administrators
2023 Median Pay $95,360 per year
$45.84 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2022 339,900
Job Outlook, 2022-32 2% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2022-32 8,300

What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Do

Network and computer systems administrators install, configure, and maintain organizations’ computer networks and systems.

Work Environment

Network and computer systems administrators work for a variety of organizations, including computer systems design firms, schools, and financial institutions. Most work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. Administrators may work evenings, nights, and weekends to monitor, maintain, or update networks and systems.

How to Become a Network and Computer Systems Administrator

To enter the occupation, network and computer systems administrators typically need a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science.

Pay

The median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators was $95,360 in May 2023.

Job Outlook

Employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 2 percent from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 19,800 openings for network and computer systems administrators are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for network and computer systems administrators.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of network and computer systems administrators with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about network and computer systems administrators by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Network and Computer Systems Administrators Do About this section

Network and computer systems administrators
Administrators fix computer server problems.

Network and computer systems administrators install, configure, and maintain organizations’ local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), data communication networks, operating systems, and servers.

Duties

Network and computer systems administrators typically do the following:

  • Determine an organization’s network and system needs and install operating and application hardware and software
  • Provide input on hardware or software for an organization's purchasing decisions
  • Make needed upgrades and repairs to networks and ensure that systems are operating correctly
  • Maintain network and computer system security
  • Evaluate and optimize network and system performance
  • Add users to a network and assign security permissions
  • Train users on the organization’s network and systems
  • Diagnose and resolve problems when alerted by a user or an automated monitoring system

Network and computer systems administrators may oversee both networks and systems, but they often specialize in one or the other. Network administrators typically focus on setting up and maintaining the infrastructure that connects an organization’s computers. Systems administrators set up and maintain organizations’ software and enable user access. 

Network administrators install, configure, and manage computer infrastructure, such as routers, switches, and cables, that support an organization’s computer networks. These networks include Local Area Networks (LANs), which connect devices in a single location, and Wide Area Networks (WANs), which connect multiple LANs or locations. They may help computer network architects design and analyze network models. Some administrators manage telecommunication networks.

Systems administrators manage an organization’s servers and desktop and mobile equipment and software. They ensure that email and data storage networks within an organization’s computer system work properly. They install and configure software and system updates and monitor system performance to ensure that employees’ workstations are efficient.

Some administrators provide technical support to users, such as when computer support specialists are unable to resolve a problem.

Work Environment About this section

Network and computer systems administrators
Network and computer systems administrators collaborate with other IT workers.

Network and computer systems administrators held about 339,900 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of network and computer systems administrators were as follows:

Computer systems design and related services 17%
Educational services; state, local, and private 11
Finance and insurance 9
Information 9
Management of companies and enterprises 7

Network and computer systems administrators are employed by a variety of organizations and work in a variety of settings. In addition to those shown in the table, top employers also include manufacturing industries, healthcare providers, and government agencies.

Network and computer systems administrators often collaborate with many types of information technology (IT) workers, such as computer support specialists, database administrators, computer network architects, and computer and information systems managers.

Work Schedules

Most network and computer systems administrators work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. Administrators may need to work evenings, nights, or weekends to monitor, maintain, or update networks and systems.

How to Become a Network and Computer Systems Administrator About this section

Network and computer systems administrators
Administrators need analytical skills to ensure that networks and systems perform reliably.

To enter the occupation, network and computer systems administrators typically need a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. Others may require a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree.

Education

Some employers require a postsecondary certificate or an associate's degree. However, network and computer systems administrators typically need a bachelor's degree in computer and information technology or a related field, such as engineering. These programs usually include courses in computer programming, networking, and systems design.

Network and computer systems administrators need to keep up with developments in the constantly changing field of information technology (IT). They may continue to take courses throughout their careers and attend IT conferences to keep up with the latest technology.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Employers may require their network and computer systems administrators to be certified in the products they use. Certification programs usually are offered directly from vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates the knowledge and the use of best practices that are required of network and computer systems administrators.

Advancement

Network administrators may advance to become computer network architects. They also may advance to managerial jobs in IT departments, such as computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Administrators need to evaluate networks and systems to make sure that they perform reliably and to anticipate new requirements as organizations’ needs change.

Communication skills. Administrators should be able to explain technical concepts and processes to non-IT workers.

Creative skills. Administrators may need to take an innovative approach to make networks or systems work, such as when integrating new products with existing hardware or software.

Multitasking skills. Administrators may have to work on many tasks at the same time, whether setup, monitoring, or troubleshooting.

Problem-solving skills. Administrators must be able to resolve problems that arise with computer networks and systems.

Technical skills. Administrators need programming skills and the ability to work with a variety of computer hardware and software.

Pay About this section

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Median annual wages, May 2023

Computer occupations

$104,420

Network and computer systems administrators

$95,360

Total, all occupations

$48,060

 

The median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators was $95,360 in May 2023. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $58,680, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $148,710.

In May 2023, the median annual wages for network and computer systems administrators in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Information $104,070
Management of companies and enterprises 101,510
Finance and insurance 98,970
Computer systems design and related services 97,590
Educational services; state, local, and private 82,680

Most network and computer systems administrators work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. Administrators may need to work evenings, nights, or weekends to monitor, maintain, or update networks and systems.

Job Outlook About this section

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Percent change in employment, projected 2022-32

Computer occupations

14%

Total, all occupations

3%

Network and computer systems administrators

2%

 

Employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow 2 percent from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 19,800 openings for network and computer systems administrators are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Demand for network and computer systems administrators should continue, along with firms' investment in newer, faster technology and mobile networks. The continued expansion of cloud computing and the demand for upgraded computer equipment and software will support a need for network and computer systems administrators to maintain these systems.

Employment projections data for network and computer systems administrators, 2022-32
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2022 Projected Employment, 2032 Change, 2022-32 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Network and computer systems administrators

15-1244 339,900 348,200 2 8,300 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.org. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of network and computer systems administrators.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2023 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Computer and information systems managers Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization.

Bachelor's degree $169,510
Computer hardware engineers Computer Hardware Engineers

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components.

Bachelor's degree $138,080
computer network architects image Computer Network Architects

Computer network architects design and implement data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets.

Bachelor's degree $129,840
Computer programmers Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write, modify, and test code and scripts that allow computer software and applications to function properly.

Bachelor's degree $99,700
Computer support specialists Computer Support Specialists

Computer support specialists maintain computer networks and provide technical help to computer users.

See How to Become One $60,810
Computer systems analysts Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and design ways to improve efficiency.

Bachelor's degree $103,800
Database administrators Database Administrators and Architects

Database administrators and architects create or organize systems to store and secure data.

Bachelor's degree $117,450
Information security analysts Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.

Bachelor's degree $120,360
Electrical and electronics engineers Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment.

Bachelor's degree $109,010
Software developers Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers

Software developers design computer applications or programs. Software quality assurance analysts and testers identify problems with applications or programs and report defects.  

Bachelor's degree $130,160
Web developers Web Developers and Digital Designers

Web developers create and maintain websites. Digital designers develop, create, and test website or interface layout, functions, and navigation for usability.

Bachelor's degree $92,750
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Network and Computer Systems Administrators,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm (visited May 01, 2024).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2023 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2023, the median annual wage for all workers was $48,060.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2022

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2022, which is the base year of the 2022-32 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2022-32

The projected percent change in employment from 2022 to 2032. The average growth rate for all occupations is 3 percent.

Employment Change, 2022-32

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2022-32

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2022 to 2032.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

2023 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2023, the median annual wage for all workers was $48,060.