How To Become A Network Engineer – Salary, Resume, and Skills You Need

Network Engineer

IT Industry has been one of the up and running sectors in present times, even after the pandemic. The industry not only survived but grow into this massive hub of new technologies, employment opportunities, and a growth accelerator for the Indian Economy. Amidst many new roles it opened for the engineers, network engineering was definitely not the buzzword for several years.

However, there is a sudden shift in the paradigm of this profession and the IT industry witnessed growth for this particular role.

Therefore, let us get an understanding of what is this network engineering and who is a network engineer?

What is Network Engineering?

Network Engineering is a technological field that has allowed to give a broader meaning to a network.
With the process of network engineering, a professional could build new initiatives to work with network infrastructure, present with a wide range of network services with data, voice, calls, wireless networks, provide a mechanism to routine network issues like troubleshooting errors or traffic congestion, etc.

Network Engineering is the technology that has made the connection, communication, and sharing so much more efficient, faster, and more secure.

Every network has different types. Some of the widely used network types are:

  • MANs – metropolitan area networks
  • PAN – personal area network
  • LANs – local area networks
  • VoIP – voice over internet protocol network.
  • SAN – storage/system/server/small area network
  • WANs – wide area networks,
  • CAN – campus/controller/cluster area network
  • DAN – desk area network
  • WLAN – wireless local area network
  • GANs – global area network

What is a network engineer?

A Network Engineer is a technical professional who is highly skilled in planning, designing and managing the different types of networks to carry out smooth communication and connection in terms of wireless network services, data, voice, and video.

With their expertise in networking, they are responsible for implementing high-level network infrastructures, configurations, troubleshooting the problems, and administering the security of the entirety of the network systems.

Network Engineers are a crucial part of the IT team as they understand the comprehensive working of networks, and provide necessary hardware and software tools for an efficient, rapid, secure connection and communication across different areas.

What Is Network Engineer

What is the Demand For The Role?

In the times we live in, technology does not look like it will come to a halt. Not only this with every passing year, we see every industry evolving their technical aspect of the working. This has produced a surge in the demand for computer networks. From medicine to insurance; from banking to education; from working from home to just enjoying at home – we are hooked to a network sharing, communicating, storing, and doing so much more with the information and data.

All of this highlights the demand for a network engineer. The job role for a network engineer might not have been quite the buzzword, but in the last few years, it comes to light as one of the advanced technical roles.
In addition to this, it is not only limited to the big IT companies but other businesses are showing their interests as well.

Let us look at some reasons why there is a demand for a network engineer.

Valuable Position

A network engineer, as we read above, is managing the entirety of the network system, making it quite a responsible position. From designing a system to securing it from any cyber-attacks, a network engineer will assist in smoothening the process of operational activities like sending data, storing information, communicating with the shareholders, and so much more. This is one of the reasons for such a surge in demand for this job position.

Work with recent technologies

Network engineers are like the backbone of the company by designing, maintaining, and managing the entire network system. It requires a fundamental knowledge of the latest technologies. The demand for this role is justified in the engineer’s skill set that has the potential to enhance the working of the organization. They keep the company’s IT department up to date with the recent updates and advancements.

Workforce is limited

Networking Engineer is a budding profession. There is a clear disequilibrium between the demand for this role and the workforce ready for this position. Everyone runs for the same old designations like front-end, back-end engineers, thereby increasing the demand for a network engineer. Choosing a network engineer’s role would give you the benefit of standing out as well as more probable chances to get a higher salary range.

All the reasons mentioned above indicate why a company demands a network engineer. As an aspiring engineer, for you, this role has to offer endless possibilities of growth like upskilling in the latest technologies, working with different network systems, growth opportunities, new career options, for example, cloud computer engineer, network security engineer, network architect, and so much more.

Network engineers’ roles could shape your future better than you could have imagined.

Network Engineer Salary

Even in these times of acute low GDP rate during Covid, the IT industry was among the sectors that had a fairly good standing in the market.

The demand for engineers and the booming industry is reflected in the average pay of the employees.

The average salary for a network engineer in India is ₹342,658 per annum. The range of the salary could go from the minimum of ₹171k per year to the maximum of ₹820k per year.

Network Engineer Average Salary
Network Engineer Average Salary

Salary Based on Experience

One of the leading factors that can affect the average salary of the employee is experience. The greater the number of years of experience a network engineer has, the higher will be the annual income.

Experience matters as it reflects your knowledge about the role and working of the industry. More years of experience gives you a benefit over a fresher, as you have an in-depth understanding of how the market works.

The average salary for a fresher network engineer (less than 1 year of experience) in India is ₹253,702 per annum.

Network Engineer Fresher Salary
Network Engineer Fresher Salary

The average salary for a network engineer in his/her early career (1-4 years) is ₹307,034 per annum.

1-4 Years Experience Salary
1-4 Years Experience Salary

The average salary for an experienced network engineer with more than 10 years of working experience is ₹829,081 per annum. This could also ready over 20-30+ LPA

Network Engineer Experienced Salary
Network Engineer Experienced Salary

You could look at the graph below for how the experience could affect the range of network engineer salaries.

Pay By Experience Level
Pay By Experience Level

Salary Based On Location

The location has been for many years affecting the pay composition of an employee. Even though in present times of remote working, location is a significant factor that affects salary structure.

The cost of living, demand for the role, workforce available takes into account the location factor.

Let us look at how different locations can vary a network engineer’s salary.

LocationAverage Base Pay/year (in INR)
Bangalore, Karnataka₹302k – ₹1m
Mumbai, Maharashtra₹245k – ₹650k
Chennai, Tamil Nadu₹294k – ₹900k
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh₹261k – ₹800k
Gurgaon, Haryana₹252k – ₹1m
Ahmedabad, Gujarat₹180k – ₹592k
Chandigarh₹141k – ₹450k
Indore, Madhya Pradesh₹117k – ₹500k

You could observe from the chart above that some locations have a higher pay scale range than the average base pay for a network engineer. For example, cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai have a significantly higher average pay scale per year for the network engineer job position in comparison to cities like Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, and Indore.

Salary Based on Company

A company or a recruiter plays a notable role in deciding the average base salary for a network engineer. Different companies have different job descriptions and responsibilities, every recruiter has a different financial standing. Therefore, the employer could make all the difference in the world when finalising your pay structure.
Choosing a good company affects the pay like if you are fresher in top company, then your salary could be fairly good as compared to an experienced professional at a small startup. So choose accordingly.

First, let us look at some top recruiters for Network Engineers in India.

  • Cisco System Inc
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Airtel
  • Tech Mahindra Ltd.
  • IBM India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Accenture
  • InfoSys Limited
  • Capgemini
  • AT & T Inc.
  • HP Enterprise Services
  • Cognizant

Now, take a look at the varied average base pay for all of these top recruiters.

CompanyAverage Base Pay/year (in INR)
Cisco System Inc₹884,372
Capgemini₹925,000
HP Enterprises Services₹800,000
AT & T Inc.₹731,500
Infosys Ltd.₹668,500
IBM India Pvt. Ltd.₹540,449
Tata Consultancy Services₹530,000
Accenture₹500,000
Tech Mahindra Ltd.₹425,000
Airtel Ltd.₹406,946
Cognizant₹407,362
Salary Based On Company

The table is highlighting how even in the top 11 recruiters there are a few big giants who hire network engineers at a pay range above the average base pay for this job role in India. Therefore, keep in mind that the company plays a key role in deciding network engineers’ salaries in India.

Salary Based on Skill Set

There is competition at every step of our life. There are more people out there than the jobs available. Yes, we are witnessing new job opportunities and job roles never heard of before but, the manpower is increasing at an equal rate. For this exact purpose, one needs to upskill oneself with time.

A network engineer’s salary might be different for a fresher who has the knowledge of the latest technologies over an experienced network engineer. Skills represent versatility, efficiency, and productivity.

Every company wants an employer who could go a mile ahead of their job roles and responsibilities.
Therefore, a network engineer salary in India can be affected by the skill set a professional acquires.

Let us look at some skills that affect the average base salary for a network engineer.

SkillsAverage Base Pay/year (in INR)
WAN Networking Skills₹590,000
Switches & Firewall Installation and Administration Skills₹379,638
Switching and Routing Skills₹348,643
Network Design Skills₹642,642
Python₹528,978
Troubleshooting₹600,000
Salary Based On Skills

How to Become a Network Engineer?

If you are all excited to start your career or switch midways to the field of network engineering, here are some basic requirements to be followed.

How To Become Network Engineer
How To Become Network Engineer

Education Qualifications

There is a huge debate on whether one needs a bachelor’s or master’s or any kind of degree to become a network engineer or not. Although a scholarly degree is not required to become a network engineer, many employers preferred it for this position.

You could see it as a factor making you stand out from the rest. The qualifications required for a network engineer are: Bachelors or Masters degree in the field of

  • Computer systems and networks
  • Computer Science
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Systems Engineering
  • Network Security Management

Experience

When you purchase a product, you might often look for reviews or anything about the brand/company. This gives you a satisfactory feeling of the legality of the company as well how is the quality of the products.

Likewise, experience in your domain of work matters to employers as it showcases your knowledge about the field, the job role, about the industry. Your experience is what allows you to analytically and effectively solve problems that a fresher might take long to even understand.

Therefore, besides your education qualifications, your experience will make a difference to help you become a better network engineer. Take on freelance projects, work with startup companies, make your learning graph leap towards growth and more opportunities. Broaden your horizon and skill set until you find your specialty and liking.

Comprehensive understanding of the Foundation of Networking

Before entering into any domain or industry, there should be a rock-solid knowledge about the industry. Your foundation of expertise is built only with an in-depth understanding of the basics.
Learn everything there is about networking.

Is the word ‘everything’ overwhelming you? Well, no one said that this learning should be completed within a month. Take your time. Big empires are not built in one day. All you need is to go step by step and learn everything on the way.

Some extra tips to keep in mind

  • Learning about a few programming languages could give you some extra points on your resume.
  • Practice concepts related to networking daily.
  • Before applying for the job, align your courses and learning according to the role.
  • Find a community of people to discuss issues, debate on topics and everything.
  • Take on extra learning besides just networking courses to broaden your perspective.
  • Try to find work in different industries to enhance your style of working.
  • Find your hobby to give yourself a satisfactory relaxing time.

Network Engineer Skills

We have read above in the article how skillset could vary the average base salary for a network engineer.

Not only the extra skills there are some skills a network engineer should acquire before applying for this job role. Some employers/recruiters look for these skills in their resumes.

So, some of the skills required for a network engineer are –

Fundamentals of Operating System

The working of an operating system, the processes, and everything constitutes a bigger part of learning for a network engineer.

As a network engineer is responsible for creating, maintaining, and managing the complete network infrastructure, a fundamental knowledge of operating systems like Linux, Windows, macOS will benefit the engineer. It is not even just a side skill rather a must possess the skill.

However, to ease your process, you could work on any operating system suited for the company you are applying to. Some prefer Linux over windows, so do the learning accordingly.

Programming Language

Just imagine the power you could hold, if you have the knowledge of how to write a code with a comprehensive understanding of network engineering? Writing a code gives an engineer to think creatively about solutions, working with different tools and technologies. Learning a programming language like Python, Perl, or C++, Java, etc could boost up your style of working thereby making everything more efficient and productive.

Cloud computing

Cloud is the present and the future of modern-day technology. The pace at which the cloud has witnessed its growth is tremendous. Plus, the huge demand for it reflects its inevitable bright future prospects.

Therefore, a basic understanding of cloud computing skills in a network engineer could do wonders when applying for the role. Azure, AWS, GCP are some of the examples you could learn about. These will help a business scale up through easily accessible large amounts of data that the cloud allows one to store. It will increase the efficiency, speed, and security of vital data.

Firewalls and Security

Network security might not be the sole work of a network engineer, however, it is one of the crucial responsibilities of a network engineer.

A network engineer should have the necessary knowledge about the security protocols, methodologies, and processes for the network systems. In case of emergent cyberattacks or virus infection, a network engineer should be responsible for handling the situation with his/her best work.

Troubleshooting Processes

You must have often heard or seen this word while finding errors on the browser or the wireless connection. In big companies to find the root of these issues, a network engineer is needed.

To make him/herself purposeful in these situations, a network engineer should be aware of creative, and thorough knowledge about the troubleshooting process. Analyzing the problem and finding a solution at times of emergent need is what is required.

Networking Skills

Having a solid familiarity with the network architectures and types like WAN, LAN is integral to the job of a network engineer.

This network infrastructure allows users to connect and communicate with different computers and users within a wide demographic. One of the most common examples of WAN is the Internet.

Understanding everything about WAN or any other network type is one of the basic skills a network engineer should acquire as these kinds of networks are used by companies on a daily basis for sharing and communicating a large chunk of information or data. With an example as big as the Internet you understand the entirety of potential this network possesses.

Soft Skills

Often in mastering a particular role, we focus so much on our practical, tangible hard skills that we lose the significance of soft skills.

Soft skills are an essential part of any job role or profession. It depicts your personality, your demeanor, your attitude towards employees, the company, or any situation as well. Are you authoritative or a leader? Are you calm or super hyper? Are you happy or just neutral? Here are some of the soft skills required to become a network engineer.

  • Analytical skills
  • Time Management skills
  • Excellent Communication
  • Reliable Documenting skills
  • Effective Leader
  • Creative skills
  • Team Building skills
  • Multi-tasking skills

Network Engineer Job Description

A network engineer is a tech professional who understands the inside out of a computer network system, hardware infrastructure, and other related systems.

The core responsibility constitutes designing, maintaining, and handling the current network systems as well as implementing new ones for efficient working of network operations. The role also comes with the responsibility of managing the security of these networks. Working beforehand to find the problems and even working after a problem to find a solution is what accounts for a perfect network engineer.

A network engineer should have a basic bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field of computer science or any other related field. A strong understanding of the hardware infrastructure, DNS (domain name system), routers, firewall systems, and cloud computing applications are required. An ideal network engineer should possess good analytical, communication, time management, and creative skills.

Network Engineers with knowledge of coding languages like Python, C++ or Java, etc, are preferred by many employers.

Network Engineer Job Responsibilities

  • Design a better, and efficient network infrastructure for the company
  • Work on enhancing the existing network systems.
  • Plan analytical and creative solutions for network-related problems for the company.
  • Maintain clear and concise documentation of the network-oriented queries and their plausible solutions.
  • Configure hardware and network equipment like routers, WAN accelerators, DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), switches, proxy servers, DNS (Domain Name System).
  • Install firewall and security systems for safety from cyber attacks, or a third party accessing confidential information, and to manage a secure communication and connection within different networks.
  • Maintain a database of all the information of the network system for interested parties like clients, stakeholders, managers, and employees.
  • Work with different teams for efficient and effective communication of ideas regarding the working of different network components and operational work.
  • Undertake timely updates for quality checks on the network systems
  • Enforcing policies and strategies for effective and efficient working of the systems.
  • Replace faulty hardware and software systems with new technologies.

Network Engineer Career Path

Network Engineering is a wide field of work. Starting a career in network engineering, you have the benefit of exploring many opportunities and positions before you. The benefit for any network engineer is the minimum education qualification required. Therefore, you could start by learning on your own and work through specialization courses.

In this whole process of learning, working with different companies, find your specialty, and once understanding the fundamentals of network engineering, you could bag so many job positions.

Some of the job roles you could apply for are:

Network Administrator

A network administrator or the system administrator is often confused with a network engineer. It is a job profile that requires a professional who is highly skilled in managing and maintaining different types of computer networks.

The responsibility of a system administrator is to focus on the routine activities regarding networking and assist in configuring solutions for a smooth operational process.

To enhance the network system, a network administrator will be accountable to come up with analytical strategies and methods.

Network Security Specialist

A network security specialist is an expert in the domain of administering security for the company’s network system. The specialist is responsible for handling all the possible threats to the company’s network system and finding an analytical solution to it. Network Security Specialists are required to be communicative, analytical, and quick in their decision-making.

On the list of specialist’s secondary tasks, the person is accountable for installing updated versions of firewall and security measures for enhanced protection.

Network Solutions Architect

Network Solutions Architect is the future buzzword in the field of network engineering. This position holds responsibility for intricate surveying of the network systems and network requirements of the company.

The expert is responsible for installing effective hardware and software tools to implement the proper functioning of the networks that align with network security. Besides a degree, many employers preferred a specialization degree in this job role related to the industry or field of network engineering.

Networking Research and Development Specialist

We all know-how research and development is a core part of any budding industry to grow to its full potential. It nurtures the data from the research and analyses it for greater use. A networking research and development specialist is an expert in this domain of work. The specialist will be responsible for connecting with the external and the internal parties related to the company like vendors, stakeholders, employees, managers, technicians, etc.

A network research and development specialist will research different network protocols, methodologies, and services in order to incorporate the latest technologies and configure a superior network system.

Have a clear knowledge of the basics of networking and other specialties.

Network Analyst

A network analyst is a professional who is responsible for analyzing, identifying, and managing different queries and data about network components. A network analyst needs to be a versatile person who understands the technical as well as the business side of the company.

For understanding, analyzing, and interpreting the final solution, he/she has to look through the data of the networks and the business. Based on the data interpreted like the latest trends or surveys from the parties, a network analyst will take action to resolve any issue regarding network operations.

A solid understanding of database management systems, creative thinking, and fine research skills are some of the common skills required for a network analyst.

Conclusion

Technology is an ever-evolving industry. Every day there is something new. Working as a network engineer will give you the possibility to learn every day.
The position of a network engineer in India is booming at a fast pace with different growth opportunities. Cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad have some great pay packages that could go beyond the average base pay for this position.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Network Engineering a good career?

Yes, Network engineering is a good career option in the IT sector and the demand for this job role is at a tremendous growth rate. In addition to this, there is quite a limited workforce for this job role. So competition is quite less and pay is good.

What are the skills required for a network engineer?

The top 10 skills required for a network engineer are

  • Firewall and security skills
  • Networking design skills
  • Programming Language
  • Cloud Computing skills
  • Networking skills
  • Basic knowledge of operating systems
  • Good communication skills
  • Problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
  • Time Management skills
  • Multi-tasking

Do network engineers make good money?

Network engineers can earn a fairly good average base pay if have good working experience in this field or working in some metropolitan city. The average salary of a network engineer varies according to experience, location, skills, and recruiter.

Is Network Engineering in demand?

Yes, networking engineering is quite in high demand by employers in the present times.

Do network engineers have a future?

Network engineers have a bright future ahead. Not only the IT industry, but every other industry is also looking for network engineers, for their company. Such demand and limited workforce and better learning opportunities highlight the booming future of network engineering.

How do I become a network engineer?

  • Learn the basics of networking
  • Learn any programming language
  • Acquire skills required like firewall and security, network design, etc.
  • Gain working experience with startups or freelancing or personal projects.
  • Find your community for new perspectives and discussions
  • Stay up to date with the latest technologies.
  • Take appropriate breaks between work.

Resources

Practice Coding
Networking Interview Questions

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