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Computer Network Administrator

Computer network administrators plan, establish, operate, maintain and support the use of:

  • local area networks (LANs)
  • wide area networks (WANs)
  • mainframe networks and related hardware
  • software and equipment.
  • Avg. Salary $76,380.00
  • Avg. Wage $38.12
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 4,200
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Computer Specialist, Deployment Technician, Desktop Support Technician, Help Desk Support, Information System Technician, Information Technology Specialist, IT System Administrator, Junior Network Analyst, Junior Network Operation Technician, Local Area Network Administrator, Network Support Specialist, Remote Operations Technician, System Analyst, Technical Support Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Computer and Network Operators (2281.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Computer and Network Operators and Web Technicians (C181) 
  • 2011 NOC: Computer network technicians (2281) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

23%
23%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Computer Network Administrator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Computer and Network Operators
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to monitor the performance of computer systems and networks, to co-ordinate access and use of computer networks and to install computer hardware, networking software and operating system software

METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to implement data, software and hardware security procedures; in performing routine network start up and shutdown, and in performing data backup and disaster recovery operations

directive

Interest in assisting to provide problem-solving services to network users

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Computer networks vary in size and design. Some networks link two computers in the same building. Others link computers all over the world.

A computer network administrator’s role depends on the size and nature of the network. In general, they:

  • maintain networks, computer workstations, and other connected equipment (such as printers)
  • help users solve problems
  • assess and install hardware
  • assess and install networking and operating system software
  • configure and maintain networking hardware (such as switches, VPNs and wireless access points)
  • operate master consoles (to monitor system and network performance and co-ordinate network use)
  • keep records and prepare reports (for example, on systems operations)
  • diagnose problems and replace faulty parts (both hardware and software)
  • implement data, software and hardware security procedures (such as ensuring secure connections)
  • oversee the installation of copper and wireless network media
  • maintain networks and control records
  • perform data backups and disaster recovery procedures
  • manage backups using tapes, disks or cloud storage (such as Infrastructure as a Service or offsite backup).

Computer technology changes rapidly. As a result, computer network administrators must constantly assess new products and change parts. To stay current, they share information via social media and open source websites. They go to training courses and conferences and read computer-related articles, journals, and magazines.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Computer network administrators may work in climate-controlled computer rooms and offices. They may work standard office hours or 8- to 12-hour shifts. Shifts may include evenings, nights and weekends. They sometimes work as part of a team.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Computer network administrators need to possess:

  • the ability to think logically
  • the ability to study complex problems
  • the ability to speak, listen, and write clearly
  • the ability to be calm and efficient under pressure
  • good people skills
  • a keen interest in keeping up to date with technology
  • the ability to ask the right questions (to understand problems).

They should enjoy:

  • studying information and solving problems
  • taking a step-by-step approach to precision tasks
  • consulting with others.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Most computer network administrators have post-secondary training in computer science or programs offered by network software vendors.

Some employers require applicants to become trained or certified for a specific type of network environment (such as a Cisco Certified Network Associate or Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer). Anyone interested in being a computer network administrator should talk to potential employers about training options before they start a training program.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Academy of Learning - Calgary NE

Academy of Learning - Calgary South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown

Academy of Learning - Edmonton South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton West

Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat

Academy of Learning - Red Deer

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton West

Evergreen College - Calgary

Robertson College - Calgary NW

Robertson College - Edmonton

Vancouver Island University - Nanaimo

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies through the objective application of specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. This means that to call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the I.S.P. designation, you must be a registered member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

What You Need

The Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) has defined the body of knowledge required for certification and recognizes the many different ways this standard may be achieved. Applicants must provide documented evidence for 1 of the following I.S.P. designation criteria routes: (1) Established Academic, (2) IT Industry Leader, (3) Established IT Professional, (4) Education Plus Experience, (5) Exam, (6) Professional Experience Only (applicants must have entered the field prior to 1976), or (7) Upgrade from Candidate Status. For official, detailed information, visit the CIPS website, CIPS Alberta website or contact CIPS Alberta.

Working in Alberta

Information systems professionals who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered professionals in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta
PO Box 21085
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6R 2V4
Phone Number: 780-431-9311
Toll-free phone number: 1-844-431-9311
Fax number: 780-413-0076
E-mail: alberta@cips.ca
Website: ab.cips.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Computer network administrators work for medium to large companies, government departments, and consulting firms. Some are self-employed consultants.

Prospects for advancement depend on the size of the company and the employee’s qualifications. Experienced computer network administrators may move into related jobs, such as web technician. With further education, they can become computer programmers, interactive media programmers, or web designers.

Computer network administrators are part of a larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2281: Computer network technicians. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the C181: Computer and Network Operators and Web Technicians occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 80 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018
Computer network technicians

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.25 $44.26 $30.24 $29.78
Overall $23.65 $50.32 $38.12 $37.58
Top $24.04 $60.58 $44.29 $44.19

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Public Administration
Construction
ALL INDUSTRIES
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Utilities
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Manufacturing
Educational Services
Retail Trade
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

30%
30%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

23%
23%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

6%
6%

Vacancy Rate

5%
Related High School Subjects
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Computing Science
    • Networking
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Electro-Technologies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) of Alberta website: www.cipsalberta.ca

Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) website: www.ictc-ctic.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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