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Occupational Profile

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 peripheral equipment.

  • Avg. Salary $70,287.00
  • Avg. Wage $35.33
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 8,100
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Network Support Specialist, Computer Specialist, Information Technology Specialist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

40%
40%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Computer Network Administrator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Computer and Network Operators
NOC code: 2281.1
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 Dec 20, 2016

Computer networks range in size and design from a simple link between two personal computers in the same building to massive networks that link computers of varying capabilities all over the world.

Duties and responsibilities vary from one job to another depending on the size and nature of the network. However, in general, computer network administrators:

  • maintain, troubleshoot and administer networks, computer workstations and peripheral equipment (for example, printers)
  • respond to network user inquiries
  • evaluate and install computer hardware, networking software and operating system software
  • configure and maintain switching and routing equipment
  • operate master consoles to monitor the performance of computer systems and networks and to co-ordinate network use
  • keep records and prepare systems operations reports
  • load computer tapes and disks and install software and printer paper and forms
  • diagnose hardware and related software problems and replace defective components 
  • implement data, software and hardware security procedures (for example, ensure secure connections and safeguard against denial-of-service attacks)
  • oversee the installation of copper, optical fiber and wireless network media
  • perform routine network startup and close down procedures and maintain control records
  • perform data backups and disaster recovery operations.

Computer technology changes so rapidly that computer network administrators are constantly assessing the suitability of new products and changing network components. To keep up to date with new developments, they share information via e-mail, use web based resources, attend technical training courses and conferences, and read computer related journals, magazines and newsletters.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Computer network administrators may work in environmentally controlled computer rooms and offices. They may work standard office hours or be required to work 8 to 12 hour shifts that include evenings, nights and weekends. Lifting items that weigh up to 10 kilograms may be routinely required.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Computer network administrators need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to think logically and analyze complex problems
  • the ability to express ideas in clear, understandable terms and communicate effectively with vendors, co-workers and network users
  • the ability to work efficiently under pressure
  • the ability to get along well with network users and remain calm in stressful circumstances
  • a keen interest in keeping up to date with technological developments.

They should enjoy analyzing information and solving problems, taking a methodical approach to tasks requiring precision, and consulting with others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Computer network administrators are usually graduates of post-secondary programs related to computer science or training programs offered by network software vendors. Some employers require job applicants to have certification or training for a specific type of network environment (for example, Cisco Certified Network Associate, Microsoft Certified Systems Expert). Prospective computer network administrators are strongly advised to discuss their training options with potential employers before enrolling in 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 City Centre

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 Dec 20, 2016

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.

Education

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 Dec 20, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Computer network administrators are employed by medium to large corporations, government departments and consulting firms. Some are self-employed consultants.

Advancement opportunities depend on the size of the organization and the employee's qualifications. Experienced computer network administrators may move into related occupations such as web technician or, with additional education, become computer programmers, interactive media developers 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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 5,300 Albertans are employed in the Computer network technicians occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 80 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As computer network administrators form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for computer network administrators.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Computer network technicians
NOC code: 2281

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 $18.50 $51.36 $28.66 $26.20
Overall $21.05 $56.16 $35.33 $33.50
Top $23.25 $82.38 $42.46 $39.07

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
Oil & Gas Extraction
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Wholesale Trade
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Educational Services
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Manufacturing
Construction
Retail Trade
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

40%
40%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

20%
20%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

9%
9%

2015 Vacancy Rate

5%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Computing Science
    • Networking
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Electro-Technologies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) website: www.cips.ca

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Sep 01, 2009. 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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