Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Computer Network Administrator

Computer network administrators plan, establish, operate, maintain, and support the use of computer networks and related hardware and software.

Also Known As

Computer Network Technician, Computer Specialist, Deployment Technician, Desktop Support Technician, Help Desk Support, Information System Technician, Information Technology Specialist, IT Manager, IT Support Specialist, IT System Administrator, IT Technician, Junior Network Analyst, Junior Network Operation Technician, Local Area Network Administrator, Network Support Specialist, Remote Operations Technician, Systems Analyst, Systems Administrator, SysAdmin, Technical Support Technician, User 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) 
  • 2016 NOC: Computer network technicians (2281) 
  • 2021 NOC: Computer network and web technicians (22220) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Computer and Network Operators

2006 NOC: 2281.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Apr 07, 2022

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

Computer network administrators manage:

  • Local area networks (LANs)
  • Wide area networks (WANs)
  • Hardware in the network, such as PCs, laptops, mobile devices, switches, and firewalls
  • Software and servers
  • Cloud technologies
  • Internet
  • Wireless technologies

A computer network administrator’s role depends on the size and nature of the network. They may assess, select, install, configure, or maintain:

  • Networking and operating system software
  • Networking hardware such as switches, VPNs, and wireless access points
  • Storage devices such as NAS (network attached storage) and SAN (storage area network)
  • Computer workstations, connected equipment (such as printers), or mobile devices
  • Virtual environments such as the VMware vCenter, and Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Cloud-based services

Computer network administrators also:

  • Diagnose and solve problems
  • Replace faulty hardware and software
  • Operate master consoles to monitor system and network performance and coordinate network use
  • Keep records and prepare reports on topics such as systems operations
  • Oversee the installation of copper and wireless network media
  • Implement data, software, and hardware security procedures such as ensuring secure connections for a remote workforce
  • Perform data backups and disaster recovery procedures
  • Manage backups using tapes, disks, or cloud storage such as infrastructure as a service (IAAS) or offsite backup

Computer technology changes rapidly. 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 attend training courses and conferences and read computer-related articles, journals, and magazines.

Working Conditions
Updated Apr 07, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Computer network administrators may work in offices and climate-controlled computer rooms. Some may work remotely to support a wide geographic area. Others may be asked or choose to work from home.

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.

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 07, 2022

Computer network administrators need:

  • Logical thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • People skills
  • The ability to study complex problems
  • The ability to be calm and efficient under pressure
  • The ability to ask the right questions to understand problems
  • A keen interest in keeping up to date with technology

They should enjoy:

  • Studying information and solving problems
  • Taking a step-by-step approach to precision tasks
  • Consulting with others
  • Working with changing technologies
  • Interacting with and helping others

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Computer network technicians

2016 NOC: 2281

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Aug 24, 2022 and Dec 03, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Maintain, troubleshoot and administer the use of local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), mainframe networks and computer workstations and peripheral equipment
Tasks: Evaluate and install computer hardware, networking software and operating system software
Tasks: Provide problem-solving services to network users
Tasks: Perform data backups and disaster recovery operations
Tasks: Install, maintain, troubleshoot and upgrade Web-server hardware and software
Tasks: Set up local area networks and connections to the Internet
Tasks: Operate master consoles to monitor the performance of computer systems and networks and to co-ordinate access and use of computer networks
Tasks: Perform routine network start up and close down and maintain control records
Tasks: Implement data, software and hardware security procedures
Tasks: Implement network traffic and security monitoring software, and optimize server performance
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 07, 2022
  • Minimum Education Varies

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

Anyone interested in being a computer network administrator should talk to potential employers about training options before starting 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 Central
Academy of Learning - Calgary NE
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
Academy of Learning Airdrie
Bow Valley College
Canadian Imperial College
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
Robertson College - Calgary
Robertson College - Edmonton
Sundance College - Edmonton

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 07, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Registration is available but is not usually required by employers.

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop, or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies. They do so objectively applying specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta’s Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act [pdf].

To call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the ISP designation, you must register as a member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta).

You do not have to register if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Information Systems Professional.

Additional Information

Some employers require applicants to become trained or certified for a specific type of network environment, such as:

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and other certifications offered by Cisco
  • Microsoft Certified certifications offered by Microsoft

For details, visit the companies’ websites.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 07, 2022

Computer network administrators work for:

  • Medium to large companies
  • Government departments
  • Consulting firms
  • Managed service providers (MSP, or third-party service provider)
  • Healthcare providers
  • School boards
  • Post-secondary institutions
  • Oil and gas companies

Some work as 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 network analysts, systems analysts, or cloud administrators.

They may also advance to team lead or supervisory roles in their department, such as desktop support manager or remote operations manager.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2281: Computer network technicians occupational group, 78.1% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2281: Computer network technicians occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 77 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 07, 2022

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Computer network technicians

2016 NOC: 2281
Average Wage
$38.88
Per Hour
Average Salary
$76,762.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2281 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.23 $52.07 $32.32 $30.31
Overall $24.00 $57.69 $38.88 $36.28
Top $26.44 $64.62 $44.50 $43.27

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
19%
19%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
16%
16%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
2%
2%
Vacancy Rate
1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 07, 2022

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) of Alberta website: ab.cips.ca

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

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. 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.

Was this page useful?
Top