Why does the typical network engineer salary tend to be high? Network engineer jobs usually have a massive set of responsibilities. Furthermore, the job will only get more complex, requiring that network engineers keep their skills cutting-edge if they want to stay in demand. According to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the US, network engineers are in high demand (147,448 job postings over the past 12 months), with a projected growth rate of 6.5 percent over the next 10 years.
So what is a network engineer’s average salary? A network engineer is a rapidly growing profession. The Dice Salary Report plugged the average network engineer salary at $89,596 in 2019. The Burning Glass tells us that the median network engineer salary is $100,909.
The average network engineer salary rises along with experience. Having more than nine years of experience usually allows you to comfortably make six-figure salaries, and that’s before you throw in other perks and benefits, such as stock options or expense reimbursements.
And what are the most valuable skills for a network engineer? You should specialize in network engineering, of course, Сisco and routers, Java and Python, Wide Area Network (WAN), and also project management. It’s also worth noting that any job will demand you possess “soft skills” such as communication and teamwork, planning, and problem solving. Network engineers must interface on a pretty consistent basis with executives, teammates, and those in other divisions.
Does one need a degree to become a network engineer? According to Burning Glass, some 85 percent of network engineering jobs ask for a bachelor’s degree, while very few ask for any kind of advanced degree. That’s good news for aspiring network engineers who don’t necessarily want to spend extra years earning a master’s degree or Ph.D. Nonetheless, education also has an impact on salaries. Those with bachelor’s degrees can usually expect to get higher salaries.
A number of employers ask that their network engineers possess certain certifications, such as Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). Security-related certifications are a very big deal (Security Clearance Certification, CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)), and with good reason: it’s one of the most crucial aspects of your typical network engineering position. Threats to networks change constantly, requiring that network engineers keep their cybersecurity skills high and awareness of those threats relevant.
It’s important to make sure that you can display all the skills that will put you ahead of the competition on your network engineer resume.