Nearly every company uses some level of computer technology to conduct business. But without computer networking, this technology wouldn't be able to communicate beyond the walls of the organization and tap into all the information available today. This is where computer-networking professionals come into the picture. These IT professionals design, maintain, test and evaluate computer network technology. Salaries are often based on the role played within the computer network.
In 2011, computer network architects earned an average of $81,670 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Network administrators, on the other hand, earned an average of $74,270 per year. Both figures, however, are broad representations of earning potential in the field. To get a better idea of computer networking salaries, it’s best to break it out by role.
Network architects are tasked with designing and upgrading computer networks to support an organization’s business requirements. A salary survey conducted by Robert Half Technology, a national recruiter for IT professionals, found that network architects earned an average of $95,500 to $137,000 per year in 2012.
Network managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the networks designed by network architects. They test, maintain and integrate the systems into an organization’s digital landscape. As of 2012, network managers can expect to earn $82,750 to $114,500 annually, according to Robert Half Technology.
Network engineers develop and maintain computer network communications for both internal and external networks. They collaborate with architects and managers to help design network systems and suggest improvements to eliminate potential problems with communication. Robert Half Technology projected salaries for network engineers at $75,000 to $107,750 per year as of 2012. Modis, a national IT recruiting firm, breaks this role down even further, offering salaries based on experience. With less than 2 years of experience, network engineers average $57,300 per year. Those with 2 to 5 years of experience earn $71,100 per year, while those with more than 5 years of experience earn $86,300 per year.
Network administrators implement software into the computer networks and troubleshoot performance and connectivity issues as they arise. These IT professionals earn an average of $58,750 to $87,250 per year. As experience increases, so do salaries, and network administrators are no exception. According to Modis, network administrators with less than 2 years of experience earn $55,000 per year. Those with 2 to 4 years of experience average $64,900 per year, while those with 4 to 6 years of experience earn $77,800 per year. With 6 to 8 years of experience, administrators earn $80,500, and those with more than 8 years of experience earn $86,100 per year.