Network Engineer Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Network Engineer Do?

Network engineers design, implement, and maintain computer networks for companies in various industries. Using their expertise, they optimize the performance, security, and scalability of networks. These engineers typically work in office settings, either as part of in-house IT teams or as consultants.

It is essential that network engineers understand network protocols and technologies and possess strong problem-solving and analytical skills. They must have experience with several networking hardware and software systems, as well as the ability to identify and troubleshoot complex network problems. It is also important that they are comfortable with project management as well as fluent in both technical and non-technical communication.

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National Average Salary

Network engineer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Network Engineer is:


Network Engineer Job Descriptions

It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a network engineer. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.

Example 1

[Your company name] is seeking an eager and able network engineer who enjoys working with colleagues and helping them resolve technical issues. You’ll be elbow deep in IT heaven, creating and maintaining internet networks, protecting those networks with the use of firewalls and other defensive measures, and assisting colleagues and employees with technical difficulties. You will thoroughly enjoy this position if you enjoy helping others understand IT and walking them through technological problems and solving their challenges. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Creating and maintaining secure internet networks
  • Protecting new and existing networks
  • Managing email communication technical issues within the company and for clients
  • Offer support for these networks to colleagues and employees
  • Maintain the company’s phone system and troubleshoot any issues that may arise
  • Deal with network equipment like load balancers, routers, VPNs, Switches, Proxy Servers, and WAN accelerators without issue
  • Use monitoring and troubleshooting to improve network performance
  • Perform schedule updates, network upgrades, security configurations, and installing patches or service packs
  • Communicate with third-party support services and service providers

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, network security management or computer systems engineering
  • Continuing education must be ongoingly pursued

Required skills and qualifications

  • Ability to analyze the effectiveness of networks
  • Ability to identify and solve network irregularities
  • Ability to carefully plan tasks to make sure projects will meet deadlines 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Thorough problem-solving skills
  • Ability to successfully and efficiently manage projects

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business administration or computer science
  • Thorough knowledge of IT inner workings
  • Agile and Scrum experience

Example 2

The Network Engineer will provide advanced support of the global network, including design, installations, and maintenance.

Part of the Network team, this role will interface with multiple teams throughout IT and ABC Company Business Units to serve as the go-to for understanding business challenges and determining where network solutions can be of assistance, troubleshooting issues, and new projects.

This is a highly visible and critical role to the success and health of the ABC Company network. We are looking for someone who is ready to help bring network solutions to relevant business opportunities, solve problems, make improvements, and contribute to the overall architecture of the ABC Company infrastructure.


  • Design, configure, and coordinate the installation of new remote office routers, switches, and circuits
  • Design, configure, and manage the installation of new, or upgraded datacenter network infrastructure equipment including core switches, WLAN controllers, datacenter-class routers
  • Provides day to day support of network environment and monitors existing network capacity and identifies areas that need to be increased. Also provides after hours/weekend support on a rotating, on-call basis
  • Participates in the management of data circuit vendor support calls and escalates as needed
  • Develops and maintains technical documentation
  • Identifies and provides support and resolution for network problems on the LAN/WAN
  • Overall design of the load balancing environment including architecting and implementing global load balancing, taking into consideration disaster recovery strategy
  • Provide 3rd level technical support assistance to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 support staff to diagnose and resolve application issues.
  • Supply Service Desk and Tier 3 Support Technicians with documentation and procedures for resolving common or recurring problems.
  • Create and maintain technical documentation for the web and application environments, including network diagrams, installation and configuration procedures, troubleshooting guidelines, and operational procedures
  • Assist in the management and configuration of the F5 Application Delivery Controller infrastructure


  • Compelling careers working side-by-side with the best in the business
  • Information technology is a core part of Baird’s business strategy and plays a critical role in the growth and transformation of the firm.
  • Computer World Best Company to Work For with collaborative culture that values diverse backgrounds and perspectives while emphasizing teamwork and a strong sense of partnership.


  • Demonstrates working knowledge at a CCNA level for Cisco routers, switches, wireless LAN equipment, and IOS. VoIP experience a plus.
  • Track record of working within an enterprise network team with a packet capture analysis and decoding (Wireshark, Network Observer)
  • Strong understanding of SD-WAN and/or SDN solutions
  • Proficient enough in Visio to produce network diagrams
  • Creative troubleshooter with the ability to work in a fast paced, ever changing environment
  • Strong communication and collaborator with teammates, clients and vendors. Knowledge of the business impact of the technology you support, you will need to determine priority and feel comfortable educating others and making technical decisions
  • Ability to communicate and work effectively in a team environment
  • Exceptional organizational skills with the ability to prioritize multiple projects
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, MIS, or Business Administration. A minimum of five years experience in a technical role with experience in Cisco routers and switches

Example 3

We are looking for a talented and inquisitive Network Operations Engineer that possesses a thorough knowledge of IT and video systems, a good knowledge of computer applications, and knowledge of video tape formats. The candidate must be able to work with accuracy, precision, and consistency in a fast paced, high-pressure environment. The candidate must also be detail oriented as the position requires the ability to troubleshoot, and come up with solutions to problems quickly and efficiently. This position does require nights and weekend work to be available if, and when, issues arise that require IT/Engineering support.


  • Maintain the Networking, Video, and audio, infrastructure in the (City, State) office
  • Work with the Senior Director of Digital Operations to create a regular scheduled day of maintenance
  • Work with outside contractor to understand our Ingest system (knowledge of Centos OS required)
  • Work on the local SAN to maintain file systems and structure
  • Tracking issues when files fail and resolve any broken file issues
  • Manage multiple projects with rapidly changing priorities
  • Work closely with the ABC Company Production Team to verify what content is ingested and available on the SAN
  • Comprehensive error reporting to various stakeholders
  • Maintain working knowledge of the conferences that we are working with and the content that needs to be ingested on a daily basis
  • Ability to communicate effectively to clients when problems arise

Required education and experience

  • Minimum 5+ years of experience working with Networking systems, and Broadcast video systems
  • Knowledge of Microsoft OS systems, including Server 2012 and above, Mac OS, Linux (Centos)
  • Knowledge of Adobe CC, Premiere Pro, Media Encoder, and After Effects
  • Ability to configure network switches and troubleshoot when issues arise
  • Experience managing schedules in either Microsoft Excel or similar programs
  • Experience working with live events
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work well with others during stressful situations
  • Ability to multitask well
  • The ideal candidate will have a strong knowledge of video, audio, and IT systems
  • The ideal candidate should have a strong interest in sports and technology
  • This position does require working nights and weekends during College sports season

Example 4

Your aim is to ensure the integrity of high availability network infrastructure to provide maximum performance for your users.

As a network engineer, you’ll have responsibility for setting up, developing and maintaining data networks within an organization or between organizations. You’ll offer support to users, who can be staff, students, clients, and customers, as well as troubleshoot any problems that arise. This may, in some cases, involve designing and implementing new networks and hardware.

You will be exposed to new and exciting technologies that will push your abilities and enlarge your skills and horizons.

Key responsibilities:

  • This position will focus on as a network administrator for ABC Company including various remote sites throughout (State) metro areas.
  • Responsible for delivery of tasks in accordance with accepted project plans. Communicates with other departments to report and resolve software, hardware, and operations problems
  • Establishes and maintains network users, user environment, access lists, and security
  • Responsible for remote office support
  • Responsible for support of remote users
  • Works with IT Group to design and implement network topologies
  • Load balancing technologies and support various internal to university customers and data center environment
  • Maintains circuit documentation
  • Data networking layer 2 and layer 3 support
  • Understanding of LAN and WAN environment, which includes basic Routing and Switching topologies, Wireless (802.ln, a, g, ac), VPNs (IPsec, SSL and others), Ethernet, Carrier Ethernet, and MPLS
  • Strong analysis and problem solving skills and IF packet analysis
  • Escalates issues to vendors and management
  • Takes a proactive approach to mentoring other staff members
  • Solid knowledge of IP routing protocols such us BGP, OSPF, ISIS, and EIGRP
  • Special projects as assigned


  • Curiosity, motivation, and a desire for continuous learning
  • A reliable team worker
  • Strong technical skills in a data networking field
  • A collaborator with a focus on providing solutions based on the requirements and necessary outcomes of those whom we serve
  • VPN and tunneling techniques (GRE, IPsec, DMVPN, MP-BGP)
  • Routed protocols such as lPv4 and lPv6
  • Cisco router and switch configuration and administration
  • Strong Routing Skills with ISIS, MP-BGP, OSPF. Source routing knowledge is a plus
  • Virtualized networking (MPLS, VPLS, LDP, SR, PW, VXLAN, VTEP)
  • Strong Layer 2 technology skills including IEEE 802.3, 802.1D, 802.1w and 802.1s
  • Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, ‘RADIUS, and TACACS
  • TCPIP networking (IEEE 802.3)
  • Multicast Protocols and topology (Auto-RP, BSR, RFC1112, PIM, IGMP, CGMP, RPF, BIDIR-PIM, MSDP, SSM, and Anycast)
  • Load balancing technologies (focus on LTM, GTM, and others)

Minimum requirements:

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or closely related field
  • Substitution: A combination of work experience in the occupational field or specialized subject area of the work assigned to the job, which provided the same kind, amount, and level of knowledge acquired in the required education, may be substituted on a year-for-year basis for the bachelor’s degree
  • 3 years experience working in data network field

*Full detailed job description given to those identified for interviews.

Required: Applicants must meet minimum qualifications at the time of hire.

Additional qualifications:

  • Cisco certification(s) – CCNA/CCNP
  • Large Cisco network switching and routing experience
  • Experience with data center switches and environment (such us Nexus family and ACI topology)
  • Knowledge of and experience with VPN and wireless networking
  • Three years of professional experience working in an enterprise class higher education environment

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP). The CCNP is a long-standing certification in the network engineer world that teaches how to plan, implement and verify networks.
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). Being that the CCIE is a more advanced certification, fewer than 1% of network engineers achieve this certification. This certification focuses on subjects like routing and switching, data centers, service providers, collaborations, security, and wireless topics. Interested candidates must pass the lab exam within 18 months of passing the written exam.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). The CISSP gives network engineers the ability to design and manage cybersecurity programs. This certification is a good choice for those wanting to learn about security programs and protocol. 
  • Comp TIA Network+. This certification is a good first choice for network engineers just beginning to accrue their certifications. It covers a broad range of subject matter including but not limited to the design and implementation of networks, network device configurations, security standards, and troubleshooting procedures.

Sample Interview Questions

  • How do you create network architectures that are optimized for performance and security based on your experience designing and implementing computer networks?
  • In your experience, how do you improve the reliability and performance of your network by using data and analytics?
  • What steps do you take to ensure that network infrastructure upgrades are completed on time and within budget?
  • How do you design and implement virtualized network environments based on your experience with virtualization technologies?
  • How do you approach disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and how do you ensure that networks can quickly recover from disruptions or outages?
  • What steps do you take to ensure network security and prevent unauthorized access and data breaches?
  • In order to ensure that your network designs are future-proof, how do you keep up with the latest trends and technologies in computer networking?
  • What was the process you followed when troubleshooting a complex network issue?
  • How do you evaluate and select new technologies for your clients or company based on your experience with a variety of networking hardware and software systems?
  • When it comes to aligning network operations with business goals and objectives, how do you work with other IT professionals, stakeholders, and clients?

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