[Editorial Note: complete list of interview questions for network administrators is below.]
Network administrators (aka LAN administrators, system administrators, or network coordinator; job title generally depends on the size of the employer) are part of the backbone of our technological existence.
Network professionals maintain various computer networks, including LAN (local), MAN (metro), and WAN (wide).
Let’s not also forget VPNs and Storage-Area Networks.
With COVID-19, employees are working from home more than ever, which makes the network administrator’s job critical to communications, project management, and workflow between employees, partners, clients, vendors, and so on.
Never has the network administrator’s job been more important as employers seek to make remote working a complete success.
Network administrators take on a heavy burden, as employers rely on them to manage their daily security duties and maintain the installation, updates, and troubleshooting of networked devices. The delicate balance and health of a network influences employee performance.
Salary & Career Outlook
As with many technical career fields, there’s a major discrepancy in reported annual salary. For example, ZipRecruiter reports that a network administrator’s salary can be as low as $21,500 (eek!) and as high as $93,000.
The location of your job search also affects salary expectations.
For example, a network administrator in Dayton, Ohio, has a median salary of just under $77,000, while the median salary for those in Texas is almost $83,000.
According to CIO magazine, network administrators were among the top 10 most in-demand tech jobs going into 2020.
The defining factors between these two salary ranges are likely education and experience. If your goal is to get into a high five-figure or six-figure salary, secure the necessary certifications, including:
- CompTIA A+ Certification
- Cisco CCNA Certification
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
- VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
It’s worth noting that networking professionals who transition into more advanced IT job roles and specialization (e.g., Cisco certified/trained) command higher salaries.
List of example interview questions for network administrators:
[YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THIS list of general job interview questions to prep for as well]
- What types of networks have you worked with?
- Explain your experience and the benefits of subnetting.
- What is the worst network outage situation you have faced? What was your role in restoring services?
- What are some of the daily security issues faced by network administrators?
- If a systems crash happens after hours, are you OK with coming in and staying until the network is restored?
- Have you ever worked with mapping a new network?
- What are the three major types of networks you’ve worked with?
- How would you go about implementing a new network? What hardware items would you need? What platforms/software would you use?
- Explain how traceroute works.
- What are the steps you take if the internet suddenly stops working for either one user or a whole department/company?
- Employee A calls and asks for a file from employee B’s personal network share. Employee B is out sick that day. Employee A says the file is critical for an important meeting that is happening in 20 minutes. What do you do?
- What was the worst issue you’ve ever caused, and how did you fix it?
- Pick two of these to describe in detail: IPSEC, OSPF, IPv6, TCP, HTTPS, VRRP, STP, anycast.
- How do you ensure equipment and software are current?
- A user is unable to ping a system on the network. How can Wireshark be used to solve the problem?
- What certifications do you have?
- What training have you taken in the past 12 months?
- What is your experience supporting telecommute workers?
- What is the difference between a workgroup and a domain?
- How does the network administrator influence other areas of the IT department?
- How do you make sure the basic LAN infrastructure is secure from outside attacks?
- The business office is unable to process checks because the server just went down. Simultaneously, the CEO calls and is having a meltdown because his laptop is not working. What do you do?
- What are the requirements for a strong password?
- What is the difference between a print server and a network-attached printer?
- Describe your experience with WAN connectivity.
- Discuss your experience with strategic planning for the information systems of a company.
- Specify the technical documentation you’ve written.
Do you need help preparing for an upcoming job interview? Get interview coaching/mock interview prep to help you prepare for the general, situational, and behavioral interview questions you can expect.
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