Hiring a Network Engineer: Job Description, Pay, Interview Questions & More

A network engineer is an information technology (IT) professional responsible for developing and maintaining a company’s computer networks. They ensure that the network functions correctly and that company devices have a stable connection. These engineers perform routine updates as needed and prioritize the security of a company, as well.

In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into what this role does, how people become one, what they provide to businesses, and other general knowledge when it comes to hiring a network engineer!

What is a Network Engineer?

Networks are systems responsible for how computers communicate with each other. These systems help computers share data and stay connected to the internet, which allows for enhanced communication and collaboration between employees from virtually anywhere in the world.

A network engineer’s job description can vary, but generally, they’re responsible for designing and implementing those computer networks. They ensure that networks are functional and maintain them by troubleshooting and performing updates. Maintaining these networks also requires them to identify and resolve issues pertaining to breaches, lost data, performance problems, or cyber-attacks.

RELATED: Network Engineer Job Description Generator

Responsibilities of a Network Engineer

Network engineer roles and responsibilities may vary depending on your business needs, the industry, or the company size, but they’ll generally be responsible for the following:

  • Designing and implementing computer networks
  • Installing equipment to integrate with networks
  • Maintaining hardware in addition to networks, mainframes, routers, or VPNs
  • Observing systems to identify weaknesses and improve performance
  • Troubleshooting and resolving network complications
  • Creating firewalls to protect networks and company data
  • Developing disaster recovery protocols
  • Reporting metrics and analytics to stakeholders
  • Maximizing performance by consistently monitoring the networks
  • Staying up to date on trends and best practices for securing company networks

Hiring a network engineer starts with the job description and job posting. You’ll need to narrow down which of these (or other) responsibilities you’ll want your hire to take on in their role. Make sure you’re clear up front with what you expect your network engineer to accomplish in the role.

Top Skills for a Network Engineer

Network engineers must have strong attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and be able to identify and resolve a wide range of problems. But because network engineers are responsible for the functionality and security of computer networks, they experience a lot of pressure. To efficiently manage this pressure and complete tasks associated with the job, the right person needs specific skills.

Some necessary skills required to be a successful network engineer include:

  • A foundation in computer science, software, and systems engineering
  • Network security management and understanding of network services
  • In-depth knowledge of networking systems, routers, and firewalls
  • The ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, from initial development to installation
  • Analytical skills for identifying problems and creating solutions to fix or enhance network operations

What Does it Take to Become One?

Many network engineer positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. However, there isn’t one straight-shot path to becoming one, though completing a degree is often highly recommended. There are also network engineer-specific certifications or degrees that can help prepare individuals for their future careers.

Upon obtaining these certifications and degrees, talent can apply for internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions to get hands-on experience in the field. As individuals enter entry-level roles, they’ll gain knowledge in more specialized areas, such as security or project management.

When looking at resumes of network engineers, you’ll want to look for some of this experience and education.

Image of a network engineer working on a server.

How Much Can a Network Engineer Earn?

According to, the average annual compensation for a network engineer is right around $90,000. But this figure can vary depending on a person’s education and certifications, years of experience, location, and additional skills they can offer.

Network Engineer Interview Questions

A network engineer can be an invaluable addition to your team if your budget allows it, but finding a suitable candidate can be challenging. Consider utilizing these questions during your interview process today to help narrow down your search:

  • What are your qualifications and experience with network engineering?
  • What areas of expertise do you have with network engineering?
  • Can you describe your process when troubleshooting network issues?
  • How do you manage and prioritize projects simultaneously?
  • What is your strategy for assessing company needs when improving a network?
  • Can you describe the most complex networking problem you’ve had to solve?
  • How do you report complex analytics to stakeholders?
  • What experience do you have with industry network protocols?
  • How do you stay up to date on current network engineering trends?
  • What do you like most, and what do you like least about being a network engineer?

Click here for wireless network engineer interview questions!

Hire Your IT Staff With Us!

Hiring a network engineer can ensure proper development and maintenance of your computer networks, increase cross-functional communication and collaboration within your business, and strengthen your network security.

Contact us for help recruiting, interviewing, and hiring a network engineer today. We can also help build and manage teams of network engineers! Let us know your needs below.

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