What they do
Network administrators manage the daily operations of an organisation's IT systems to ensure that they run effectively. They install, configure, test and maintain hardware and software such as servers, software database applications and workstations. They diagnose and resolve network faults, perform network upgrades, and also ensure the efficient performance of printers and personal computers. Network administrators also prepare documents for network inventory. They may also offer desktop support and provide training for users.
Network administrators usually work in an office environment. They are able to access networks remotely and look after systems that are located in another room or building. However, they may be required to travel to other sites to provide IT support. They may provide face to face or phone-based desktop support to computer users within the organisation. They may be required to work evenings and weekends to perform major system upgrades or resolve system faults.
Tools and technologies
Network administrators use a variety of computer hardware and software. They must be familiar with a range of operating systems and programs commonly used on the computer systems that they look after, such as Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange or SQL Server Management Studio. They also work with printers and photocopiers connected to the IT system. They may also back up data to external hard drives, minimising data loss in cases of system failure.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a network administrator, you usually need to complete a qualification in information technology networking.
The Diploma of Information Technology Networking is offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. To find a training provider near you, browse the Jobs and Skills WA website or visit the My Skills website.
You can undertake a traineeship in information technology (networking). The traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.
You can also study a degree in information technology, computer science, or business information systems. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.