What they do
Network engineers plan, develop, deploy and maintain the infrastructure of computer networks. They work on a range of computer networks, including Local Area Networks (LANS), which link a small number of computers in an office environment, right through to Global Area Networks (GANS) which links smaller networks with satellite communication technologies to create mobile, global networks. In addition to installing and maintaining the hardware that makes up these networks, network engineers also arrange access for users, monitor network usage and maintain network security to ensure only authorised users have access. They may also provide technical support to network users.
In Western Australia the majority of network engineers work in offices in the Perth metropolitan region. Depending on the size of the network they are working on they may work in a single office, or be required to travel to between a number of sites around the state, country or even the world. They usually work standard office hours, though weekend and evening work may be required when installing new networks or performing major upgrades on existing ones. Some network engineers may have on-call duties in case of network problems that occur outside of normal office hours.
Tools and technologies
Network engineers may work with a range of network technologies including, Ethernet, ISDN, ADSL and wireless technologies. They also use a range of software programs to monitor usage of the network and maintain security, such as firewalls and anti-virus software.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a network engineer, you usually need to complete a qualification in networking or computer engineering.
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) (level 4). The traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.
You can also study a degree in computer science or engineering. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.