Summary Report for:
15-1143.00 - Computer Network Architects
Design and implement computer and information networks, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), intranets, extranets, and other data communications networks. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning. May also design network and computer security measures. May research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software.
Sample of reported job titles: Network Analyst, Network Consultant, Network Engineer, Network Manager, Networking Systems and Distributed Systems Engineer, System Programmer, Systems Analyst, Systems Engineer, Telecommunications Analyst, Telecommunications Engineer
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Adjust network sizes to meet volume or capacity demands.
- Communicate with customers, sales staff, or marketing staff to determine customer needs.
- Communicate with system users to ensure accounts are set up properly or to diagnose and solve operational problems.
- Coordinate installation of new equipment.
- Coordinate network operations, maintenance, repairs, or upgrades.
- Coordinate network or design activities with designers of associated networks.
- Design, build, or operate equipment configuration prototypes, including network hardware, software, servers, or server operation systems.
- Design, organize, and deliver product awareness, skills transfer, or product education sessions for staff or suppliers.
- Determine specific network hardware or software requirements, such as platforms, interfaces, bandwidths, or routine schemas.
- Develop and implement solutions for network problems.
- Develop and write procedures for installation, use, or troubleshooting of communications hardware or software.
- Develop conceptual, logical, or physical network designs.
- Develop disaster recovery plans.
- Develop network-related documentation.
- Develop or maintain project reporting systems.
- Develop or recommend network security measures, such as firewalls, network security audits, or automated security probes.
- Develop plans or budgets for network equipment replacement.
- Develop procedures to track, project, or report network availability, reliability, capacity, or utilization.
- Estimate time and materials needed to complete projects.
- Evaluate network designs to determine whether customer requirements are met efficiently and effectively.
- Explain design specifications to integration or test engineers.
- Maintain networks by performing activities such as file addition, deletion, or backup.
- Maintain or coordinate the maintenance of network peripherals, such as printers.
- Monitor and analyze network performance and data input/output reports to detect problems, identify inefficient use of computer resources, or perform capacity planning.
- Participate in network technology upgrade or expansion projects, including installation of hardware and software and integration testing.
- Prepare design presentations and proposals for staff or customers.
- Prepare detailed network specifications, including diagrams, charts, equipment configurations, or recommended technologies.
- Prepare or monitor project schedules, budgets, or cost control systems.
- Research and test new or modified hardware or software products to determine performance and interoperability.
- Supervise engineers or other staff in the design or implementation of network solutions.
- Use network computer-aided design (CAD) software packages to optimize network designs.
- Visit vendors, attend conferences or training sessions, or study technical journals to keep up with changes in technology.
- Communicate with vendors to gather information about products, alert them to future needs, resolve problems, or address system maintenance issues.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Access servers — Lightweight directory access protocol LDAP servers; Remote access servers
- Broadband aggregators — Broadband aggregation equipment
- Computer servers — Domain name servers DNS; File servers; Mail transport servers; Network-attached storage NAS equipment (see all 6 examples)
- Desktop computers
- Digital telephones — Voice over internet protocol VoIP systems
- Digital testers — Bit error rate testers BERT
- Firewall network security equipment — Firewall equipment
- Frequency analyzers — Spectrum analyzers
- Hard disk arrays — Redundant array of independent disks RAID systems
- High end computer servers — Workstations
- Integrated services digital network ISDN testers — Integrated services digital network ISDN analyzers
- Interferometers — Optical spectrum analyzers
- Mainframe computers
- Multimeters — Network multimeters
- Network analyzers — Asynchronous transfer mode ATM analyzers; Local area network LAN analyzers; Network connectivity testers; Wide area network WAN analyzers (see all 9 examples)
- Network cable management panel assembly — Network cabling systems
- Network channel or data service units — Channel banks; Network channel service units CSU or data service units DSU
- Network management or monitoring device — Packet analysis equipment
- Network routers — Computer network routers
- Network service concentrators or hubs — Intelligent hubs
- Network switches — Computer network switches; Local area network LAN switches; Voice switches; Wide area network WAN switches
- Network traffic controller — Wireless network controllers
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Power meters — Fiber optic power meters
- Protocol analyzers
- Radio frequency data communication equipment — Radio frequency RF antennas
- Reflectometers — Time domain reflectometers
- Server load balancer — Load balancers; Network server load balancers
- Storage area network SAN switch — Storage area network SAN switches
- Tablet computers
- Videoconferencing systems — Videoconferencing equipment
- Voice data video cable tester — Communication cable testers
- WLAN wireless access network equipment and components — Wireless access points WAP; Wireless local area network WLAN controllers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Access software — Access management software; Remote access software
- Administration software — Element management software; Netreo OmniCenter; Riverbed Technology software; SolarWinds software (see all 13 examples)
- Analytical or scientific software — Discrete event simulation software; Root cause analysis software
- Application server software — Apache HTTT Server; Citrix XenApp; Microsoft Windows Server; Solaris Containers (see all 5 examples)
- Authentication server software — Microsoft Forefront Identify Manager
- Backup or archival software — Backup and archival software; Computer Associates ArcServ Backup; System and data disaster recovery software
- Bridge software — Network bridge software
- Charting software — Microsoft Office Visio
- Communications server software — Email management software
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software
- Computer based training software
- Configuration management software — Automated installation software; Logical partition LPAR software; Patch and update management software; VMWare software (see all 6 examples)
- Data base management system software — MySQL software
- Data base reporting software — Network reporting software
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Oracle software; Structured query language SQL
- Desktop communications software — BroadSoft BroadWorks
- Development environment software — C; Microsoft Visual Basic; Oracle Java EE; Systems and applications migration software (see all 7 examples)
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Exchange Server
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML; IBM WebSphere; IBM WebSphere MQ
- Helpdesk or call center software — Help desk software; Ticket information tracking software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Internet directory services software — Domain name system DNS software; Microsoft Active Directory
- Internet protocol IP multimedia subsystem software — Multiprotocol Label Switching MPLS; Open Shortest Path First OSPF; Session Initiation Protocol SIP; Voice over internet protocol VoiP system software
- LAN software — Local area network LAN software
- Network monitoring software — Ethereal; Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold; Packet analysis software; Symantec Intruder Alert (see all 17 examples)
- Network operating system enhancement software — Cisco Systems CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution; Network, server and operating system optimization software; Silver Peak software; Wide area network WAN optimization software (see all 8 examples)
- Network operation system software — Novell network software
- Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software — Computer intrusion detection systems; Content filter software; Firewall software
- Network security or virtual private network VPN management software — Intrusion prevention system IPS software; Network and system vulnerability assessment software; Virtual private network VPN software; Websense Data Loss Prevention (see all 11 examples)
- Object or component oriented development software — C++; Oracle Java *; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl; Python
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Operating system software — Linux; Microsoft operating system software; Simple mail transfer protocol SMTP; UNIX (see all 8 examples)
- Optical network management software
- Pattern design software — Diagramming software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Program testing software — Mercury Interactive LoadRunner; Mercury Interactive WinRunner; Segue SilkPerformer; System testing software
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- Requirements analysis and system architecture software — Capacity planning software; Network architecture design software; Requirements management software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Storage networking software — Network storage software; Storage area network SAN software; Storage management software
- Switch or router software — Border Gateway Protocol BGP; Cisco Systems Cisco Web Cache Communication Protocol WCCP; Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links TRILL; Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol VRRP (see all 9 examples)
- Time accounting software — Time reporting software
- Transaction security and virus protection software — CA eTrust; Encryption software; Penetration testing software; Ping Identity software (see all 7 examples)
- Video conferencing software — Videoconferencing software
- WAN switching software and firmware — Wide area network WAN software
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Technology Design — Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Manage financial activities of the organization.
- Develop testing routines or procedures.
- Maintain computer networks to enhance performance and user access.
- Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems.
- Modify software programs to improve performance.
- Coordinate project activities with other personnel or departments.
- Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
- Communicate project information to others.
- Develop computer or information security policies or procedures.
- Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
- Install computer hardware.
- Resolve computer network problems.
- Develop information communication procedures.
- Supervise information technology personnel.
- Install computer software.
- Maintain computer hardware.
- Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
- Conduct research to gain information about products or processes.
- Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems.
- Document network-related activities or tasks.
- Manage documentation to ensure organization or accuracy.
- Configure computer networks.
- Monitor the performance of computer networks.
- Coordinate software or hardware installation.
- Evaluate project designs to determine adequacy or feasibility.
- Provide technical support for computer network issues.
- Maintain contingency plans for disaster recovery.
- Design integrated computer systems.
- Teach others to use computer equipment or hardware.
- Develop models of information or communications systems.
- Develop specifications for computer network operation.
- Estimate time or monetary resources needed to complete projects.
- Test computer hardware performance.
- Manage budgets for appropriate resource allocation.
- Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
- Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
- Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
- Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
- Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
- Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
- Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?
- Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
- Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
- Coordinate or Lead Others — How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
- Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos?
- Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers?
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
- Level of Competition — To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
- Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: ICE
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$47.32 hourly, $98,430 annual|
|Employment (2012)||143,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Faster than average (15% to 21%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||43,500|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Computer Network Architects . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) , 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701, New York, NY 10121-0701. Phone: (800) 342-6626.
- Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) , 1815 S. Meyers Rd., Suite 300, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181-5228. Phone: (630) 678-8300. Fax: (630) 268-1384.
- IEEE Computer Society , 1730 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036-1992. Phone: (202) 371-0101. Fax: (202) 728-9614.
- Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) , 2350 E. Devon Ave., Suite 115, Des Plaines, IL 60018-4610. Phone: (847) 299-4227. Fax: (847) 299-4280.
- National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) , Bellevue Community College, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, N258, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484. Phone: (425) 564-4229. Fax: (425) 564-6193.