Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
15-1152.00 - Computer Network Support Specialists

Analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system. Perform network maintenance to ensure networks operate correctly with minimal interruption.

Sample of reported job titles: Computer Network Specialist, IT Consultant (Information Technology Consultant), Network Engineer, Network Specialist, Network Support Specialist, Network Technical Analyst, Network Technician, Personal Computer Network Analyst, Senior IT Assistant (Senior Information Technology Assistant), Systems Specialist

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Back up network data.
  • Configure security settings or access permissions for groups or individuals.
  • Analyze and report computer network security breaches or attempted breaches.
  • Identify the causes of networking problems, using diagnostic testing software and equipment.
  • Document network support activities.
  • Configure wide area network (WAN) or local area network (LAN) routers or related equipment.
  • Install network software, including security or firewall software.
  • Troubleshoot network or connectivity problems for users or user groups.
  • Provide telephone support related to networking or connectivity issues.
  • Evaluate local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) performance data to ensure sufficient availability or speed, to identify network problems, or for disaster recovery purposes.
  • Analyze network data to determine network usage, disk space availability, or server function.
  • Perform routine maintenance or standard repairs to networking components or equipment.
  • Configure and define parameters for installation or testing of local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), hubs, routers, switches, controllers, multiplexers, or related networking equipment.
  • Install new hardware or software systems or components, ensuring integration with existing network systems.
  • Test computer software or hardware, using standard diagnostic testing equipment and procedures.
  • Install or repair network cables, including fiber optic cables.
  • Monitor industry websites or publications for information about patches, releases, viruses, or potential problem identification.
  • Create or update technical documentation for network installations or changes to existing installations.
  • Train users in procedures related to network applications software or related systems.
  • Test repaired items to ensure proper operation.
  • Install and configure wireless networking equipment.
  • Maintain logs of network activity.
  • Document help desk requests and resolutions.
  • Research hardware or software products to meet technical networking or security needs.
  • Create or revise user instructions, procedures, or manuals.
  • Run monthly network reports.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Access servers — Remote access servers
  • Circuit tester — Continuity testers; Test lights
  • Computer servers — Caching engines; Network address translation NAT appliances
  • Hard disk arrays — Redundant array of independent disks RAID systems
  • Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
  • Mainframe computers
  • Network analyzers — Asynchronous transfer mode ATM analyzers; Port analyzer adapters; Synchronous optical network SONET analyzers; Throughput testers (see all 9 examples)
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Photocopiers — Copy machines
  • Power meters — Powerline monitors
  • Screwdrivers
  • Server load balancer — Load balancers
  • Voltage or current meters — Cable testers

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Access software — Citrix Hot technology
  • Administration software — Cisco Systems CiscoWorks; ifconfig; ipconfig; SolarWinds (see all 6 examples)
  • Backup or archival software — EMC NetWorker; NovaStor NovaBACKUP; Symantec Veritas NetBackup; Tape backup system software (see all 5 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Network design software
  • Configuration management software — Automated installation software; EMC Ionix Network Configuration Manager; Microsoft Windows Sysprep; Patch and update management software (see all 5 examples)
  • Customer relationship management CRM software
  • Data base management system software — Database management software; MySQL Hot technology
  • Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access Hot technology ; Microsoft SQL Server Hot technology
  • Desktop communications software — Remote control software; Symantec pcAnywhere
  • Development environment software — Microsoft PowerShell Hot technology ; Microsoft Visual Basic Hot technology ; Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition VBScript Hot technology ; Ruby Hot technology
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — IBM Notes Hot technology ; Microsoft Exchange Server Hot technology
  • Enterprise application integration software — BMC Software Control-M; IBM Websphere Hot technology
  • Filesystem software — File server software; IBM Tivoli NetView Distribution Manager
  • Helpdesk or call center software — BMC Software Remedy IT Service Management Suite
  • Internet directory services software — Microsoft Active Directory; Novell eDirectory
  • Network monitoring software — Dartware InterMapper; Route; WildPackets OmniPeek Network Analyzer; Wireshark Hot technology (see all 34 examples)
  • Network operating system enhancement software — Traffic shapers
  • Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software — Firewall software; Network intrusion detection software; Virtual private networking VPN software Hot technology
  • Network security or virtual private network VPN management software — Intrusion prevention system IPS; Network and system vulnerability assessment software; NIKSUN NetDetector; Sonicwall SonicOS Enhanced (see all 6 examples)
  • Object or component oriented development software — Oracle Java Hot technology ; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl Hot technology ; Python Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software — Job control language JCL Hot technology ; Linux Hot technology ; Oracle Solaris Hot technology ; Red Hat Enterprise Linux Hot technology (see all 13 examples)
  • Platform interconnectivity software — Connectivity software
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Program testing software — Load testing software
  • Project management software — Bentley ProjectWise; Microsoft Project Hot technology ; Microsoft SharePoint Hot technology ; Project planning software
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Storage networking software — EMC Symmetrix DMX; Storage area network SAN software
  • Transaction security and virus protection software — McAfee Hot technology ; Root kit detection software; Symantec Hot technology ; Symantec Norton Antivirus (see all 9 examples)
  • Transaction server software — Microsoft Internet Information Services IIS
  • Web platform development software — Apache Tomcat Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

back to top

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

back to top

Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

back to top

Abilities

  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • 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.
  • 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).

back to top

Work Activities

  • 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • 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.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • 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.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Create electronic data backup to prevent loss of information.
  • Implement security measures for computer or information systems.
  • Analyze security of systems, network, or data.
  • Resolve computer network problems.
  • Document network-related activities or tasks.
  • Configure computer networks.
  • Install computer software.
  • Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning.
  • Analyze data to identify or resolve operational problems.
  • Monitor the performance of computer networks.
  • Provide technical support for computer network issues.
  • Troubleshoot issues with computer applications or systems.
  • Maintain computer hardware.
  • Install computer hardware.
  • Develop specifications for computer network operation.
  • Test computer hardware performance.
  • Test software performance.
  • Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
  • Train others in computer interface or software use.
  • Document operational activities.
  • Conduct research to gain information about products or processes.
  • Prepare instruction manuals.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 94% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 93% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 79% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 68% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 57% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 49% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Time Pressure — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 47% responded “40 hours.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 38% responded “Important results.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 40% responded “Important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 37% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Letters and Memos — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 35% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 35% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 34% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Consequence of Error — 36% responded “Fairly serious.”
  • Physical Proximity — 78% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”

back to top

Job Zone

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, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
47   Bachelor's degree
22   Associate's degree
14   Some college, no degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Computer Science — Computer and Information Sciences, General; Computer and Information Systems Security; Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst; Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Apprenticeships

back to top

Interests

Interest code: REC

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • 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.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • 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.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

back to top

Work Values

  • 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.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • 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.

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2015) $29.93 hourly, $62,250 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 181,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Average (5% to 8%) Average (5% to 8%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 36,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs

back to top

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.

back to top