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Network/Computer Systems Administrator  What They Do

Just the Facts


Installs, configures, and supports an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system. Monitors network to ensure network availability to all system users and may perform necessary maintenance to support network availability. May monitor and test Web site performance to ensure Web sites operate correctly and without interruption. May assist in network modeling, analysis, planning, and coordination between network and data communications hardware and software. May supervise computer user support specialists and computer network support specialists. May administer network security measures.

This career is part of the Information Technology cluster Network Systems pathway, Programming and Software Engineering pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Maintains and administers computer networks and related computing environments including computer hardware, systems software, applications software, and all configurations.
  • Performs data backups and disaster recovery operations.
  • Diagnoses, troubleshoots, and resolves hardware, software, or other network and system problems, and replaces defective components when necessary.
  • Plans, coordinates, and implements network security measures to protect data, software, and hardware.
  • Configures, monitors, and maintains email applications or virus protection software.
  • Operates master consoles to monitor the performance of computer systems and networks, and to coordinate computer network access and use.
  • Loads computer tapes and disks, and installs software and printer paper or forms.
  • Designs, configures, and tests computer hardware, networking software and operating system software.
  • Monitors network performance to determine whether adjustments need to be made, and to determine where changes will need to be made in the future.
  • Confers with network users about how to solve existing system problems.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) -- Builds and maintains computer networks for businesses, hospitals, government facilities and schools.
  • Computer Systems Security Administrator -- Plans, coordinates and implements security systems, protecting data from hacking and virus attacks and stopping unauthorized distribution of the company's intellectual properties.
  • Database Administrator (DBA) -- Responsible for the performance, integrity and security of a database.
  • e-mail System Administrator -- Develops and applies procedures for a client company's electronic mail network.
  • Programmer Analyst -- Develops and maintains software applications and databases.
  • Software Engineer -- Researches, designs, and develops computer software systems in conjunction with hardware product development.
  • Telecommunications Analyst -- Coordinates strategies for, and ensure the integrity of, in-house voice, data and video equipment and its associated network connections.
  • Unix Administrator -- Manages UNIX development and production servers.