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Example Career: Computer Network Support Specialists

Career Description

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.

What Job Titles Computer Network Support Specialists Might Have

  • 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

What Computer Network Support Specialists Do

  • 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.

What Computer Network Support Specialists Should Be Good At

  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • 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).

What Computer Network Support Specialists Should Be Interested In

  • 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.

What Computer Network Support Specialists Need to Learn

  • 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.
Median Salary: $62,770

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.