Network Engineer Salary in the United States 2021

Want to pursue a career as a network engineer but don’t know how much they earn? Then you’ve come to the right place as we’ll discuss the average network engineer salary, average network security engineer salary, and other related topics to help you resolve any doubts on this topic. 

You’ll also find out how you can develop the required skills to become a network engineer and bag the high-paying roles in this industry.

What is the Average Network Engineer Salary in the US? 

Network engineers earn an average salary of $75k per annum in the United States. Their pay starts from $51k per annum and goes up to $112k per annum. Bonuses for this role can go up to $12k. Network engineers are certainly one of the most important professionals in any tech enterprise. These professionals are experts in working with computer networks and implementing solutions according to their organization’s requirements.

Due to their various responsibilities and expertise, network engineers enjoy steady demand in multiple industries.

They are responsible for enhancing the flow of data between the computers in a network to facilitate communication. They set up, develop, and maintain the computer networks present in an organization. Their work environment depends largely on the kind of organization they work in.

Network engineers also help the organization in troubleshooting problems related to their network and have to make sure that the network implementations are safe and secure. They also install, set up, and maintain the firewall to ensure that unwanted elements can’t access the organization’s network. They must be well-versed in multiple technologies and subjects such as firewalls, routing, cryptographic tunneling, and many others. Network engineers report to the chief information security officer and the chief information officer in the organization.

They must have robust communication skills as they usually work with other engineers and project managers. Network engineers might also work as outside consultants for companies.

Also, as you’ll gain experience as a network engineer, you can get promoted to the role of senior network engineer whose average pay is $101k per annum. Pay for senior network engineers can go up to $148k per annum.

If you’re interested in cyber security, you can become a network security engineer too. The average network security engineer salary in the US is $111k per annum.

What factors affect your Salary as a Network Engineer? 

If you want to pursue a career in network engineering then you should know which factors affect your salary. Having this knowledge can help you determine how much to expect from the industry and how to plan your career. The most influential factors that affect your salary as a network engineer are:

  • Your experience
  • Your skills 
  • Your location (the city you work in)
  • Your employer

While many factors play a role in determining your salary as a network engineer, the above four are the most important

Experience 

Your industry experience will affect your pay greatly. As you gain more experience, your salary will increase accordingly. Entry-level network engineers earn 21% less than the industry average while early-career professionals in this field make 10% less than the average. Conversely, late-career network engineers make 14% more than the industry median while highly seasoned network engineers earn 24% more than the average.

To be more specific, network engineers with less than a year’s experience earn $60k per annum while those with one to four years of experience make $68k per annum on average. Similarly, network engineers with five to nine years of experience earn $77k per year, and professionals with 10 to 19 years of experience in this field earn $86k per annum on average. Those with more than 20 years of professional experience make $94k per annum on average.

Skills

Your skills will play a huge role in determining how much you make as a network engineer. Having specific skills can help you earn significantly higher salaries which is why it’s always recommended to stay on top of the industry trends.

The most popular skills among network engineers are network management, network support, Cisco networking, switches installation, switching and routing, network administration, and firewall administration. Adding popular skills to your CV will make it easier for you to get ahead of your peers and accelerate your career growth.

The skill that attracts the highest salaries among network engineers is software development since it offers 39% more than the average pay. There are plenty of more skills you can develop to increase your pay as a network engineer. Some of them are:

  • Telephony (30% more than the average)
  • Cisco ICM (33% more than the average)
  • Multiprotocol label switching (23% more than the average)
  • Microsoft Azure (20% more than the average)
  • Session initiation protocol (26% more than the average)
  • Microsoft Access (22% more than the average)

Location 

The city you work in will also be a huge factor in determining your salary as a network engineer. Pay for network engineers varies slightly from city to city. That’s because the cost of living is unique to most cities as they have different cultures, economies, and industries. Some cities offer above-average salaries to network engineers, while some offer below-average pay for this role. Knowing this data can help you significantly in determining how much you should expect to earn in this industry.

Cities that offer the highest salaries to network engineers are New York and Dallas. New York offers 6.8% more than the average pay to network engineers, while Dallas offers 6.5% higher than the average pay for this role.

On the other hand, Atlanta offers 4.1% less than the industry average pay to network engineers. Another city that offers slightly below-average pay in Austin, where the average salary of network engineers is 1.9% less than the median.

Employer

Pay for this role also varies from company to company. However, you shouldn’t pick an employer solely based on the paycheck they offer. When selecting a suitable employer, such as the work environment, you should consider additional factors, offered benefits, perks, and more.

Companies that pay the highest salaries to network engineers are AT&T Inc., Charter Communications, and Cisco Systems Inc. The company that offers the most attractive pay for this role is Northrop Grumman Corp, provided where the average income for network engineers is $86k per annum. At AT&T Inc., the average income for this role is $81k per annum, while in Charter Communications, this figure is $76k per annum.

How to Start a Career in this field?

To pursue a career as a network engineer, you’ll need to develop multiple tech skills. The best way to go about this process is to join a tech course, as it will provide you with a structured curriculum to learn the concepts in a step-by-step manner.

At upGrad, we offer the Executive PG Program in Software Development with the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore. It’s an online course that lasts for 13 months and only requires a time commitment of 15 hours a week. The program offers six specializations to choose from:

  • Cybersecurity
  • DevOps
  • Cloud computing
  • Blockchain development
  • Big data
  • Full-stack development

The program also teaches you 30+ programming languages and tools through 30+ projects and case studies.

Conclusion

If you dream of earning a six-figure salary in a tech career, it would be best to become a network engineer. Entering this sector will open many doors of opportunity for you. Moreover, there’s a lot of demand for network engineers in different industries such as manufacturing, Ecommerce, IT services, and others. Hence, you can easily pursue a tech career in your desired industry by becoming a network engineer. 

What is the average network security engineer salary?

The average network security engineer salary in the United States is $111k per annum. It depends on several factors including your skills, experience, and employer.

What is the average senior network engineer salary in the US?

The average senior network engineer salary in the US is $101k per annum. Pay for senior network engineers starts from $75k per annum and goes up to $148k per annum.

What skills does a network engineer have?

Important skills for a network engineer are network management, firewall administration, Cisco networking, Microsoft Azure, and many others.

Prepare for a Career of the Future

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