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What does a Computer Network Technician do?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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A computer network technician typically performs a number of different tasks and duties related to the implementation and maintenance of various computer networks for a company. This can include setting up local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs), as well as the establishment of connections to the Internet and organizing how these various networks are maintained. Once these networks are properly created and in place, then the technician will continue to deal with any support issues that may arise, as well as dealing with a number of potential security issues. He or she will also often work with customers or other employees at a company to assist them with technical support issues.

In general, a computer network technician works on creating and maintaining computer networks, usually for a business or similar organization. This typically begins with considering the needs of a company and then deciding on various networking solutions that will satisfy those needs. Depending on the company, this can include a variety of different network setups, including LANs, often though physical or wireless connections, and WAN setup to a larger corporate network. This can also include the setup and maintenance of servers and routers that connect multiple computers on a network.

Once a technician has established the networks needed by a company, then he or she will typically continue to work to ensure the efficiency of those networks. Any hardware or software issues that arise will usually be solved by this person, as well as integrating new equipment into the system. Security issues are also typically handled by him or her, through a variety of methods. This usually includes the use of security programs, such as firewalls and antivirus software, as well as working with employees to ensure that proper security protocols are followed.

While a computer network technician often has a strong background in computer information technology, the other people he or she works with often do not. One of the major tasks this type of technician often has to perform is helping other workers at a company understand how they can best interact with the established network. This can include leading group discussions on security risks and protocols that should be followed, as well as explaining issues and solutions to management in an effective way. A technician may also need to select hardware and software to solve problems and make invoices and billing requests for internal use when purchasing new equipment for the company.

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Discussion Comments
By pastanaga — On Oct 03, 2012

@irontoenail - It's good to be good with people in any job though. In theory, if you're really good with the network and vigilant with everything else, then you won't need to suck up to the other people in the company all the time. Besides, computer network support in a big company usually has several positions and only one or two of those is interactions. The others can do things virtually.

By irontoenail — On Oct 03, 2012

@pleonasm - Yeah, I think that you run into more problems in a company where people think they know what they're doing than in one where they are content to let the tech guy do his or her job though.

I would suggest not going into that field unless you are a people person because I've witnessed it from the other side. A decent, friendly tech person is an absolute treasure who can really make your day easier. An unfriendly technician can completely ruin your day and make the entire job seem miserable.

By pleonasm — On Oct 02, 2012

If you're thinking about trying for this kind of position, you need to make sure that you are very patient and have an ability to explain things to people who don't know what they're doing.

My best friend works as a computer technician and for a while he was maintaining the network at an engineering company. You'd think that would mean most of the people in the building would know how to use a computer right? But, no, there were the people who didn't really understand how the whole thing works and there are the people who think they know better than the technician and manage to snarl the whole thing up. He reckoned he spent at least 70% of his time sorting out people rather than computers.

So, if you think it sounds like an easy job, it's not. A computer networking salary might not be enough to compensate folks who prefer to work without much interaction.

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