Salary Forecast: Network Systems Engineer

If you’re a Network Systems Engineer, your future in IT is looking pretty good at the moment. In fact, the future is expected to be great for all IT workers. Janco Associates projects that there will be 84,000 new jobs added to the IT industry in 2018, and there has been a 3.5% increase in IT worker salaries, according to its 2018 salary survey. This good news is backed by the 2017 ComputerWorld IT Salary Survey, which reports a 3 percent increase in salaries. Although this isn’t as high as it was in the past couple of years, salaries are still on the rise.

Exactly how much do Network Systems Engineers earn, though, in the current economy?

Using data from the ComputerWorld 2017 salary survey, a network engineer with one to fewer than five years of IT experience can expect to earn an average of $58,500, up from $48,764 in 2016, including salary and bonuses.

Network engineers are “[r]esponsible for the engineering, configuration installation and administration of LAN/WAN networks,” according to ComputerWorld. They also provide support and troubleshooting help for network problems and daily administration of networks. Additionally, they create and put into place “large heterogeneous networks and [are] required to have significant expertise in designing and administering network hardware and software from vendors.”

That is a lot for an entry-level network systems engineer to handle, so with more experience often comes higher pay. With five to nine years of experience, the average salary in 2017 was $86,092, and in 2016, it was $83,069. With between 10 and 14 years of IT experience, a network engineer can expect an average salary of $89,186, including bonuses. This is up from $83,239 in 2016.  A typical network engineer with 15 to 19 years of IT experience can expect an average salary, including bonuses of $91,613, up from 2016’s total of $89,646.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

To compare the ComputerWorld data, take a look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data for Computer Network Architects, a very similar position to network systems engineers. The median annual salary was $191,210, as of May 2016.

Working in the Wired Telecommunications Carriers industry, they earned a median of $107,830 and $107,420 in the Insurance Carriers and Related Activities industry. In the Management of Companies and Enterprises, they earned a median salary of $103,890, and in Computer Systems Design and Related Services, the median salary was $103,020. In the Educational Services; State, Local, and Private industry, the median salary was just $62,390.

The lowest tenth percentile earned an average annual salary of $55,610, while those in the 25th percentile earned $74,970. The median salary, as stated before, was $101,210, and those in the 75th percentile earned an average of $128,820. Those in the 90th percentile earned an average of $158,590 per year. The average annual salary was $104,240.

These were the highest-paying states: California at $125,340 per year, on average; Oregon at $121,250; New Jersey at $120,150, Delaware at $119,480, and Massachusetts at $117,160.  The top-paying metro areas were Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA at $139,250 per year, on average, followed by San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA at $138,690, and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA at $138,540 annually.