Network Engineer Salary: Starting, Average and Tactics to Increase It

Network engineers are tasked with building out and maintaining an organization’s network. It’s an incredibly important job, and a complex one: When a single wrong move can cascade into a network-crashing disaster, an engineer must always be diligent and detail-oriented. Given that pressure, it’s probably a good thing that a network engineer salary can climb to an extraordinarily high level.

But how high? Let’s look at the data from a couple of sources, and see what factors go into a typical network engineer salary.

What is a network engineer starting salary?

According to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes data from millions of job postings across the country, network engineers with between zero and two years of experience can earn a median salary of $79,000 per year. That rises rapidly with experience, however; those who have more than nine years of experience as a network engineer can pull down as much as $129,000 per year.

What is a network engineer’s average salary?  

Emsi Burning Glass puts the median network engineer salary at $102,194 per year. Meanwhile, Dice’s latest Tech Salary Report places the average network engineer salary at $93,373, an increase of 2 percent between 2020 and 2021; while that’s slightly lower than the average technologist salary of $104,566, the right mix of experience and skills will almost always send salaries higher.

How do you negotiate salary?  

When it comes to discussing compensation, it’s all about your track record. Whether you’re writing a network engineer resume while looking for a new job or sitting down with your current manager to negotiate a raise, you should always come prepared with stories and data about how your efforts have improved the company’s (or a past company’s) network.

For example, perhaps you’ve effectively managed teams through multiple network crises. Or maybe you helped oversee the network’s transition from primarily on-premises to virtually all-cloud, saving the company money in the process. Whatever you’ve done, make sure to frame it in a way that shows your incredible value to the business.

Are network engineers in demand?  

Emsi Burning Glass states that employers posted some 195,336 jobs last year for network engineers, suggesting a high level of demand. The average time to fill an open position was 43 days, up there was software developers and other in-demand technology professions.

Is network engineer a dying career?  

Emsi Burning Glass also predicts that the projected growth for network engineers over the next decade is three percent. As long as organizations need networks of some sort, they’ll need network engineers with the right mix of skills and experience.