ICT network technicians install, maintain and troubleshoot networks, data communications equipment and network installed devices such as printers and storage area networks. They also analyse and fix network-related problems reported by users.
The duties of an ICT network technician include, but are not limited to:
- Installing network hardware components and cables.
- Configuring network software.
- Identifying and eliminating bottlenecks to ensure long-term network efficiency.
- Troubleshooting and resolving issues with the network.
- Ensuring the network operates securely.
- Providing technical support to co-workers.
- Collaborating with other members of the IT team and management.
- Performing necessary upgrades to the network infrastructure as needed.
The following job titles also refer to ICT network technician:
IT network technician
network maintenance professional
assistant network administrator
ICT network technicians typically work in office environments with the following characteristics:
- Extended periods of time sitting at a desk
- Using office equipment like computers, printers and phones
- May be required to work nights or weekends
ICT network technicians are often employed by financial firms, government offices, or hospitals. They may work in-house within individual businesses or they may be employed by computer system firms. Regardless of the field in which they work, their primary role is still overseeing the organization’s computer systems and network.
Aspiring ICT network technicians need to have at least an associate’s degree in computer science or engineering or any related discipline. However, most employers prefer to hire candidates with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Certification in A+, MCSE or CCNA would be beneficial.
If candidates understand programming, they can advance their career in computer networking. It will also help them maintain, operate, and diagnose network systems.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
ICT network technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
ICT network technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to ICT network technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of ICT network technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of ICT network technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of ICT network technician.
- ICT network routing: The processes and techniques for choosing the best paths within an ICT network through which a packet can travel.
- ICT network security risks: The security risk factors, such as hardware and software components, devices, interfaces and policies in ICT networks, risk assessment techniques that can be applied to assess the severity and the consequences of security threats and contingency plans for each security risk factor.
- ICT network cable limitations: The limitations, such as distance limitations and resistance of types of cables, such as fibre cable, coax cable and ethernet cable which are used for realising networks.
- ICT networking hardware: The ICT network equipment or computer networking devices, such as UPS systems, electrical systems, networking facilities and structured cabling systems.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of ICT network technician.
- Create solutions to problems: Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
- Provide technical documentation: Prepare documentation for existing and upcoming products or services, describing their functionality and composition in such a way that it is understandable for a wide audience without technical background and compliant with defined requirements and standards. Keep documentation up to date.
- Identify suppliers: Determine potential suppliers for further negotiation. Take into consideration aspects such as product quality, sustainability, local sourcing, seasonality and coverage of the area. Evaluate the likelihood of obtaining beneficial contracts and agreements with them.
- Install electronic communication equipment: Set up and deploy digital and analogue electronic communications. Understand electronic diagrams and equipment specifications.
- Use precision tools: Use electronic, mechanical, electric, or optical precision tools for precision work.
- Adjust ICT system capacity: Change the scope of an ICT system by adding or reallocating additional ICT system components, such as network components, servers or storage to meet capacity or volume demands.
- Maintain internet protocol configuration: Apply Internet Protocol Configuration (ipconfig) to gather data on Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) configuration values in order to identify devices and their IP addresses.
- Implement ICT network diagnostic tools: Use software tools or components that monitor ICT network parameters, such as performance and throughput, provide data and statistics, diagnose errors, failures or bottlenecks and support decision making.
- Analyse network bandwidth requirements: Study the requirements on the transmission capacity of an ICT network or other telecommunication system.
- Install signal repeaters: Set up and configure devices which enhance strength of signal of a communication channel to enable proper reception and reproduction in further places.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of ICT network technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Network management system tools: The software or hardware tools which enable monitoring, analysis and supervision of individual network components or network parts within a larger network system.
- Procurement of ICT network equipment: The products available from network equipment providers and methods for selecting and procuring the equipment.
- Electronics principles: The study of electric energy, more specifically electron, control and its prominent principles regarding integrated circuits and electrical systems.
- ICT debugging tools: The ICT tools used to test and debug programs and software code, such as GNU Debugger (GDB), Intel Debugger (IDB), Microsoft Visual Studio Debugger, Valgrind and WinDbg.
- ICT communications protocols: The system of rules which allow the exchange of information between computers or other devices via computer networks.
- Cisco: The products available from the network equipment provider Cisco and methods for selecting and procuring the equipment.
- ICT security legislation: The set of legislative rules that safeguards information technology, ICT networks and computer systems and legal consequences which result from their misuse. Regulated measures include firewalls, intrusion detection, anti-virus software and encryption.
- ICT system programming: The methods and tools required to develop system software, specifications of system architectures and interfacing techniques between network and system modules and components.
- Concepts of telecommunications: The telecommunication principles, theories, models, equipment and processes such as transfer rate, bandwidth, signal-to-noise ratio, bit error ratio and C/N ratio, as well as the effect of the qualities of the transmission path on the operation and quality of telecommunications.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of ICT network technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Migrate existing data: Apply migration and conversion methods for existing data, in order to transfer or convert data between formats, storage or computer systems.
- Solder electronics: Operate and use soldering tools and soldering iron, which supply high temperatures to melt the solder and to join electronic components.
- Perform security vulnerability assessments: Execute types of security testing, such as network penetration testing, wireless testing, code reviews, wireless and/or firewall assessments in accordance with industry-accepted methods and protocols to identify and analyse potential vulnerabilities.
ISCO group and title
3513 – Computer network and systems technicians
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- Featured image: By Bill Branson (Photographer) – Public Domain