Network Administrator

What Does Network Administrator Mean?

A network administrator is an IT expert who manages an organization’s network. The network administrator must possess a high level of technological knowledge and is most commonly the highest level of technical staff within a given organization. Network administrators keep networks operational and monitor functions and operations within the network.


A network administrator is responsible for installing, maintaining and upgrading any software or hardware required to efficiently run a computer network. The IT or computer network may extend to a local area network, wide area network, the Internet and intranets.

Techopedia Explains Network Administrator

The network administrator usually has a higher degree associated with computer science and IT. Administrators typically also acquire certificates related to networking or undergo high-level training related to specific software or hardware included in the network. This enables the network administrator to rapidly take control of new network additions or even create a new network completely from scratch. Certificates related to network administration are offered by well-known organizations like Microsoft, Cisco, Redhat and Juniper.

Network administrators are rarely involved in direct user support like help desk duties. Instead, they engage in high-level technological support, such as maintaining network hardware and software equipment, and monitoring equipment to ensure overall network operations. Network addresses are often assigned through the network administrator. In addition, network administrators configure the authorization and authentication of individuals or groups who access network resources.

Network administrators may also technically take part in the management and maintenance of desktop computers, servers, printers, switches, routers, firewalls, software implementations, security updates, VPN gateways, file servers, intrusion detection systems and a wide range of additional technologies associated with both software and hardware within the network.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.