Wireless Network Administrator: Salary, Duties and Requirements

A wireless network administrator installs and maintains wireless networks for professional organizations and companies. A bachelor's degree and industry certification likely will yield the most job opportunities and the most competitive salaries.

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Salary Information for Wireless Network Administrators

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the annual mean wage for network and computer system administrators was $76,320 in May 2012 ( Those earning in the 90th percentile earned $115,180 a year, while the lowest 10% earned an average of $44,330. Location and industry were cited as important factors in the yearly earnings of network and computer system administrators.

Wireless Network Administrator Job Duties

A wireless network administrator must be able to install, maintain and offer tech support for Wi-Fi systems in a variety of professional settings, such as schools, companies and government agencies. He or she must be knowledgeable about Radio Frequency (RF) technologies, wireless local area network (LAN) hardware and software, wireless security and antenna. Wireless network administrators also must have knowledge of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 wireless standards. Additionally, troubleshooting is at the forefront of a wireless network administrator's job duties, and communication skills are important when working with company employees who aren't tech savvy.

Job Requirements for Wireless Network Administrators

There are multiple ways to become a wireless network administrator. According to the BLS, many network administrators start their careers as computer support specialists before advancing to administrative positions. Educationally, network administrators usually hold a bachelor's degree in an area like computer and information science, but an associate degree may be sufficient if coupled with certification and work experience.

Certification in network administration often can lead to more competitive job opportunities. To earn the Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) credential, one must pass the PW0-104 exam offered by the Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) program, which sets industry standards in information technology. CWNA certification is valid for three years. Further exams are available for professional and expert certification in the wireless network field.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics