How to Become a Network Engineer IV?

Are you thinking of becoming a Network Engineer IV or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Network Engineer IV, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Network Engineer IV job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
"Network Engineer" was the nearest match for you query "Network Engineer IV".

Steps to Become a Network Engineer

A network engineer sets up, develops, and maintains the computer networks within an organization. If you are good at troubleshooting and have a strong background in computer systems, you might consider working as a network engineer. In this article, we discuss the steps required to become a network engineer.

Get your bachelor's degree.

Most employers seek network engineers who have at least a bachelor's degree in information systems, computer science, or computer engineering. Depending on the position and company, you might also need a master's degree in computer science or business administration.

What skills do you need to be a Network Engineer?

  • Routing Protocols
  • OSPF
  • Cisco CCNP
  • Configuration
  • VRRP
  • VPN
  • WLAN
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Network Engineer in the United States.

Earn relevant experience.

After you obtain a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science or a related field, you need experience working in information technology. Consider taking a job as a help desk or entry-level IT support officer so you can develop real-world IT skills. You'll likely assist senior engineers with networking tasks and work on a variety of projects.


Specialize your networking role.

Since network engineering is a highly technical and complicated field, companies opt to hire professionals who have cross-functional skills. Full-stack network engineers are trained in a variety of IT aspects, including automation, cloud, VoIP, and security. However, training for these types of engineers is more difficult since no certification is offered nor is there a clear-cut path. As a result, you might want to consider specializing as one or more of the following:


Obtain vendor-neutral certifications.

An excellent way to supplement on-the-job training is to obtain certifications. These certifications offer basic knowledge of the IT field, which simply means that you don't receive in-depth instruction regarding a particular company's devices. To receive any of these certifications, you need to pass one or more exams. Some of the more common certifications include the following:

  • CompTIA A+: This entry-level certification gives you beginner knowledge about IT-related matters. It shows you can troubleshoot and problem-solve as well as support basic IT infrastructure and networking.
  • CompTIA Network+: With this follow-up certification to the CompTIA A+, you gain additional troubleshooting skills and learn how to operate different types of devices. It's important to note that you don't need the CompTIA A+ certification to obtain this one.
  • CompTIA Security+: This certification focuses entirely on network security and other related areas. It's a highly sought-after certification if you're interested in network security.

Secure vendor-specific certification.

After you get one or more vendor-neutral certifications and determine which track you desire, decide which entry- and mid-level vendor-specific certification is the best option. The following are some of the more popular choices:

  • Cisco: This company offers beginner and mid-level certifications, but you need beginner certifications to qualify for the mid-level option. The mid-level also offers six different tracks.
  • Microsoft: Microsoft's Security Administrator Associate program proves you have training in Microsoft 365, while its Azure Administrator Associate program shows that you know about Azure software.
  • SolarWinds: This company has one certification with two tracks.

Network Engineer IV Career Path

Network Engineer IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$114K - $163K /yrMost Likely Range
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Principal Network Engineer

8+Years of Experience
$162K - $256K /yrMost Likely Range
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Senior Principal Network Engineer

8+Years of Experience
$179K - $284K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Network Engineer IV Career Path

Network Engineer I
Network Engineer II
Network Engineer Manager
Mid-Level Network Engineer
Network Engineer IV
Senior Manager of Network Engineering
Principal Network Engineer
Senior Principal Network Engineer
Director of Network Engineering
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Related Careers in the Information Technology Industry

Interested in other Information Technology careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Network Engineer IV skills. Discover some of the most common Network Engineer IV career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Network Security Engineer
13% skills overlap
17% transitioned to Network Security Engineer