Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for computer network architects was $116,780 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $67,190, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $175,570. The top industries were: insurance carriers and related activities (where the median annual salary was $121,730), computer systems design and related services ($120,130), management of companies and enterprises ($116,130), telecommunications ($114,810) and finally educational services ($84,570).
Autonomy and Flexibility
At the beginning, working in computer networking may not feel like it provides too much flexibility or autonomy. This is because it is typical to start off in entry-level positions and report to more senior colleagues. In these entry-level and graduate positions, the hours can be especially long if a deadline is close.
However, as you progress into more senior positions, you quickly receive more autonomy, responsibility and flexibility. Often, computer networks are senior members of the IT department and, as a result, get to make lots of decision and have control over their working day.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be a network engineer (which is a computer networker), based on average annual wage and availability of jobs are:
- Maryland, where the average annual salary was $85,901
- California, where the average annual salary was $89,073
- Washington, where the average annual salary was $81,352
- Oregon, where the average annual salary was $80,441
- Arizona, where the average annual salary was $75,055
The worst states, according to Zippia, were Montana, Louisiana, Idaho, Arkansas and Kentucky.
The largest employers of computer networks in the United States was the computer systems design and related services industry, which employed 27% of all computer networkers in the United States in 2019. After this, the telecommunications industry employs 10%, management of companies and enterprises employs 8%, insurance carriers and related activities employ 5% and, finally, the educational services employ 4%.
In general, computer networkers will spend most of their time in offices. However, they may occasionally work in server rooms where they have access to the hardware that make up an organizations computer and information network.