Network Engineer Salary Guide and Career Outlooks

August 24, 2016 IT&C Salaries

The average network engineer salary is around $68,000 across the US. Nevertheless, it can consistently vary depending on location, company, and experience.

The network systems engineer salary is usually paid on a monthly basis. However, some network engineers focus mainly on projects, so work on a project-based schedule and they are paid by the hour or project. Below we are going to look at the main factors influencing network engineer salaries.

Network Engineer Salary Influencing Factors

There are several influencing factors on which the salary of a network engineer depends. This salary can vary based on experience, industry, and location.

1. Industry

Nowadays, the work of a network engineer is crucial in many sectors regardless of their activity type. For instance, you can work as a network engineer for Red Bull, a notorious beverage company, so you can expect a large salary.

On the other hand, banks such as Silicon Valley Bank offers generous salaries to network engineers. Also, all car companies, including Hendrick Automotive Group need experienced network engineers to perform important tasks inside the company.

However, the IT sector offer the largest network engineer salary. For instance, Microsoft offers a salary ranging from $109,000 to $155,000. Furthermore, depending on the company’s size, the salary may vary:

  • According to the statistics, the average salary for a senior network engineer working at Cisco Systems Inc. is $102,000 per year. Cisco is one of the top IT companies throughout the United States. Also, their employees can receive bonuses based on their experience and performance. Here, an excellent network engineer might get a salary of up to $140.000 per year.
  • In other companies, such as Inc the average salary of network engineer is around $86,000 per year. Employees who have ten years of experience or more can earn up to $119,000 per year.
  • People who plan on working for small-sized companies have nothing to worry about because the average network engineer salary in this area is also considerably better than the average overall salary in the US. If your work is impressive and you get bonuses, your salary can go up to $96,000 per year in some smaller companies.

2. Experience

Regarding the overall range of the junior networking engineer salary, we have good news as the average network engineer salary is around $68,000 per year, with the average senior network engineer salary at more than $93,000 per year.

This result is based on experience levels and all geographic areas. For instance, the entry level network engineer salary naturally lacks any sort of experience bonus.

Also, in order to become a senior network engineer, you must have over five years of experience in your work field.

3. Location

When it comes to locations, what you should know about the average salary for a network engineer is that employees in the North-Eastern parts of the country are better paid than the ones from the Southern regions.

  • First of all, the average entry-level junior network engineer salary is somewhere around $60,000 per yearThis is great, especially in the context of numerous promotion opportunities. It is also worth mentioning that the state of California has the best-paid network engineers. For instance, the median pay in San Francisco is $94,400. By contrastin Atlanta, the average salary rarely passes the $69,600 mark.
  • Nevertheless, if you want to work in NYC, your average network engineer salary would go up to a considerable $77,000. Also, the Washington DC median level quite high, at is $78,000, one percent higher when compared to New York.
  • Let’s say you can’t decide between Chicago and Los Angeles. To make your decision easier, you need to know that there is just a slight difference in the average network salary of both locations. In Los Angeles, you will get $71,798, whereas in Chicago you will earn $71,883, so we have a gap of just a few bucks.

Network Engineer Salary by State

Below, we have prepared a table highlighting the medium annual network engineer salary across the United States:

State Annual Mean Wage
Alabama $53,000
Alaska $38,000
Arizona $43,000
Arkansas $53,000
California $56,000
Colorado $46,000
Connecticut $60,000
Delaware $46,000
District of Columbia $65,000
Florida $49,000
Georgia $59,000
Hawaii $32,000
Idaho $34,000
Illinois $59,000
Indiana $50,000
Iowa $51,000
Kansas $48,000
Kentucky $45,000
Louisiana $47,000
Maine $46,000
Maryland $54,000
Massachusetts $63,000
Michigan $53,000
Minnesota $46,000
Mississippi $55,000
Missouri $51,000
Montana $43,000
Nebraska $38,000
Nevada $40,000
New Hampshire $51,000
New Jersey $56,000
New Mexico $45,000
New York $63,000
North Carolina $50,000
North Dakota $46,000
Ohio $50,000
Oklahoma $48,000
Oregon $50,000
Pennsylvania $50,000
Puerto Rico $50,000
Rhode Island $47,000
South Carolina $51,000
South Dakota $39,000
Tennessee $48,000
Texas $51,000
Utah $41,000
Vermont $46,000
Virginia $53,000
Washington $54,000
West Virginia $49,000
Wisconsin $46,000
Wyoming $43,000
US Average $49,038
Average Hourly Wage $30

Schedule & Working Hours

Network engineers usually work in offices from which they troubleshoot problems about the company’s network. In addition to this, they must make sure to constantly update the security system and the firewall software.

Working in this field involves night shifts, extra hours and sometimes working on weekends. However, this depends on the company and on how serious are the issues you sometimes run into.

During a job interview you will find out the working hours and if you need to do night shifts.

Career Prospects

The average network engineer salary increases more quickly for employees who wish to learn more. This applies especially in the area of programming languages. The main reason is that they will be able to focus on programmable networks.

Plus, network engineers can also occupy architectural positions. These focus on how networks functions and on how they are affected by SDN overlays and abstraction layers.

According to BLS, percent change in employment for computer network architects will increase by 9 percent until 2024, with 2 percent more above the percent change of all occupations.


Regardless of where you live, the network engineer salary is quite motivating in the United States. Overall, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a network engineer. However, sustained effort will eventually pay off.

This large average network engineer salary indicates the importance of this line of work across the US. Furthermore, it is not just a secure career choice, but it also comes with great career prospects because after five years of experience you will become a senior network engineer and your salary will substantially increase.

Image Source:Static Flickr

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