The Network+ certification is a key credential for aspiring networking professionals, but what impact does this certification have on your earning potential? This is a critical question for many entering the IT industry contemplating whether to invest time and resources in obtaining this certification.
We will explain which positions this certification will prepare you for and the expected Network+ salary for these roles. Additionally, we will discuss your next steps in your career.
Let’s examine how the CompTIA Network+ certification salary can shape your career and prospects.
Overview of the CompTIA Network+ Certification
The CompTIA Network+ examination assesses your abilities in key computer networking areas.
You’ll need to answer a maximum of 90 questions that combine multiple-choice and performance-based questions (PBQs) within 90 minutes. To pass the exam, you will need a score of 720 on a scale of 100–900.
The latest CompTIA Network+ exam code is N10-008. The breakdown of the domains can be found in the chart below.
Here are key concepts you learn from each of the five domains.
Networking Fundamentals 24%: Understanding the layers of the OSI model and concepts of data encapsulation. This includes detailed knowledge of all seven OSI layers and how data is packaged and processed through these layers.
Network Implementations 19%: Focusing on comparing and placing various network devices and their features. This includes knowledge of devices like layer two switches, layer three capable switches, routers, hubs, access points, bridges, and wireless LAN controllers, and understanding their roles and optimal placement in a network.
Network Operations 16%: Utilizing appropriate statistics and sensors to ensure network availability. This domain covers the understanding and monitoring of performance metrics such as device temperature, CPU usage, memory usage, and bandwidth, which are crucial for maintaining a healthy and efficient network.
Network Security 19%: Explaining common security concepts, including the principles of Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. It also involves understanding internal and external threats, vulnerabilities, exploits, and the principle of least privilege.
Network Troubleshooting 22%: Focusing on explaining the network troubleshooting methodology. This involves identifying the problem through information gathering, questioning users, identifying symptoms, determining changes, duplicating the problem if possible, and establishing a theory of probable cause for network issues.
What Does CompTIA Network+ Certification Prepare You For?
While it's important to note that obtaining these jobs isn't guaranteed solely by certification, the CompTIA Network+ does equip you with the skills needed for various roles in the field. Let’s explore five specific job positions for which the Network+ certification will prepare you.
Help Desk Technician
This role is focused on providing technical support and assistance to users experiencing IT issues. Help desk technicians diagnose software and hardware problems, guide users through steps to resolve issues, and escalate to higher-level staff.
Network Field Technician
This position involves installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting network hardware and software on-site. It requires hands-on skills and the ability to work under various conditions, often traveling to different locations to address network issues directly.
As a network analyst, you monitor an organization's network systems to ensure they operate efficiently. This includes analyzing network data, identifying bottlenecks or issues, recommending improvements, and working closely with other staff to optimize network performance.
As a network administrator, you help run and maintain a company's computer networks. This includes creating network accounts, monitoring the network's performance, implementing security measures, and fixing connectivity problems.
Network engineers are responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining complex network solutions for customers, covering LAN, WAN, wireless, and data center networking. Key tasks include troubleshooting and resolving network issues, configuring and installing network systems, and managing various projects to ensure timely completion.
CompTIA Network+ Certification Salary and Job Opportunities
Having provided you with five potential careers you can obtain with the Network+ certification, let’s explore what opportunities and expected salaries you can earn.
After researching various job sites for available positions across the USA related to CompTIA Network+, we found many listings: LinkedIn has 258 job openings, ZipRecruiter shows 432, and Indeed lists 1,133. This data underscores the demand for CompTIA Network+ certified professionals in the job market.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual CompTIA Network+ certification salary is approximately $73,938 USD. The salary range for this qualification spans from $29,000 USD to as high as $144,500 USD.
Remember that the range of salaries we will be showing you is greatly affected by position (such as whether it's a junior role), location, education, experience, and if you hold other industry certifications.
Help Desk Technician
For a help desk technician role, employers often look for other certifications besides Network+, such as CompTIA ITF+ and CompTIA A+. While one year of experience is preferred, the typical range is around three years. These positions are generally available as full-time, with onsite or remote work options.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of a help desk technician is around $47,000 USD.
- Help Desk Support Specialist
- Desktop Support Specialist
- IT Support Analyst
Network Field Technician
Most network field technician roles are offered as either full-time or contract positions, requiring on-site presence. These positions commonly seek candidates with at least one to two years of experience. Sometimes, employers consider a relevant degree as a substitute for hands-on experience. Additionally, possessing a CompTIA A+ certification is often requested.
Based on information from ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for a network field technician in the United States is $52,387 USD.
- Field Service Technician
- Field Technician
- Hardware Technician
The network analyst positions we researched typically require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field and two to five years of experience, often starting in entry-level roles. These roles are available as full-time, part-time, contract, and remote options. In addition to Network+, employers sometimes ask for certifications like CCNA and Security+.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of a network analyst in the United States is around $80,000 USD.
- Network Specialist
- Network Support Analyst
- Network Operations Manager
Most network administrator positions are full-time, with many offering flexible work arrangements, including hybrid or remote options. Typically, these jobs require some form of post-secondary education or equivalent work experience, often around an average of three years.
Positions range from junior to senior levels, with salaries varying accordingly to reflect the role's seniority. Besides Network+ certification, employers frequently seek candidates with other certifications, such as CompTIA A+ and CCNA.
Based on data from ZipRecruiter, a network administrator in the United States currently earns an average annual salary of approximately $80,000 USD.
- LAN Administrator
- Linux Administrator
- Network/Server Administrator
Employers typically look for a mix of education and experience for the network engineer role. Some roles require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field and at least five years of engineering or technical experience, while others ask for three years of experience in lieu of a degree.
Most positions require a minimum of five to ten years of IT experience. In addition to Network+, certifications like Security+ and Server+ are often requested. These roles are predominantly full-time, with some requiring on-call availability.
According to ZipRecruiter, a system engineer’s average annual salary in the United States is around $108,000 USD.
- Network Systems Engineer
- Communications Engineer
- Network Security Engineer
Network+ vs. CCNA and JNCIA
As you can see, having Network+ opens many doors for networking jobs, but this is not the only network certification out there. Let's consider how CompTIA Network+ certification salary and job opportunities stack up against other prominent network certifications such as CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and JNCIA-Junos (Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate - Junos).
The table below shows salary data from ZipRecruiter, highlighting the average annual salaries associated with each of these certifications. We also have provided you with the number of job postings you can expect to find across different job platforms.
Having the Network+ various pathways have opened for your career advancement. In addition to the five job roles we've highlighted, you can explore opportunities as a network support specialist or an IT consultant, expanding your career options.
You could also look at moving into more senior roles within networking. Whether you aim for a senior network administrator or a senior network engineer position, gaining experience is key.
Alongside this experience, obtaining advanced certifications can greatly boost your chances of moving into these positions. A good example is the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP). The CCNP is recognized worldwide and dives deeper into networking concepts, practices, and solutions.
Another good choice could be moving into cloud computing. The cloud is an important part of today’s IT, and knowledge in this area can open doors to many opportunities.
You could aim for positions like cloud engineer, administrator, or architect in cloud computing. Each role requires a deep understanding of cloud platforms, architecture, and services.
Another option includes transitioning into cyber security. You could pursue beginner certifications like Security+, CySA+, or CEH. Obtaining these certifications can lead the way for roles such as cyber security analyst, network security specialist, penetration tester, or cyber security consultant. You can also look at cloud security as a career, and earn cloud security and Azure security certifications.
As you can see, holding Network+ can open many careers opportunities in network administration, cloud computing, and cyber security. We’ve also looked at the CompTIA Network+ certification salary you can expect in these positions.
The knowledge gained from this certification can be a stepping stone to advanced roles and certifications in these fields.