LAN/WAN engineers are IT professionals that set up and maintain local area networks and wide area networks for businesses that need these networks to function. LAN/WAN engineers use a wide variety of IT knowledge and skills for these positions.
Wide area networks can be company-wide even if the company is in multiple geographic locations. Local area networks usually connect to wide area networks through a router or other equipment and provide internet to one geographic location.
Responsibilities of LAN/WAN Engineers
The main responsibility of a LAN/WAN engineer is to keep the network up and running without problems that interfere with communications and internet access. Businesses need networks to access the internet and communicate with colleagues and contacts outside the company, and the LAN/WAN networks provide this venue for communication.
LAN/WAN engineers spend a lot of time analyzing network data to ensure that the network is running properly and that it has the resources it needs to continue to function well. Engineers will look at how the network is being used and how much storage capacity it has, as well as the security settings and permissions needed for the networks.
Network engineers also document network activities so that if problems do arise, information is available to use for fixing them. Backing up the network data—browser history and emails among other things—is another duty of LAN/WAN engineers.
Providing help and support to those encountering problems or needing instruction on how to use the network also falls under the responsibility of a LAN/WAN engineer, although technicians may also be on staff to help with support and related tasks.
Skills Required for LAN/WAN Engineers
Besides the general knowledge of networks and specific knowledge about the networks in your company, you will also need several other skills in order to function as an engineer. Most LAN/WAN engineers work with a team, making interpersonal and people skills very important. Working on deadlines is another important skill, along with being detail-oriented.
Keeping a LAN/WAN network going also requires exceptional problem solving and critical thinking skills in order to resolve issues and figure out how to prevent problems from happening in the future. If your team includes technicians and others that work under you, leadership skills will also be needed in order to keep the team performing well in its goal of good network performance.
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