September 2008
Q&A session with George B., a newtork administrator, who works for a global company in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Q: What is your job title and place of business?

A: I am considered a Network Administrator and I am employed with EDS in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Q: How long have you been on your job, and did you have any specialized training or schooling?

A: I have worked as a computer technician for roughly eight years, of which five have been spent at EDS. I joined the Navy after high school, and after being discharged joined Warden Brothers in Durham, North Carolina as a software technician. I gained experience on the job and worked my way up through various positions as my skill base expanded.

Q: What do you like or dislike about your job?

A: I enjoy working with computers and have always been interested in electronics and what makes things tick. With my job, we have choices about shifts – I’m a night person, so I enjoy the flexibility of not having to work an 8-5 position. There is always something new coming out and it helps keep things from getting boring. The only things I dislike about my job are talking with people on the phone and the fact that, in our industry, job security isn’t always there due to mergers and buyouts.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

A: I get in to work around 1pm. I start by checking my emails to see if there are any scheduled conference calls or maintenance issues already set up for the day. I then start call backs about open tickets, which are sites we have helped and that we follow up with written paperwork on. While completing these, I take incoming calls for support at other sites and also work on some hardware testing with the equipment we have. I take an hour for dinner and, in the evenings, often have a longer bridge/conference call where I speak with two other companies about working out problems. I write up each ticket to turn in and leave around 10 pm.

Q: What do you think your next career step will be?

A: I’m more interested in the hardware side of our industry and am currently in talks with another large company about working with them on testing and repairing hard drives.

Q: What previous job history prepared you for this?

A: My Navy time gave me a great deal of hands on experience with troubleshooting hardware and equipment issues. I was in the Navy for six years and, after that, did some electrical work- so I’ve had a lot of exposure to that sort of thing. I have also built several computers for my own personal use and enjoy reading and learning about new technology.

Q: What types of benefits do you receive?

A: I have three weeks of vacation time, sick leave, and great medical benefits. My company also matches my 401k contributions and offers discounts on many different services to its employees.

Q: What kind of pay does someone in your position receive?

A: A lot of this depends on experience and shift choice. I’d say $40,000- $50,000 would be average.

Q: What kind of traits does a person need to have to be successful at this job?

A: I’d definitely say patience. We have to speak to a lot of people that have no clue how things work and having to explain things in a way that they can understand can be trying at times. I’d also say being prompt and reliable are needed since we have a lot of people who depend on our being there when they need us.

Q: Would you recommend this job to someone else? Why or why not?

A: This type of position is a great way to get your foot in the door for networking and can be used to jumpstart your career with other companies once you’ve proven yourself. The pay is very good for the demands of this position and the benefits are also very good. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to branch out or move up in the computer industry.

If you think that a career in network administration or computer support might be a good fit for you, take a look at our list of computer programs in Florida to find a school near you.