A NOC engineer is primarily responsible for setting up, managing and monitoring a network from any centralized location. They perform a back-end role and have experience with servers, networking and IT work. Let’s take a closer look at the role of a NOC engineer!
What is NOC?
In a fully connected world, ensuring the quality and uptime of the telecommunications infrastructure requires special attention. Network Operations Centers or NOCs, are intelligence powerhouses where all data on network performance is collected and tracked.
This requires a truly reliable IT center, from displays to software, to sophisticated equipment that produces visualizations of the networks that IT specialists are responsible for.
This center is where computer engineers observe and maintain telecommunications networks. From this centralized location, NOC analysts and operators scan the network to detect, locate, and resolve performance issues.
NOCs are often found in large enterprises, where network activities are difficult to observe individually.
What is the role of a NOC Engineer?
A NOC engineer – also known as a NOC Analyst or NOC Technician – is responsible for the overall performance and maintenance of NOCs. They operate, monitor and troubleshoot computer network systems and provide engineering support for issues connected with the network infrastructure.
They perform a series of tasks such as the configuration and administration of routers, updating and maintaining firmware on a regular basis, analyzing network issues, and offering solutions.
Additionally, a NOC engineer also monitors system conditions, documents changes made to networks, creates technical manuals, and is responsible for maintaining network security.
They recognize faults with the current network setup, analyze issues, and work to develop solutions. They may also support the head of the NOC and other managers with regard to current incidents and/or network issues.
Responsibilities of a NOC Engineer:
- Manage IT operations and network equipment like routers, switches, firewalls, and access points
- Operate, monitor and troubleshoot computer network systems
- Provide engineering support for issues connected with the network infrastructure
- Configuration, implementation, and support of all network components
- Ensure the proper functioning of IT equipment (troubleshooting and diagnostic support)
- Manage and administer applications throughout the life cycle
- Monitoring of line systems and digital facilities
- Manage the technology providers that implement the solutions
- Back-up management, completion, verification and restoration
- Perform access management
- Manage the availability and capacity of the platform
- Receive faults, analyze them and consequently classify them according to operational and customer relevance
- Management of requests, problems, incidents and data environments
- Write and maintain technical documentation for the network environment
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What are the skills of a NOC engineer?
The most important skill needed to become a NOC engineer is proficient knowledge of network architecture, design and configuration. You must also have experience working with network monitoring tools.
A NOC engineer must be an expert troubleshooter and have knowledge of incident models and diagnostic tools. They must have broad experience in the areas of Cisco IOS, network management and monitoring and need to have experience managing and supporting network infrastructures.
They should be familiar with common tools such as Microsoft products, Internet Services to more detailed applications related to Information Security, Data Architecture, and Operating Systems.
Additionally, being a team player is as important as learning to be a leader when required. A good NOC engineer must also be able to work in a high-pressure environment, have good communication skills both orally and in writing and must be able to think analytically.
Skills and experience required to be a NOC Engineer:
- Proficient knowledge of network architecture, design and configuration
- Experience with network monitoring tools like Auvik
- Expert troubleshooter
- Knowledge of incident models and diagnostic tool
- Broad experience in the areas of Cisco IOS, network management and monitoring
- Automation experience
- Understanding of Cloud Computing
- Knowledge of virtualization, spin-up and maintenance (VMware, KVM, Xen, Hyper-V)
- Data center management and Database administration
- Solid understanding of networking concepts such as DNS, DHCP, NTP, TCP/IP, FTP, Firewalls
- Understanding of Cloud Computing
- Scripting experience would be a plus (Batch, Powershell)
- Experience managing and supporting network infrastructures
- Knowledge of Sysadmin and Linux
- Knowledge of network topology, cabling and classification
- Ability to support and work out any hardware and software issues
- Basic knowledge of IT security and Windows server technologies
- Ability to work in a high-pressure environment
- Good communication
- Strong analytical thinking
Becoming a NOC engineer usually involves a degree in computer science or information science. However, workers who have extensive experience in computer network problem solving can also apply to this role.
Additionally, short courses are a great way to boost your resume and highlight your skills. Some NOC relevant certifications to consider:
NOC Engineers can also benefit from other certificates such as CCNA, CCNP, JNCIA, or JNCIS that are highly desirable, though not always required.
Companies often look for NOC engineers who have previous experience with the hardware and software the company uses, although they are sometimes willing to provide some on-the-job training.
Businesses are increasingly concerned about security and network integrity, especially since these companies are increasingly dependent on computer networks. In addition, computer networks are increasingly being used by consumers – all of this points to growth within this job sector.
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The salary of a NOC Engineer depends on factors such as industry, role, and location. For junior-level roles, the annual starting salary in the US is up to $50,000. The average salary with a few years of experience is closer to $74,000. At senior level roles with considerable professional experience, annual salaries can go up to $107,000.
How much do NOC Engineers make?
What is the average freelance rate for a NOC Expert?
The freelancermap rate index in March 2021 shows an average hourly rate of $96. Considering an 8-hour working day, freelance engineers make about $768 a day.
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