If you’re interested in a career as a network engineer, a level 4 Network Engineer Apprenticeship is a great place to learn the underlying skills required to succeed in this industry.

The primary role of a network engineer is to design, install, maintain and support communication networks.

Whether working within your workplace, or helping connect other organisations, you’ll call upon your expertise to keep networks alive and performing at their best.


Network engineer jobs involve maintaining phone, computer or other types of networks for businesses and clients.

You’ll build networks using a range of skills, including designing system configuration, directing system installation, and defining and enforcing system standards.

Cloud services, network administration and monitoring tools are an essential part of the job. You’ll also need to be great with people to give-out technical advice or guidance.

When issues arise, people will turn to you to resolve them; a calm temperament, coolness under pressure and good communication skills are required if you want to go far.


  • Network system configuration and installation.

  • Defining, documenting and enforcing system standards.

  • Implementing new or improved solutions.

  • Maximising network performance.

  • Monitoring performance, troubleshooting problems and scheduling upgrades.

  • Securing network systems.

  • Remotely supporting on-site engineers.

  • Providing capacity management.

  • Meeting project management teams, engineers and service desk.

  • Communicating by email and phone for initial requirements.




Step 1. Network engineer apprentice | £7,215-£18,000

Salaries during network engineer apprenticeships will vary, depending on the employer and the age of apprentice. But it will be above the applicable minimum wage (see Apprentice Minimum Wage).

Step 2. Network engineer | £20,000-£50,000

Qualified apprentices usually make the move on to trained network engineers. Progressing from entry level to an experienced engineer, salaries can range between £20,000-£50,000.

Step 3. Senior network engineer | £50,000-£70,000

Work your way up to senior network engineer, and a salary of £50,000-£70,000 is possible.


What kind of job can I get with a Network Engineer Apprenticeship?

Network Engineers are integral actors in the tech industry, as they underpin the smooth running of the networks that we all rely on. As a result, their vital work is in high-demand and completing a Network Engineer Apprenticeship would be a great springboard to a lucrative and marketable career. Take a look at some of jobs the this apprenticeship could lead to...

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Network Engineer

A Network Engineer is responsible for setting up, developing and maintaining computer networks. As an essential role for many organisations, you could have the choice of working internally as part of an organisation's IT support team, an IT networking consultancy firm working or for big Multi-National Companies.

As a Network Engineer your daily tasks include offering support and network troubleshooting to users, who can be staff, clients, customers and suppliers. As well as ensuring the integrity of high availability network infrastructure to provide maximum performance for your users.

What can you earn as a Network Engineer? Salaries at entry level start at around £19,000 to £20,000. With experience, you can expect to earn around £35,000 to £55,000+. Senior network engineers can earn from £50,000 to in excess of £70,000 a year.

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Network Administrator

Network administrators are responsible for maintaining computer networks and solving any problems that may occur with them. Typical responsibilities of the job include installing and configuring computer networks and systems, identifying and solving any problems that arise with computer networks and systems.

Since almost all industries are now heavily computer-dependent, network administrators are needed in most companies, so you could end up working in a variety of areas from financial, academic, government to retailers.

What can you earn as a Network Administrator? The average Network Administrator salary in United Kingdom is £30,000. Entry level positions start at £21,000 per year while most experienced workers make up to £51,000 per year.

systems engineer job icon

Systems Engineer

Systems engineers play an integral role in the success of businesses in many industries. They lay the foundation or blueprint for systems from planning, creation and end operation.

A systems engineer will often collaborate with a project manager and the engineering team, and take the lead to translate between the two to facilitate the achievement of a successful system.

What can you earn as a Systems Engineer? The average Systems Engineer salary in United Kingdom is £42,473. Entry level positions start at £25,000 per year while most experienced workers make up to £72,204 per year.

What qualities are employers looking for in Network Engineer job candidates?

Having a Network Engineer Apprenticeship qualification is the first step to securing your ideal role in the tech industry, but what else do you need to make it in the tech world? Here are some important qualities you can develop that will help you land that dream job...

network engineer quality problem solver

Network engineers solve problems within the network before and after they occur. It’s important that you develop an analytical mind and an ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning in order to solve and troubleshoot a variety of issues.

network engineer quality independent worker

As a Network Engineer you may need to operate independently at different client locations, therefore it is crucial that you are able to monitor your own performance. Due to the variety of tasks you may come across on a daily basis you should look to develop the capacity to independently prioritise your workload.

network engineer quality methodical

Network Engineers must show an excellent ability to follow processes in a methodical manner in order to solve and prevent problems that may arise. Strong documentation skills are also key as you must be thorough and pay attention to detail – the smooth running of networks depends on it!

network engineer quality communication

Depending on the nature of the company or organisation you’re employed in, you may be expected to directly communicate about network issues with clients. This involves excellent communication skills, the ability to communicate with staff and clients who aren't technically trained, and the capacity to build a relationship with the clients you work with. 

network engineer quality quick learner

The pace of technological change is rapid and as a Network Engineer you must be adaptable and a quick learner. You must show an up-to-date knowledge and understanding of your client's and employer's business and industry needs, as well as the technical demands.


Everything you need to know about this apprenticeship...

By completing this level 4 network engineer apprenticeship, apprentices will achieve industry-recognised qualifications, demonstrating the skills and abilities required as a networking professional.

  • City & Guilds Level 4 apprenticeship diploma in Network Principles
  • City & Guilds Level 4 apprenticeship diploma in Network Systems and Architecture
  • City & Guilds Level 4 apprenticeship diploma in Network Security
  • Recognised for entry onto the register of IT technicians.
  • Microsoft Technical Associate in Cloud Fundamentals (offered by escalla as an added bonus)

Individual employers will set the selection criteria, but this might include:

  • GCSEs
  • A-levels
  • Level 3 apprenticeship or other relevant qualification
  • Relevant experience – including a knowledge of the fundamentals of networking and can make a local area network (LAN)
  • An aptitude test with a focus on IT skills

The duration of this network engineer apprenticeship is typically 15 months, with a 3-month window for the end point assessment.

For the duration of this training, apprentices will develop a range of networking skills in the workplace. An ongoing portfolio of evidence will demonstrate the abilities learned. Support will also be available from a mentor, who will visit apprentices at work every 10 weeks.

Apprentices will receive week-long blocks of full-time training over 12 months. This will take place at the escalla Academy in Crewe.

Training topics include: personal development, data communication principles, network and cyber essentials, architecture and infrastructure, security and cloud fundamentals, Azure, Hyper-V and Active Directory.

After completing 12-months of training and development, apprentices will submit their portfolio of work experience – along with a reference from their employer. This begins the end point assessment (EPA) stage.
The EPA consists of a week-long project and assessor interview, and will determine the overall grade of the qualification (Pass | Merit | Distinction).

Training fees for this network engineer apprenticeship are covered in full by the employer. An apprentice will never be asked or expended to fund their own training.


  • Funding Band 12 (£18,000).
  • Apprentices under 19 years of age on the day of signup will receive 100% funding.
  • Levy payments are accepted towards this infrastructure technician apprenticeship.



  • Install, configure, and test appropriate network components or devices securely to well-defined specifications whether physical or virtual
  • Acquire and analyse network performance data to monitor network activity
  • Optimise and maintain the performance of network systems or services in line with well-defined specification whether physical or virtual
  • Investigate and problem solve to address technical performance issues in networks to return the network to successful operation and escalate as necessary
  • Undertake upgrades to a network including physical or virtual systems
  • Interpret written requirements and technical specifications in relation to delivery of network systems and services
  • Maintain accurate logical records in line within organisational policy when carrying out network tasks
  • Use operational data to manage weekly work schedule in an efficient and cost effective way
  • Consider the impact and risks when implementing network changes in line with work activities and escalating as required by organisational policies
  • Communicate technical network requirements effectively and professionally with a range of stakeholders ensuring stakeholder relationships are maintained
  • Practice continuous self-learning to keep up to date with technological developments to enhance relevant skills and take responsibility for own professional development
  • ncorporate considerations of the requirements of the wider digital context in which they operate to ensure that network engineering activities are carried out effectively
  • Ensure all network engineering activity complies with organisational policies, technical standards, Health and Safety legislation, data security requirements, professional ethics, privacy and confidentiality
  • Deliver and manage a high quality service under pressure
  • The causes and consequences of network and IT infrastructure failures
  • The architecture of typical IT systems, including hardware, OS, server, virtualisation, voice, cloud and applications
  • The techniques for systems performance and optimisation
  • Diagnostic techniques and tools to interrogate and gather information regarding systems performance
  • Organizational procedures to deal with recording information effectively and in line with protocols
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and their application to delivering network engineering activities in line with contractual obligations and customer service
  • Their role in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
  • The purposes and uses of ports and protocols
  • Devices, applications, protocols and services at their appropriate OSI and, or, TCP or IP layers
  • The concepts and characteristics of routing and switching
  • The characteristics of network topologies, types and technologies
  • Wireless technologies and configurations
  • Cloud concepts and their purposes
  • Functions of network services
  • The different types of network maintenance
  • How current legislation relates to or impacts occupation
  • Troubleshooting methodologies for network and IT infrastructure
  • How to integrate a server into a network
  • The types of security threats to networks and IT infrastructure assets
  • How to use tools to automate network tasks
  • Approaches to change management
  • Apply the appropriate tools and techniques when securely operating and testing networks
  • Install and configure the elements required to maintain and manage a secure network
  • Implement techniques to monitor and record systems performance in line with defined specifications
  • Maintain security and performance of the system against known and standard threats
  • Apply the appropriate tools and techniques to identify systems performance issues
  • Apply the appropriate tools and techniques to gather information to troubleshoot issues and isolate, repair or escalate faults
  • Communicate outcomes of tasks and record in line with organisational procedures and SLAs including adherence to customer service standards
  • Upgrade, apply and test components to systems configurations ensuring that the system meets the organisation’s requirements and minimises downtime. This should include backup processes
  • Record task details whether face-to-face, remote or in writing in line with ogranisational requirements
  • Interpret information received from a manager, customer or technical specialist and accurately implement the defined requirements
  • Monitor, identify and implement required maintenance procedures
  • Implement techniques to optimise systems performance in line with defined specifications
  • Organise and prioritise clients or stakeholders’ requests in line with SLAs and organization processes
  • Explain their job role within the business context to stakeholders to enable a clear understanding on both sides of what their remit is and convey technical constraints in appropriate language considering accessibility and diversity implications
  • Operate securely and apply the appropriate process, policies and legislation within their business responsibilities
  • Communicate with a range of stakeholders taking into consideration the organisations cultural awareness and technical ability
  • Apply the appropriate level of responsibility when planning and prioritising work tasks
  • Apply the relevant numerical skills (Binary, dotted decimal notation) required to meet the defined specifications
  • Ensure compliance of network engineering outputs with change management processes
  • Select the appropriate tools and comply with organisation policies and processes when upgrading systems
  • Work independently and demonstrate initiative being resourceful when faced with a problem and taking responsibility for solving problems within their own remit
  • Work securely within the business
  • Work within the goals, vision and values of the organisation
  • Take a wider view of the strategic objectives of the tasks or projects they are working on including the implications for accessibility by users and diversity
  • Works to meet or exceed customers’ requirements and expectations
  • Identifies issues quickly, investigates and solves complex problems and applies appropriate solutions. Ensures the true root cause of any problem is found and a solution is identified which prevents recurrence
  • Committed to continued professional development in order to ensure growth in professional skill and knowledge
  • Work effectively under pressure showing resilience

Register your interest

If you would like to apply for this apprenticeship, please contact us.

t: 01270 500 102