Network Engineer


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...

network engineer job icon

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.

network engineer jobs icons

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
  • Microsoft Technical Associate in Cloud Fundamentals

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.



This level 4 Network Engineer Apprenticeship will provide you with the following technical competencies:

  • Design: Design simple networks from a well-defined specification and apply appropriate security products and processes.
  • Installation: Install and configure network components, including switches, routers and firewalls.
  • Performance: Optimise the performance of network systems and services.
  • Testing: Monitor, test and adjust network systems and performance to meet accepted standards using diagnostic tools, analysers and other equipment.
  • Diagnosis: Apply diagnostic tools and techniques to identify the causes of network performance issues.
  • Troubleshooting: Apply structured approaches to troubleshooting network issues and repair faults in hardware, software products and the network.
  • Upgrades: Undertake system upgrades to network hardware, software and operating systems.
  • Integration: Integrate network-related software into an existing network environment.
  • Reading and maintaining records: Interpret written requirements and technical specifications for network activities and maintain accurate records.
  • Support: Log and respond to network service calls and provide technical network support to end-users as required.
  • Standards: Operate within the parameters of service level agreements, standards and/or agreed response times.

After completing this network engineer apprenticeship, successful apprentices will develop the following technical knowledge and understanding:

  • Understand and apply the principles of networking, protocols and associated technologies (including the latest published versions of OSI layer model, IP, TCP/IP, routing and switching, WANs, LANs).
  • Understand and apply the applied maths required to be a network engineer (e.g. algorithms, data, binary, probability and statistics).
  • Understand the causes and consequences of system failure, including load balance and storage protocols, and respond appropriately.
  • Understand the architecture of a typical business IT system, including hardware, OS, server, virtualisation, middleware and applications.
  • Understand and respond to security threats, firewalls and vulnerabilities.

Apprentices will also develop the following underpinning skills, attitudes and behaviours:

  • Logical and creative thinking skills.
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Independent working.
  • Initiative.
  • Organisational skills.
  • Ability to work with a range of internal and external people.
  • Effective communication in a variety of situations.
  • Can maintain a productive, professional and secure working environment.

Register your interest

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

t: 01270 500 102