Network Engineer

Network engineer apprentices develop the skills to maintain communication networks across your business ensuring maximum performance and availability. The network engineer gets involved in designing, installing, maintaining and supporting communication networks within an organisation or between organisations.

In an apprenticeship
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Hiring an apprentice
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  • Entry Requirements

    • 16 years or over
    • A levels
    • Level 3 apprenticeship
    • Please contact our Apprenticeship team for further entry requirements.
  • Typical Job Titles

    Desk based engineer, Dynamic network engineer, Field based engineer, Infrastructure engineer, Network administrator, Network architect, Network engineer, and Systems engineer

  • Duration

    Typically 30 months

  • Level


  • Delivery

    A minimum of 30 hours of on the job training at work place per week including a day/ block release to study theory at our Uxbridge/Hayes/ Harrow campus.

  • Qualifications

    English & Maths

    Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

  • Professional recognition

    This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

    • BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for Register of IT Technicians (RITTech) level 4

Occupation summary


This occupation is found in large and small businesses, in all sectors, and within public, private, and voluntary organisations. Network Engineers are a key occupation in most organisations which are increasingly dependent on their digital networks.

Organisations of all types are increasingly applying digital technologies across all their business functions to maximise productivity. Large organisations will have sophisticated complex systems whilst smaller consultancies offer support to clients on a contract basis.

For example, a Network Engineer may work within a network of hotels to ensure that the booking system functionality and performance is maintained and customer access to courtesy systems such as Wi-Fi are managed appropriately for performance.

In a large infrastructure project, a Network Engineer may work in a team to ensure that significant project milestones are reached in delivering network services both within the project and by servicing the project teams with reliable network capability to enable them to deliver that project successfully.

Large communications organisations use Network Engineers to service world-leading global networks at the cutting edge - adapting and evolving with changes to new technologies to give customers the very best digital experience from delivering major communications installations to monitoring nationwide networks.

The demand for people who can manage, build, maintain virtual and physical networks is increasing. This is because of technological developments such as, 5G and Cloud. The broad purpose of the occupation is to install computer networks, maintain them, and offer technical support to users where necessary.

A Network Engineer provides networks and systems to deliver the objectives of varied organisations. They will make sure that systems are working at optimum capacity and problem solve where they are not. To be able to do this effectively a Network Engineer must interpret technical information and understand organisational requirements and expectations. They support delivery of legislatively compliant solutions to challenges in network and infrastructure.

Network Engineers deal with both hardware and software issues. They are a key part of putting things right quickly when networks fail, and they communicate problems that they have identified with network integrity or performance rapidly to ensure service is resumed and downtime minimised. Network Engineers help customers both technical and non-technical to install computer networks, maintain them, and offer technical support to users where necessary.

Network Engineers can be customer facing or internal. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with management within organisations, team members, staff, clients, customers, and suppliers. They may interact face to face or remotely by using a range of technologies. They may be working independently or collaboratively as part of a team. They will be aware of their organisational escalation routes and understand their role in their team.

The work of a Network Engineer is office-based, although they may need to work across different sites depending on the size of the organisation and their network. When working as a consultant a Network Engineer may spend a lot of time at clients' offices and on large installations, which may mean spending time away from home or their usual work base.

Occupation duties



Duty 1 Install, configure, and test appropriate network components or devices securely to well-defined specifications whether physical or virtual

K2 K4 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20

S1 S2 S4 S18

B1 B2 B6

Duty 2 Acquire and analyse network performance data to monitor network activity

K1 K3 K4 K6 K14 K15 K17 K19

S3 S5

B1 B2 B6

Duty 3 Optimise and maintain the performance of network systems or services in line with well-defined specification whether physical or virtual

K2 K3 K4 K6 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18

S11 S12

B1 B2 B6

Duty 4 Investigate and problem solve to address technical performance issues in networks to return the network to successful operation and escalate as necessary

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K19 K20 K21


B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B8

Duty 5 Undertake upgrades to a network including physical or virtual systems

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21



Duty 6 Interpret written requirements and technical specifications in relation to delivery of network systems and services

K2 K5 K6 K7 K14 K16 K21


B2 B4 B6

Duty 7 Maintain accurate logical records in line within organisational policy when carrying out network tasks

K1 K14 K15 K21

S9 S13

B2 B3 B5

Duty 8 Use operational data to manage weekly work schedule in an efficient and cost effective way

K5 K6


B1 B2 B4 B5 B6

Duty 9 Consider the impact and risks when implementing network changes in line with work activities and escalating as required by organisational policies

K1 K4 K5 K6 K7 K16 K19 K21

S8 S19

B2 B4 B8

Duty 10 Communicate technical network requirements effectively and professionally with a range of stakeholders ensuring stakeholder relationships are maintained

K5 K6 K16

S7 S16

B4 B5 B8

Duty 11 Practice continuous self-learning to keep up to date with technological developments to enhance relevant skills and take responsibility for own professional development

K5 K6 K16


B1 B7

Duty 12 Incorporate considerations of the requirements of the wider digital context in which they operate to ensure that network engineering activities are carried out effectively

K1 K5 K6 K7 K16


B1 B2 B3 B4 B6

Duty 13 Ensure all network engineering activity complies with organisational policies, technical standards, Health and Safety legislation, data security requirements, professional ethics, privacy and confidentiality

K5 K6 K16 K21


B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 14 Deliver and manage a high quality service under pressure

K6 K7 K21

S6 S7 S13 S14 S16 S19

B4 B5 B6 B8



K1: the causes and consequences of network and IT infrastructure failures

K2: the architecture of typical IT systems, including hardware, OS, server, virtualisation, voice, cloud and applications

K3: the techniques for systems performance and optimisation

K4: diagnostic techniques and tools to interrogate and gather information regarding systems performance

K5: organizational procedures to deal with recording information effectively and in line with protocols

K6: Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and their application to delivering network engineering activities in line with contractual obligations and customer service

K7: their role in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

K8: the purposes and uses of ports and protocols

K9: devices, applications, protocols and services at their appropriate OSI and, or, TCP or IP layers

K10: the concepts and characteristics of routing and switching

K11: the characteristics of network topologies, types and technologies

K12: wireless technologies and configurations

K13: cloud concepts and their purposes

K14: functions of network services

K15: the different types of network maintenance

K16: how current legislation relates to or impacts occupation

K17: troubleshooting methodologies for network and IT infrastructure

K18: how to integrate a server into a network

K19: the types of security threats to networks and IT infrastructure assets

K20: how to use tools to automate network tasks

K21: approaches to change management


S1: apply the appropriate tools and techniques when securely operating and testing networks

S2: install and configure the elements required to maintain and manage a secure network

S3: implement techniques to monitor and record systems performance in line with defined specifications

S4: maintain security and performance of the system against known and standard threats

S5: apply the appropriate tools and techniques to identify systems performance issues

S6: apply the appropriate tools and techniques to gather information to troubleshoot issues and isolate, repair or escalate faults

S7: communicate outcomes of tasks and record in line with organisational procedures and SLAs including adherence to customer service standards

S8: 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

S9: record task details whether face-to-face, remote or in writing in line with ogranisational requirements

S10: interpret information received from a manager, customer or technical specialist and accurately implement the defined requirements

S11: monitor, identify and implement required maintenance procedures

S12: implement techniques to optimise systems performance in line with defined specifications

S13: organise and prioritise clients or stakeholders’ requests in line with SLAs and organization processes

S14: 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

S15: operate securely and apply the appropriate process, policies and legislation within their business responsibilities

S16: communicate with a range of stakeholders taking into consideration the organisations cultural awareness and technical ability

S17: apply the appropriate level of responsibility when planning and prioritising work tasks

S18: apply the relevant numerical skills (Binary, dotted decimal notation) required to meet the defined specifications

S19: ensure compliance of network engineering outputs with change management processes

S20: select the appropriate tools and comply with organisation policies and processes when upgrading systems


B1: work independently and demonstrate initiative being resourceful when faced with a problem and taking responsibility for solving problems within their own remit

B2: work securely within the business

B3: work within the goals, vision and values of the organisation

B4: 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

B5: works to meet or exceed customers’ requirements and expectations

B6: 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

B7: Committed to continued professional development in order to ensure growth in professional skill and knowledge

B8: Work effectively under pressure showing resilience