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14 hot network jobs, skills for 2017

Recruiting and staffing specialist Robert Half Technology released its annual guide to U.S. tech salaries, which finds IT workers can expect slightly bigger pay bumps than many other professionals are getting.

Across all fields, U.S. starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase 3.6% in 2017. The largest gains will occur in tech – where starting salaries for newly hired IT workers are forecast to climb 3.8%.

The hiring environment remains competitive, and many experienced IT pros can expect to receive multiple offers.

"To compete, employers find they must be prepared to extend generous offers with above-market pay and other compelling incentives, such as signing bonuses and work-from-home options," Robert Half Technology states in its 2017 Salary Guide. "Retention tactics to keep talented team members on board are also top of mind, pushing managers to emphasize career pathing, provide opportunities to innovate and pay special attention to work volume in order to avoid employee burnout."

The firm studied more than 75 tech positions for its annual salary guide, including 10 networking and telecommunications roles. Here’s a summary of projected salary ranges for 2017, plus percentage gains compared to a year earlier, for each network-related title. Projected salaries for each position reflect only base pay; bonuses, incentives and other forms of compensation are not included.

Network architect
2017 salary range: $125,000 - $183,000
Raise: 4.4%

Network security engineer
2017 salary range: $115,500 - $162,500
Raise: 5.7%

Wireless network engineer
2017 salary range: $113,250 - $158,000
Raise: 4.5%

Network security administrator
2017 salary range: $107,750 - $155,250
Raise: 5.1%

Network manager
2017 salary range: $102,250 - $153,000
Raise: 3.4%

Network engineer
2017 salary range: $99,000 - $146,250
Raise: 4.5%

Pre-sales engineer/technical engineer
2017 salary range: $92,250 - $140,000
Raise: 3.9%

Telecommunications manager
2017 salary range: $90,000 - $130,000
Raise: 3.0%

Network administrator
2017 salary range: $78,000 - $117,750
Raise: 4.0%

Telecommunications specialist
2017 salary range: $63,000 - $98,000
Raise: 2.9%

Robert Half Technology also singled out four skills that can boost a network pro’s salary expectations. Job candidates with Cisco network administration skills can expect to see an additional 7% bump in salary, as can those with Linux/UNIX administration skills. VoIP administration skills will deliver a 5% salary increase, and Windows 10 skills will boost salaries by another 4%.

The full report is available for download here.

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