Network administrators play an integral role in the day-to-day operations of many companies all over the US. In 2018, net admins received an average annual salary of $82,050, and the job outlook for these roles is a growth of 6 percent from 2016 to 2026 (average for all types of employment).

However, these figures are an average across all states. So just how do opportunities for network administrators differ across the US?

We reveal the hotspots for these jobs in the US, covering a plethora of factors, including average salaries, job growth, and the number of positions currently available.

The top-scoring states for net admin roles

According to our study, the best place to be a network administrator is Maryland. It was the highest-ranking state for average salary and employment per 1,000 jobs, and also received a high score for its percentage difference to the average state salary (for all types of employment) and its 10-year increase in job roles and salary figures.

However, Maryland did have some weaknesses, including short- and long-term projections for these roles in the state. This is perhaps due to the current saturation of these roles which is also shown in the state’s middle-of-the-ground ranking for the number of roles currently being advertised for.

The other states in the top five were Texas, California, South Carolina, and Utah. Interestingly, all four of these states performed better than Maryland when it came to short- and long-term projections with Utah coming out on top in both categories. Again, this could be attributed to the number of net admin roles in the state at present, with Utah scoring low for this (within the bottom quarter of all states).

The top 5 states at a glance

RankScoreStateAverage Annual Salary# of People Currently in These RolesEmployment per 1,000 of Jobs# of Job Vacancies Currently AvailableLong-Term Growth Projection for Roles by 2026 (from 2016)10-Year Increase in Employment #10-Year Increase in Annual Salary
167.53Maryland$108,190.0016,2206.046,4327.70%68.26%39.82%
260.69Texas$89,500.0035,1002.909,51713.20%29.57%34.40%
357.64California$97,810.0036,9002.1714,9989.20%6.52%25.72%
453.92South Carolina$75,630.005,7802.801,10711.10%100.69%30.40%
553.88Utah$81,430.003,4002.3498532.90%27.34%33.58%

The highest-scoring states per category were:

  • Highest average annual salary – Maryland – $108,190.00
  • Highest % difference to state average annual salary for all types of employment – Mississippi – 62.19%
  • Highest number of people currently in these roles – California – 36,900
  • Highest employment per 1,000 jobs – Maryland – 6.04
  • Highest number of jobs currently being advertised for – California – 14,998
  • Best short-term projection for roles (from 2018 to 2020) – Utah – 6.30% growth
  • Best long-term projection for roles (from 2016 to 2026) – Utah – 32.90% growth
  • Best 5-year increase in employment numbers (from 2013 to 2018) – South Carolina – 70.50% growth
  • Best 5-year increase in average annual salary (from 2013 to 2018) – Hawaii – 30.22% growth
  • Best 10-year increase in employment numbers (from 2008 to 2018) – South Carolina – 100.69% growth
  • Best 10-year increase in average annual salary (from 2008 to 2018) – North Dakota – 43.97% growth

The lowest-scoring states for net admin roles

At the bottom of our table was Puerto Rico which was the lowest-scoring state for average annual salary, the number of job roles currently available, long-term projection, and 10-year increase in annual salary. This is likely due to the demand for these types of roles being lower in this area. That said, Puerto Rico did score quite well in the 10-year increase in employment numbers with a 47.06 percent growth since 2008, and the average net admin salary is nearly 50 percent higher than the average for all types of employment.

The other states within the bottom five were Montana, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Michigan. While none of these states were the lowest-scoring states within any of the categories, they did have consistently low scores for many of them. For example, Montana scored particularly low in the categories for the number of people currently employed in net admin roles (600) and the number of roles currently available (120).

The bottom 5 states at a glance

RankScoreStateAverage Annual Salary# of People Currently in These RolesEmployment per 1,000 of Jobs# of Job Vacancies Currently AvailableLong-Term Growth Projection for Roles by 2026 (from 2016)10-Year Increase in Employment #10-Year Increase in Annual Salary
4828.18Michigan$77,580.007,2401.682,3886.00%-17.54%20.47%
4928.03Connecticut$93,230.002,8901.741,0824.40%-30.36%30.83%
5027.36Pennsylvania$77,700.0012,7602.183,3304.90%-13.61%12.77%
5125.05Montana$64,780.006001.301206.50%-23.08%25.25%
5220.17Puerto Rico$47,000.001,0001.1830-2.40%47.06%7.48%

The lowest-scoring states per category were:

  • Lowest average annual salary – Puerto Rico – $47,000
  • Lowest % difference to state average annual salary for all types of employment – District of Columbia – 12.78%
  • Lowest number of people currently in these roles – Wyoming – 550
  • Lowest employment per 1,000 jobs – Nevada – 1.11
  • Lowest number of jobs currently being advertised for – Puerto Rico – 30
  • Worst short-term projection for roles (from 2018 to 2020) – New Jersey – 0.10% decline
  • Worst long-term projection for roles (from 2016 to 2026) – Puerto Rico – 2.40% decline
  • Worst 5-year change in employment numbers (from 2013 to 2018) – District of Columbia – 42.69% decline
  • Worst 5-year change in average annual salary (from 2013 to 2018) – Arkansas – 1.48% decline
  • Worst 10-year change in employment numbers (from 2008 to 2018) – District of Columbia – 56.64% decline
  • Worst 10-year increase in average annual salary (from 2008 to 2018) – Puerto Rico – 7.48%

Our methodology: how did we find the best and worst states for net admin roles?

Net admin roles (or, to give them their full title, network, and computer systems administrators roles) are defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as being critical roles that pertain to the day-to-day operation of networks. These administrators are responsible for supporting, organizing, and installing an organization’s computer systems, including intranets, network segments, wide area networks (WANs), local area networks (LANs), and other such data communication systems.

To see how these roles were represented in each state, we took a look at eleven different criteria, each of which was given equal weight within our overall score. These were:

  • The average annual salary for net admin roles in the state
  • The % difference of the annual salary for net admin roles to the average annual salary of all types of employment in the state
  • The number of people currently in net admin roles in the state
  • The number of people in net admin roles per 1,000 jobs
  • The number of net admin roles being advertised for in the state
  • The short-term projections for net admin roles in each state (from 2018 to 2020)
  • The long-term projections for net admin roles in each state (from 2016 to 2026)
  • The 5-year change in employment numbers (from 2013 to 2018) in each state
  • The 5-year change in average annual salaries (from 2013 to 2018) in each state
  • The 10-year change in employment numbers (from 2008 to 2018) in each state
  • The 10-year change in average annual salaries (from 2008 to 2018) in each state

For each of these criterion, each state was allotted a point based on its position between the lowest- and highest-ranking states. States with the best net admin role scores were given 100 points and states with the worst net admin role scores were given zero points. All of the states between these two scores received their score per category based on where they ranked in relation to the lowest and highest figures (this was done on a percentile basis).

Then, the total score was created by averaging each state’s score across all of the eleven categories.

Where should you head to for the best net admin roles?

At first, you may assume Maryland is the place to go. It offers the best salary, it’s got great employment figures, and its net admin roles have enjoyed good growth over the last 10 years.

However, based on the short- and long-term projections, there isn’t going to be much onward growth in net admin roles. In which case, if you were to base your decision on this, you should be heading to Utah where the projections are at the highest level and the salary is just above the average for all states ($81,430 compared to an average of $80,437.31).

Sources: 

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm

https://www.monster.com/jobs/search/?q=Network-and-Server-Administration&where=ID

https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm