Skills to Look for When Hiring a Wireless Network Engineer

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Skills to Look for When Hiring a Wireless Network Engineer

Wireless network engineers are the brains behind the operation of a successful network. Learn the most important skills and experience to look for when hiring this crucial role in your organization.

As new technologies enter the wireless network realm each year, it’s more and more crucial to look for specific qualities, experience, and skillsets when hiring IT staff, so that wireless network management implements the most current trends and fixes.

One crucial role is the wireless network engineer, also referred to as the network architect, who works on the overall design and capabilities of the network. These professionals are often hired on a project-by-project basis as contractors.

Let’s first take a look at what a wireless network engineer does, and then the top skills you should look for when hiring someone in this role.

What does a wireless engineer do?

The wireless network engineer will have a background in managing wireless network equipment, which includes installing, configuring, and maintaining it within a variety of settings. These professionals will also be knowledgeable about industry Wi-Fi standards and best practices. Solutions for seamless communications within a business are an important part of the wireless network engineer’s job, including voice and video calls, data transfer, and more.

Key job responsibilities of a wireless engineer include the following:

  • Installing any necessary hardware or software, including those for backups or to monitor system performance
  • Troubleshooting tasks to prevent downtime
  • Providing solutions for upgrade management
  • Developing plans to address consistent wireless network problems
  • Planning for future strategies and initiatives to keep the network operating at high performance
  • Collaborating with vendors and network managers on implementation and deployment
  • Installing and managing firewalls and other network security protections
  • Training in-house staff on wireless technologies, if applicable
  • Putting solutions in place to continuously test network performance
  • Testing and modifying equipment as needed
  • Deploying access points appropriately and effectively
  • Conducting site surveys

These responsibilities will vary based on your organization’s needs. Typically, the wireless network engineer deals more with planning and design, whereas an administrator may handle more of the day-to-day operations and maintenance.

What skills should you look for when hiring a wireless engineer?

In light of the crucial role of a wireless network engineer and their key responsibilities, carefully consider the skills that these professionals need to have when you’re going through the hiring process.

Wireless engineers will ideally have a university degree in an area such as mathematics, computer science, engineering, or a related field. There are also several certifications that these professionals should have, such as various Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) certifications.

It’s also smart to hire someone who has a few years of experience of working in a variety of actual wireless network environments, even if they’ve never been the sole engineer on a project. A candidate should have hands-on experience with Wi-Fi engineering, and it may help if they also have experience engineering wired networks.

Another skill to look for in a candidate’s understanding of scripting languages; for example, they should be familiar with languages such as Bash, Perl, or Python.

Of course, a key consideration for hiring any type of staff member or contractor is their fit with your organization. Do they have experience working in a similar type of environment, such as a university, hospital, or large enterprise? Do they have experience managing relationships and communications between technicians, vendors, and managers?

These considerations will help you determine if they’ll be able to keep up with a large network area and any congestion when designing how the network will be run and managed—and whether they will be able to communicate any issues to other personnel, both technical and non-technical.

How 7SIGNAL’s wireless network monitoring can help

Your enterprise as well as the network engineers you hire depend on tools that allow you to plan for the future. 7SIGNAL’s wireless network monitoring services help you get the most out of your Wi-Fi by constantly testing performance to avoid or address any issues, before the end-user experiences them. This monitoring also consistently gathers key performance data that helps your organization plan for changes—from a significant increase in devices to the expansion of the network’s coverage area.

With the right wireless engineer in place and best-in-class monitoring tools, you’ll be on your way to a high-performing, reliable wireless network that quickly adapts to new needs.

7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise Wireless Network Monitoring. The 7SIGNAL platform is a cloud-based Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) solution that continuously troubleshoots the wireless network for performance issues – maximizing network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI. The platform was designed for the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and government agencies and is currently deployed at Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens, Microsoft, and many others. 7SIGNAL continuously monitors the connectivity of over 4 million global devices. Learn more at www.7signal.com.

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