Network Analyst vs. Network Engineer

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Network Analyst vs. Network Engineer

The network team has many roles. It’s sometimes easy to confuse them. What if you’re trying to determine the differences between a network analyst and a network engineer?

A network analyst works as a guardian by monitoring the network to thwart threats. A network engineer is the emergency response when security breaches occur. They both work on securing the network. So, engineers design and build networks. Network analysts maintain them.

Analysts and engineers are part of the same time, and they have similar responsibilities. Are you curious about the commonalities, overlaps, and differences? Why not keep reading?

Network Analyst vs. Network Engineer

Designing, building, and maintaining a network takes a village.

In a tennis match, a pair of players work together to score more points.

One of the pair takes an offensive approach, while the other play defensively.

Network engineers and analysts are similar. Network engineers are more on the offensive side because their responsibility is to maintain the network’s integrity.

Network analysts sit to watch the network. They fix minor issues as they appear and might have to report to the next person in the command chain when they spot a major threat.

They can also cover for each other because they share similar responsibilities. In fact, medium-sized organizations don’t make a distinction.

If you’re trained and certified, you can work both jobs.

Furthermore, a junior network engineer might report to a senior network analyst and vice versa.

Both network analysts and network engineers work under the supervision of an IT infrastructure manager.

The stark difference between analysts and engineers is that engineers design the network, and analysts watch it.

Another sports analogy? If the network department is a football team (soccer if you’re in the USA), the network engineer would be the captain, and the analyst would be the libero.

To clarify these ideas, compare between their responsibilities.

What’s A Network Analyst?

Network analysts take care of the system by planning, testing, and maintaining the network. They analyze the network to identify technical issues and recommend solutions.

They may also work with other team members and train junior employees.

Network Analyst Responsibilities

  • Execute engineering tasks to analyze network systems, hardware, and architecture design.
  • Responsible for maintaining and engineering network solutions to support development systems.
  • Maintain lab environments.
  • Work in several network labs depending on the employer’s requirements.
  • Fix network issues and provide support to network design by implementing, maintaining, and sustaining current networks.
  • Identify and correct high-level network issues on several classification levels.
  • Upgrade, install, and repair network hardware components.
  • Implement and maintain WAN, LAN, and VLANS networks.
  • Conduct network surveys and generate network reports.
  • Configure computer and network devices while providing documentation of said configurations.
  • Analyze network traffic, speed, packets, latency, capacity, availability, etc.
  • Troubleshoot network issues and provide optimization recommendations.
  • Cover for network engineers, system administrators, and infrastructure specialists when necessary.
  • Install and sustain switches, routers, and firewalls.
  • Work on Linux operating systems to support various network requirements.
  • Work with network manager to meet project deadlines.
  • Install and maintain cables, racks, and stacking equipment.

Not all network analysts are equal.

The years of your experience and IT level will always determine what you can do and at what salary.

As you’ll see in a moment, network analysts and engineers are different roles.

What’s A Network Engineer?

Network engineers are the ones responsible for designing and building computer network systems. They work on both the hardware and software sides of the network.

They also conduct system tests and install operating systems and programs.

Network engineers focus on solving technical issues and sustaining the network system.

Like network analysts, they analyze the computer network systems, but they also design them.

Network Engineer Responsibilities

  • Troubleshooting network equipment and network system problems.
  • Identify and solve problems with network configuration, design, and software while providing complete reports.
  • Knowledge of vendor-specific network software and hardware and how they work.
  • Suggest technology products to the sales team.
  • Solve network hardware and software issues and apply solutions.
  • Familiarity with network reporting to provide root cause analysis.
  • Provide training and guidance for the IT network team.
  • Lab environment infrastructure management to ensure smooth day-to-day operations.
  • Design network architecture, including hardware and software and how they support each other to meet the employer’s requirements.
  • Validate that network systems are compatible and in compliance with the latest industry standards.
  • Determine and identify potential security threats and create backup and disaster recovery plans.
  • Identify, assess, and recommend network solutions to meet the functionality and technical requirements of employers and clients.
  • Keep software updated and upgrade to new software when necessary.
  • Discern operating system specifications for the network and make changes to maintain the network’s integrity.
  • Guide software development team through detailed network design specifications
  • Work with project management to determine project schedules and network direction.
  • Create network design documents and white papers.
  • Install, sustain, and monitor network equipment, which may include servers, database systems, and application systems.
  • Responsible for ensuring that the network resources are available 24/7
  • Manage network configurations, hardware, and operating systems.
  • Work under the network manager to recommend industry best practices.
  • Help in creating a budget for network hardware upgrades.
  • Work with the IT team to help in creating business plans, proposals, and technical projects.
  • Tracking and reporting network projects and operations on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis
  • Keep up to date with the latest security threats, new network technologies, and industry trends.

The more you advance in your career, the more responsibilities you have.


Network engineers have more responsibilities than network analysts.

If you’re considering a network engineering career, becoming a network analyst can help you. Why? Because they work closely and share a lot in common.

When you’re looking into getting into cybersecurity, both careers can prepare you for a cybersecurity position.

Both can also help lead you to a higher position such as an infrastructure manager, network manager, or cloud architect.

The difference between a network analyst and a network engineer might be invisible because they work in the same team. However, they both serve distinct roles, especially on the enterprise level.

If you enjoy working in networks, both careers are equally fulfilling.

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