Network Engineer Apprenticeship
Your future career, after completion
Your future career, after your Network Engineer Apprenticeship
Interested in becoming a Network Engineer apprentice? Find all the information you need below…
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Who should apply for the Network Engineer apprenticeship?
Becoming a Network Engineer apprentice is ideal for anyone who enjoys designing, installing, maintaining and supporting communication networks. If you like network configuration, network administration and giving technical advice and guidance, then the Network Engineer apprenticeship could be for you. The roles you might expect to be applying for after your 15-18 month Network Engineer apprenticeship are Network Technician, Network Engineer, Systems Engineer, Network Administrator, and many others.
What's the cost of the Network Engineer apprenticeship & will I be paid?
As a Network Engineer apprentice, you will NOT pay anything towards your apprenticeship.
You can find out more about your investment and wages here >>
Entry requirements to become a Network Engineer apprentice
Individual employers will set the selection criteria. It is likely to include:
- A level 3 Apprenticeship or relevant qualifications
- Experience in a similar role
- Relevant experience and/or an aptitude test with a focus on functional maths.
Having a passion for IT will help Network Engineer apprentices gain the most out of their apprenticeship programme.
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What technical knowledge will I learn as a Network Engineer?
- Understands and applies the principles of networking, protocols and also associated technologies (specifically this should include the latest published versions of OSI layer model, IP, TCP/IP, routing and switching, WANs, LANs)
- Understands and applies the applied maths required to be a network engineer (e.g. algorithms, data, binary, probability and statistics)
- Also, understands the causes and consequences of system failure including load balance and storage protocols and responds appropriately
- Understands the architecture of a typical business IT system, including hardware, OS, server, virtualisation, middleware and applications
- Understands and also responds to security threats, firewalls and vulnerabilities
What qualifications will I gain?
- Level 4 Network Engineer Apprenticeship, awarded by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education
- CompTIA Network +
- City & Guilds Level 4 Diploma in Network Systems & Architecture
- City & Guilds Level 4 Diploma in Network Security
What skills will I develop?
- Logical and creative thinking skills
- Analytical and problem-solving skills
- Ability to work independently and to take responsibility
- Using own initiative
- Taking a thorough and organised approach
- Ability to work with a range of internal and external people
- Ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations
- Maintaining a productive, professional, and a secure working environment
Your future earning potential as a Network Engineer:
What's included in the Network Engineer apprenticeship?
Within the first month, all apprentices and employers will receive a thorough induction to the apprenticeship training program from a dedicated NowSkills tutor. This will involve:
- “Workplace Health, Safety & Wellbeing Assessment”,
- Completion of enrolment documentation
- The signing of the “Commitment Statement” and an “Apprenticeship Agreement”.
- The completion of initial assessments/diagnostics for English and maths
- Agreeing the Professional Development Plan (POP), which will detail: The sequencing and content of learning key milestones (for submitting portfolio evidence, exams etc.)
- Details of how to access any online learning platforms arrangements for safeguarding
- Inductions usually take a working day to complete dependent on the individual apprentice and employer
It is a statutory requirement that 20% of an apprentice’s working hours are allocated to training. A proportion of this time will be spent attending training workshops in-centre, with the rest made up by independent learning, guided distance learning and tutor sessions in the workplace. For Network Engineer Level 4 apprentices, relevant training workshops, lasting 1-2x days at a time, will be placed between the apprentice and their mentor & tutor, according to individual need. Workshops may be delivered on the following topics:
Knowledge Session 1: Network Principles
- Networking Concepts: Defining network Services and Applications versus network elements, and how an application works end to end
- Infrastructure: Understanding the different Media Types at Layer 1 of the OSI model
- Network Operations: Understanding the operation and maintenance procedures for the network including Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
- Network Security: Understanding the types and purpose of physical security devices
- Network Troubleshooting: Understanding the basic network troubleshooting methodology
Knowledge Session 2: Network Systems and Architecture
- Server Hardware: CPUs, Memory, Native storage, I/O Busses, I/O devices
- Server Configuration: Prepare a server for installation, Disk partitioning and formatting
- Concepts of Virtualisation: Types of machine partitioning software
- Shared network services
- Network administration: Active Directory/LDAP, Directory services, DNS, NIS, Apache Directory server
- Network Storage: Types of network storage, SANs, NAS, Fibre Channel SAN or over Ethernet, iSCSI SAN
- Typical causes of system failure
Knowledge Session 3: Network Security
- Security Threats and Countermeasures: Steps involved in protecting information systems, like computer systems and networks.
- OSI Model and Security: Identify threats and mitigation for each layer of the OSI Model
- Security vulnerabilities and threats
- Risk Management:
- What the Information Systems Audit and Control Association does
- Strategies for cybersecurity risk management
- IT security countermeasures and controls
- Security for Network Services
- Vulnerability and threat assessment
Included: Ongoing Professional Development
Apprentices will be guided by a NowSkills tutor and their workplace mentor, throughout the duration of the infrastructure technician apprenticeship. For a level 4 apprentice this must equate to 1/2 a working day for every week they aren’t attending training in centre, and will likely consist of:
- Mentoring sessions with the nominated employer mentor
- Training in the workplace, relevant to the standard
- Producing/collating evidence for the apprentice’s summerative portfolio
- Work shadowing
- Industry visits
- Attendance at competitions
- Online learning
- Studying or researching
Before an apprentice can reach the threshold for the gateway phase, apprentices must have successfully achieved the following exams:
- CompTIA Network +
- City & Guilds Level 4 Diploma in Network Systems and Architecture
- City & Guilds Diploma in Network Security
Included: Tutor 1:1s
These take place monthly, either at the workplace or live online with the tutor. The will involve:
- Coaching sessions, in areas of training need agreed with the tutor
- Professional Development Reviews (PDRs), which employers must partake in. These allow for a meaningful discussion between all 3x parties about the apprentice’s achievements, areas for improvement and progress made to date
- Updating of the Professional Development Plan (POP)
- Provision of ongoing careers education, information, advice & guidance
- Feedback on an apprentice’s work
- English, maths, and wider digital skills development
- Support in understanding and applying: safeguarding; fundamental British values; health, safety, & wellbeing; and equality, diversity, and inclusion
In addition to tutor 1:1s, all apprentices and employers must also partake in a monthly Professional Development Review (PDR):
- A meaningful discussion about the apprentice’s achievements
- Identifying areas for improvements, and agreeing a consequent target plan
- Looking at progress made to date
Included: Gateway to End-Point Assessment
This is the period in which the decision is made whether the apprentice is ready to cross the threshold phase, from learning to the end-point assessment phase.
The EPA will be completed in a three-month period, beginning when the EPAO confirms that all gateway requirements have been met. At the gateway, any supporting documentation that supports an EPA assessment technique must be submitted.
Congratulations! You will have completed your Network Engineer Apprenticeship! You will have learned the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours to embark on a rewarding IT & digital career.
What happens after I successfully complete the Network Engineer apprenticeship?
Upon successful completion of the Network Engineer Level 4 Apprenticeship, further progression opportunities are available:
- Promotion in the workplace, or a movement into a managerial role
- Study at a higher level of apprenticeship (dependent on occupation)
- Enrolling in a degree (full or part-time) or even a degree apprenticeship
- Continuing in the role, but undertaking additional, related qualifications to further development
NowSkills tutors and support staff are trained to advise you on the wide range of career options available after your apprenticeship. For many apprentices this may be continuing employment in a permanent with their apprenticeship employer; for others, it may be new education or career opportunities.