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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 2281 Occupation: Computer Network Technicians
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Computer network technicians establish, operate, maintain and co-ordinate the use of local and wide area networks (LANs and WANs), mainframe networks, hardware, software and related computer equipment. They set up and maintain Internet and intranet Web sites and Web-server hardware and software, and monitor and optimize network connectivity and performance. They are employed in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors. Supervisors of computer network technicians are included in this unit group. Computer network technicians establish, operate, maintain and co-ordinate the use of local and wide area networks (LANs and WANs), mainframe networks, hardware, software and related computer equipment. They set up and maintain Internet and intranet Web sites and Web-server hardware and software, and monitor and optimize network connectivity and performance. They are employed in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors. Supervisors of computer network technicians are included in this unit group.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3 4 5
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3 4
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read short text passages on product labels, e.g. read handling instructions on labels of hazardous goods, such as cleaning solutions. (1)
  • Read logs, e.g. system administrators read logs to learn about network malfunctions. (2)
  • Read memos and notices, e.g. read memos about activities, such as planned shutdowns of Internet servers so that you can prepare for these service interruptions. (2)
  • Read text entries in forms, e.g. read comments on request-for-service forms to learn about malfunctions and upgrades to hardware and software. (2)
  • Read email messages from co-workers, colleagues and suppliers, e.g. read co-workers' requests for information about accessing data and recovering deleted files. (2)
  • Read manuals, e.g. read equipment manuals to learn how to configure routers, modems and smart switches. (3)
  • Read articles, editorials and features in magazines, e-magazines and newsletters, e.g. read articles about data security trends in e-magazines, such as IT World Canada. (3)
  • Read and interpret letters of understanding, agreements and contracts, e.g. computer network technicians read software licensing agreements to understand usage rights and restrictions. (4)
  • Read lengthy audit reports, e.g. computer network supervisors may read consultants' reports for opinions on current equipment and proposed upgrades to systems. (4)
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Writing
  • Write short notes and reminders, e.g. write installation task descriptions in service log books and reminders to co-workers about performance tests that need to be done. (1)
  • Write text entries in forms, e.g. write descriptions of malfunctioning networks and the steps taken to resolve them in incident report forms. (2)
  • Write email messages, e.g. write email messages to suppliers to request information about new products and technical solutions to problems. (2)
  • Write instructional guides, e.g. write guides to help inexperienced users install and update software. (3)
  • Write reports, e.g. write system audit reports in which you describe the quality of networks, web service and messaging systems and make recommendations for improvement. (4)
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Document Use
  • Locate data on product and equipment labels, e.g. scan labels on electronic equipment to locate product codes, specifications and serial numbers. (1)
  • Locate data in graphs, e.g. analyze histograms to identify the most frequent reasons for trouble calls. (2)
  • Locate data in assembly drawings, e.g. scan assembly drawings to locate parts and installation sequences for devices, such as drives and sound cards. (2)
  • Locate data in lists and tables, e.g. scan activity summary tables to locate performance data, such as bandwidth and memory usage, transfer speed, data packet size and latencies. (2)
  • Enter data into lists and tables, e.g. enter data into service logs about work performed. (2)
  • Locate and interpret data in schematics, e.g. locate and interpret architectural features and layouts, such as routing paths of routers and ports in network schematics. (3)
  • Enter data into forms, e.g. enter names, dates, passwords and restriction and access codes into account application forms. (3)
  • Locate data in forms, e.g. view work order requests for data on software and hardware malfunctions, maintenance requirements and special instructions. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use electronic office equipment, such as printers, scanners, fax machines and copiers. (1)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers, employers and trade schools. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access blogs and web forums where you seek and offer troubleshooting and other technical advice. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access articles to stay current on industry trends and practices. (2)
  • Use the Internet to locate information about network software and hardware set-ups. (2)
  • Use the Internet to visit software developers' and technical support websites. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access blogs and web forums where you seek and offer advice about industry and product trends. (2)
  • Use presentation software to create slide presentations. Insert and format text, tables, charts, pictures and diagrams. (2)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software to track costs and produce invoices. (2)
  • Use communication software to exchange email and attachments with co-workers, colleagues, network users and suppliers. (2)
  • Use communication software to manage distribution lists and schedule meetings. (2)
  • Use advanced features of word processing software to write, edit and format a variety of documents. (3)
  • Create and modify spreadsheets to organize data on network performance and usage. Use macros, insert calculation functions, merge cells, import and export data and create graphs. (3)
  • Use cloud technology to share, transfer and backup data on remote networks. (3)
  • Use the Internet and intranets to make changes and complete repairs to software remotely. (3)
  • Use advanced features of project management applications to record activities, assign tasks to workers, schedule activities, balance workloads and print reports. (3)
  • Use specialized software to monitor the performance of networks and to manage security, network transfers, connectivity and data protection and recovery. (4)
  • Use operating system software to manage network users' accounts and to establish access rights for group folders. (4)
  • Use software to configure a variety of computer and network peripheral hardware. (4)
  • Install and configure operating systems to create networks. (5)
  • Use advanced technical skills to create and modify databases that manage data on network computers. (5)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers and suppliers, e.g. discuss procedures for switching server systems during scheduled maintenance operations. (2)
  • Answer questions and give instructions to computer and network users, e.g. answer questions from users about changing access codes and recovering deleted files. (2)
  • Discuss the technical aspects of computers and networks with co-workers, colleagues, suppliers and network and computer users, e.g. discuss malfunctions of networking hardware and software with co-workers and give instructions for repairs. (3)
  • Give instructions to workers you supervise, e.g. computer network supervisors give instructions to carry out recovery operations and system shutdowns. (3)
  • Make presentations to managers, management committees, boards of directors and colleagues, e.g. present plans for proposed website architecture to managers and management committees. (3)
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Money Math
  • Buy parts, supplies, tools and equipment using money from petty cash. (1)
  • Calculate expense claim amounts, e.g. calculate charges for using personal vehicle by multiplying distance traveled by per kilometre rates and add amounts for meals, hotel rooms and incidentals. (2)
  • Calculate invoice amounts, e.g. network administrators calculate professional fees for services using hourly and daily rates. Add costs for supplies, apply discounts and taxes and calculate totals and sub-totals. (3)
  • Calculate unit and net prices, e.g. calculate the prices of individual pieces of networking software and equipment offered in bundled packages. Calculate net prices for equipment after corporate discounts. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Manage inventories of network hardware and software and data storage capacity, e.g. manage inventories of equipment, such as routers, cables, switches and hard drives. (2)
  • Create schedules, timetables and timelines, e.g. develop schedules for data backups, software update runs, diagnostics testing and equipment maintenance. (2)
  • Create operational budgets, e.g. network and system administrators calculate operating costs for networking, messaging and website systems. Consider costs for staffing, overhead, supplies, goods, services and special projects. (4)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Calculate quantities of network hardware and peripheral equipment, e.g. calculate quantities of cables, routers, switches, hubs and other materials needed for new installations and equipment updates. (2)
  • Calculate capacity requirements for computers and networks, e.g. calculate bandwidth requirements for networks to determine the quantities, sizes and types of cables, routers, switches and hubs required. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare counts and readings to standards and specifications, e.g. compare counts and readings to specifications in order to verify that network systems and computer workstations are working properly. (1)
  • Collect data and develop statistics to describe the performance of computers and networks, e.g. analyze data on input and output operations to identify changes in the usage and performance of mainframes and network systems. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate time needed to perform job tasks, e.g. estimate time required for operations, such as software upgrades and data backup. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Computer network technicians sequence their own job tasks. They integrate their activities with co-workers and colleagues to carry out job tasks, such as data recovery and the installation of software and hardware. They plan for a variety of activities, such as monitoring, testing and upgrading networks, supporting network users and responding to their questions. They reschedule job tasks to accommodate emergency troubleshooting of system failures. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Make purchasing decisions, e.g. purchase supplies, such as cables and compact disks and small equipment, such as routers and switches. Seek approvals for purchases of larger, more expensive equipment. (2)
  • Choose to replace hardware and upgrade software, e.g. choose to upgrade security monitoring and containment software when computers and systems fail to detect viruses during test runs. (2)
  • Select job tasks and duty assignments for staff you supervise, e.g. assign customer service activities to technicians who are comfortable giving instructions and answering questions. Consider the complexity of job tasks and the skill and training required by workers. (2)
  • Select network and computer applications, e.g. select applications, such as security monitoring software, to meet the evolving security and resource sharing requirements of organizations. (3)
  • Choose configurations for computers and networks, e.g. select the configuration of local and wide area networks to meet operational and business requirements. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Find that you are unable to maintain efficient network operations because co-workers and users are not following security, storage and backup procedures. Send out memos about the risks of such activities, implement additional security controls and speak to the individuals involved. (2)
  • Discover that the physical worksite does not match the layout shown in drawings. Advise customers and supervisors of the problem and complete other work until the needed drawings are available. (2)
  • Lack supplies for maintenance and upgrade activities, e.g. find that you do not have enough cables to set up new workstations. Contact alternate suppliers and create temporary set-ups to run workstations until the correct cables arrive. (2)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about networks, e.g. computer network technicians find information about network activity in documents, such as performance and error logs, virus scan reports and mainframe analysis and defragmentation reports. (2)
  • Find information about networking equipment and software. Review trade publications, white papers and suppliers' websites. Participate in online technical support forums and consult other network technicians, software and hardware specialists and consultants. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the work performance of others, e.g. network and system administrators assess workers' technical skills by observing them as they carry out job tasks, inspecting the quality of their work and monitoring their productivity. (2)
  • Assess the suitability of network hardware and software, e.g. assess the suitability of exchange server software. Review data on compatibility with other software programs, adaptability to specific business needs and capability to block spam and manage mail. (3)
  • Assess the functionality of networks, e.g. evaluate the functionality of business intranets. Examine security and performance data to identify transfer rates, incidence of error and failure readings and number of unplanned shutdowns. Use your assessments to make recommendations for changes to enhance performance. (3)
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