Which is the better job: NOC Technician or Network Technician?

jamesindcjamesindc CompTIA Network+ CE, CompTIA Security+ CE, Cisco CCENTPosts: 18Member ■■■□□□□□□□
I'm pursuing a career as a network engineer.  I was recently offered two jobs.  I'm trying to figure out which job would be better for achieving my goal of becoming a Network Engineer.  I have a 4 year degree and CompTIA Network+ and Security+ certifications.  I should have my Cisco CCNA (R&S) by this summer. I have about 3-4 years of mostly Tier 1 support type experience.

Which one do you think is the better job?  Which one will offer the better path towards becoming a Network Engineer ?

1. The first job is working for a SaaS in the Healthcare industry.  It's official title is NOC Engineer.  Its salary is about 10K more than the other job below.  Here is the job description: 

The NOC technician position is a great opportunity to work with fellow engineers, gain experience in a variety of technologies and explore other roles within the company.

Who will love this job
  • Problem Solving: You will monitor and troubleshoot the server, network and operating systems and the internal production systems in a data center environment. We strive to resolve issues while maintaining a 99.9% uptime rate for all systems.
  • Learning: You are a lifelong learner; you will have the opportunity to gain knowledge of how our infrastructure works in relationship to our customers and end users
  • Communicating: You will work with internal teams to report or resolve system related or network issues and communicate them to the rest of the team
  • Delivering: You will be responsible for monitoring, maintaining and troubleshooting 250+ servers and 150+ network devices located at more than five locations and resolving issues in a timely and efficient manner
  • Graduate degree or Undergraduate degree in engineering or Computer Science
  • Two to three (2-3) years of experience with network and server hardware and the ability to diagnose and troubleshoot basic problems
  • Must be able to work in a 24x7 rotating shift environment on either the Swing or Graveyard shift
  • Knowledge of basic TCP/IP and other Internet protocols as well as experience with tools such as Ping, Traceroute, NS Lookup, DIG, MTR, Netstat, Netsh, etc.
  • Working knowledge of operating systems; Windows OS, Linux OS
  • Ability to troubleshoot Cisco network devices, routers and switches and other network related hardware
  • Knowledge and experience with the Zabbix and other Open source monitoring management system *a plus
  • CCNA, MCSE, Network + or Linux + certification is a plus
  • Experience with XML *a plus
  • Scripting experience (Python, Ruby, Perl) *a plus
  • Knowledge of relational databases and experience with ADO.Net with SQL and Oracle databases *a plus
  • Experience with server-side languages such as PHP, Pythin, Ruby, Java, JavaScript and .Net *a plus
  • Database technologies such as MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL and Mongo DB *a plus
  • 90% Desk/phone work
  • 10% Standing/moving throughout the office

We offer comprehensive benefits to keep you healthy as you grow in your life and career. Your merit-based compensation will reflect the impact your work has on the company and our customers.

2.  The second job is for a large federal government agency working as a contractor.  The official title is Network Technician.   This job will pay about 10K less than above job. Here is the job description:

Job Summary

XYZ Company is seeking a Network Technician to assist in the development and maintenance of network communications. Knowledge of LAN/WAN systems to install and administer internal and external networks. Test and evaluate networks. Has knowledge of commonly used concepts and practices and relies on experience and judgement to perform the functions of the job. Can work under general supervision.

Minimum Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree plus 0-2 years of relevant experience

Must be able to obtain Government Suitability clearance

Preferred Qualifications

Previous Government system experience is preferred

Clearance Required Yes


  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,035Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    For someone that wants to move up, I think the first two bullets in job #1 tell it all. They want someone intellectually curious, someone who wants to understand how things work.

    #2 sounds like someone whose role will be racking equipment. It also requires a clearance, although it doesn't say which, do you have one? Typically, two identical jobs, one requiring a clearance and the other not, the one with the requirement will pay more. So the actual non-clearance "value" of the skills for position #2 are 20k or more less than job #1.

    I don't think it's a contest, job #1.
  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+; CCNA R&S; CCNP R&S Posts: 861Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I would go with job #1 unless job #2 was willing to sponsor you for a clearance, then it pay off in the long run. I would have to know more about what the job actually entailed.  Are you just putting the equipment in the rack or are you configuring it as well?
  • UrbanBobUrbanBob Posts: 30Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Job 1 description also sounds better over all. You will be diving in to a lot of content. Job 2 sounds like they don't really know what you will be doing but they know they need you. I'd rather the company hiring me know what job they want me to do.
  • draughtdraught Posts: 222Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited February 23
    Job 2 reads like a position I've done. You'll get to install the equipment and do exactly as said configure or test but you will never be allowed to do more than that. Especially government is going to have their own networking department. You'll just the hired help expected to do that same task. It's good basic experence though and not bad to take a contract like that and then go for a network engineer role afterwards.

    Job 1 definitely looks much better of course and if you can get job 1 take that by all means.
  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Posts: 421Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    You have to understand what you're getting into. NOC is a 24/7 swing/graveyard environment. You'll be mostly monitoring and running around responding to customer tickets. Not enough info to respond to job #2 but overall Network tech is a better role based on your goals.
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

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