Once computer networks are installed and configured (usually in consultation with external engineers and technicians), system administrators employed by the school ensure they remain operational and functional. These professionals listen for network problems by both attending to reports of malfunctions from users and by monitoring system logs, and they both resolve problems that are identified and they take steps to ensure continued health of the network.
Among the specific responsibilities of system administrators is ensuring users and devices can access network resources, configuring software to backup files and checking those files are being created as expected, upgrading the operating system and driver software on the servers, and otherwise maintaining network hardware and software. They also play an important role in planning for and deploying software and hardware upgrades, and this individual pays particular attention to potential conflicts that may be introduce when networks are changed. In general, if changes are made to a device that contains or manages local area network traffic, it is the system administrator who performs the task. This individual will also work closely with technicians to ensure that use devices are properly configured to access the LAN and Internet.
Most system administrators have completed an undergraduate degree in information systems, and they are also likely to hold credentials awarded by IT vendors and professional organizations. In many cases these credentials require effort and understanding that is comparable to graduate certificates and graduate degrees in their field. As a result of their level of training and expertise, system administrators should be compensated at a rate similar to teachers, but their salary should reflect the year-round nature of their work.