Network administrators are responsible for constructing, overseeing, maintaining, and troubleshooting computer, data, and communications networks for companies. The demand for these professionals is high, and will only continue to increase: Network professionals are projected to grow by 20% by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

SEE: 20 quick tips to make Linux networking easier (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

With such a positive outlook anticipated for network administrators, Comparitech determined which states in the US had the best conditions for professionals seeking this job position. The report used 11 key criteria for each state to identify the top locations, with factors including average annual salary for network administrators, the number of people currently in these roles, short-term and long-term projections, the number of roles advertised, and more.

Here are the top five states overall for network administrators, according to the report:

  1. Maryland (average salary: $108,190)
  2. Texas (average salary: $89,500)
  3. California (average salary: $97,810)
  4. South Carolina (average salary: $75,630)
  5. Utah (average salary: $81,430)

The state with the highest number of people currently in network administrator roles is California, at 36,900. Maryland came in with the highest annual salary of $108,190. While Maryland might seem like the go-to location based on the findings, the report suggests taking a second look at Utah as well.

Network administrators are not predicted to have a significant amount of onward growth, the report noted, so Utah might be a better option since it has the highest short-term and long-term projections, and its salary is just above average for all states.

The lowest scoring states included Michigan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Montana, the report found.

For more, check out TechRepublic’s How to become a network administrator cheat sheet.

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