Home to tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft and numerous other companies spurring innovation, the greater Seattle area is a technology professional’s paradise. And with hiring managers finding it difficult to recruit enough skilled talent, it’s easy to see how a wireless network engineer with in-demand skills and a solid work history can find their dream job in the Emerald City.
Seattle has the distinction of being ranked No. 1 in our Career City Index. It ranks second in career opportunities. This is especially true for people in the tech industry. Adding to the allure is a cost of living that’s relatively low for major U.S. cities — coupled with salaries that sit 21 percent above the national average, according to the Robert Half Technology 2018 Salary Guide.
One aspect of Seattle that isn’t for everybody is the climate. The area is known for frequent overcast days, misty rains and long stretches without sunshine. Plus, an influx of new residents is driving up the cost of living, which might come more in line with other, more expensive West Coast cities in the near future.
Wireless network engineer salaries
The salary midpoint for a wireless network engineer in Seattle is $143,990. Entry-level engineers with basic experience at smaller companies can expect starting salaries closer to $121,000. New hires with specializations in specific areas, such as cloud integration, security or architecture, or in positions within a highly complex organization, could earn as much as $204,188 per year.
Meeting the minimums
Specific requirements vary depending on the company, but there are common skills that most hiring managers in Seattle seek in a wireless network engineer:
- At least three years of experience in designing and implementing wireless networks
- A bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering or a related field
- Experience in wireless equipment, standards, protocol and WLAN design
- Relevant experience in wireless technologies like Wi-Fi, WiMAX, WAP and Bluetooth
- A background in software-defined networking (SDN) and software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN)
- Fluent with cloud services, including Office 365, AWS and Azure
- Experience with VoIP technology
- An understanding of cybersecurity implementation and best practices
- Experience with DNS, DHCP and IP management tools
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
Wireless network engineers who possess an end-to-end understanding of network infrastructure and operations are in high demand as the profession becomes less siloed. This means IT professionals need to understand everything from application priority to multidevice security solutions in order to land advanced roles.
In-demand technical credentials give you an advantage as a job seeker. Some employers pay special attention to Cisco certifications, like the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP). Candidates with a Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) certification may also see higher starting wages. Other highly sought credentials are the five levels of ITIL certifications, ranging from foundation to master.
The greater Seattle area is seeing an increased demand for tech professionals in varied industries like retail and healthcare, as well as specific fields like big data, security and mobile. As more organizations move toward wireless operations, the demand for wireless network engineers and IoT (internet of things) connectivity engineers will continue to grow.
Additional industries that may see increased hiring opportunity in Seattle include finance, which has a pressing need for information security, and manufacturing, which is beginning to trend toward automation.
Start your search
Ready for your next challenge? Take a look at this list of wireless network engineer jobs in Seattle.