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Linux System Administrator Salary

Male Linux System Administrators number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $70K per year in the United States. Total cash compensation to Linux System Administrators bottoms out near $40K and approaches $100K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $8K from bonuses and almost $14K from profit sharing. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction for Linux System Administrators is high. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$43,607 - $99,378
(Median)
$44K
$70K
$99K
MEDIAN: $69,919
10%
50%
90%

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$14.45 - $46.15
(Median)
$14
$25
$46
MEDIAN: $25.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$43,607 - $99,378  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,928  
Profit Sharing
$100.50 - $14,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$40,444 - $100,152  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 441
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$14.45 - $46.15  
   
Overtime
$17.00 - $55.79  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,928  
   
Profit Sharing
$100.50 - $14,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$40,444 - $100,152  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 77

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Job Description for Linux System Administrator

A Linux system administrator is responsible for the standard day-to-day administration of Linux servers. This would include, but not be limited to, deployment of a standard LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) web server configuration, including installing all standard plugins, SSL and configuration. A Linux system administrator should also be familiar with at least two different Linux distributions. Ideally, one of the Linux distributions should be Redhat Enterprise Linux, the most common distribution used in the corporate world. The second distribution should be one of the Debian based distributions (such as Debian and Ubuntu), since most cloud service providers use some form of Debian for their servers. A typical applicant should have at least three years of experience in day-to-day administration of Linux servers.

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Linux System Administrator Tasks

  • Back up, recover, maintain and migrate data and programs.
  • Identify and resolve service problems ranging from disaster recovery to login problems.
  • Maintain, enhance and create tools for the Linux environment and its users.
  • Create and update documentation, including maintenance logs and end user training.

Linux System Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Linux System Administrator


Linux System Administrators seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Perl, Puppet, UNIX, and Cloud Computing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 11 percent and 14 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Apache / Apache HTTP Server, Cisco Networking, and System Administration. Most people familiar with Linux also know Shell Scripting.

Pay by Experience Level for Linux System Administrator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $59K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $72K. On average, Linux System Administrators make $84K following one to two decades on the job. People who have worked for 20 years or more actually report earning less than people who are in the middle of their careers; the veterans take home a mere $83K by contrast.

Pay Difference by Location


For Linux System Administrators, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Linux System Administrators will also find cushy salaries in New York (+19 percent), San Diego (+19 percent), Washington (+19 percent), and Boston (+12 percent). Linux System Administrators in Chicago take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 27 percent less than the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Austin (7 percent lower) and Houston (3 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Linux System Administrator Salaries




National Average
$68,000


Skills That Affect Linux System Administrator Salaries

Perl
up arrow 14%

Puppet
up arrow 14%

UNIX
up arrow 11%

Cloud Computing
up arrow 10%

VMware ESX
up arrow 4%

Python
up arrow 2%

Virtual Machine (VM)
up arrow 2%

Linux
0%

National Average
$68,000

Shell Scripting
up arrow 2%

MySQL
up arrow 2%

Network Management / Administration
up arrow 4%

System Administration
up arrow 15%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 18%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 71 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 76%
vision benefits Vision: 67% employee benefits None: 12%
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