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Linux System Administrator Salary (United States)

Men represent the vast majority of Linux System Administrators in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $70K per year nationwide. Location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Linux System Administrator Salary (?
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.
)
$44,349 - $98,327
(Median)
44K
56K
70K
84K
98K
MEDIAN: $69,627
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Linux System Administrator Salary (?
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.
)
$14.95 - $43.45
(Median)
15
19
25
31
43
MEDIAN: $25.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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$34K$68K$102K
Salary
$44,349 - $98,327  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,953  
Profit Sharing
$1,000 - $8,500  
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).
)
$40,542 - $99,292  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 319
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$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$14.95 - $43.45  
   
Overtime
$16.61 - $51.06  
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 - $6,953  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,000 - $8,500  
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).
)
$40,542 - $99,292  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 64
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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

Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Puppet, UNIX, Perl, and Cloud Computing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 11 percent and 19 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Apache / Apache HTTP Server and Python. Most people who know 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.
More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $59K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $71K. Linux System Administrators who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $83K. Linux System Administrators who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $84K.

Pay Difference By Location

Washington
up arrow 32%
New York
up arrow 23%
Atlanta
up arrow 23%
San Diego
up arrow 19%
Houston
up arrow 15%
Denver
up arrow 14%
Seattle
up arrow 9%
Dallas
up arrow 6%
Phoenix
up arrow 1%
National Average
$68,000
Los Angeles
up arrow 3%
Austin
up arrow 10%
San Antonio
up arrow 13%
Portland
up arrow 16%
Chicago
up arrow 19%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Washington is home to an above-average pay rate for Linux System Administrators, 32 percent higher than the national average. Linux System Administrators will also find cushy salaries in Atlanta (+23 percent), New York (+23 percent), San Diego (+19 percent), and Houston (+15 percent). In Chicago, salaries are 19 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Portland (16 percent less) and San Antonio (13 percent less).

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Experience Affects Linux System Administrator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 24%
National Average
$68,000

Skills That Affect Linux System Administrator Salaries

Puppet
up arrow 19%
UNIX
up arrow 12%
Perl
up arrow 11%
Network Management / Administration
up arrow 9%
Cloud Computing
up arrow 9%
Virtual Machine (VM)
up arrow 9%
VMware ESX
up arrow 3%
Shell Scripting
up arrow 3%
Linux
up arrow 2%
MySQL
up arrow 2%
National Average
$68,000
Python
up arrow 16%
Apache / Apache HTTP Server
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 64 votes.

Gender

Female
7%
female alumni
 
Male
93%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 76%
vision benefits Vision: 66% employee benefits None: 12%