Linux System Administrator Salary

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Linux System Administrators earn an average of $69K annually. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $10K and $8K, respectively — total cash payment to Linux System Administrators can bottom out near $41K or peak near $101K depending on individual performance. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Work is enjoyable for Linux System Administrators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$44,059 - $98,779
(Median)
$44K
$69K
$99K
MEDIAN: $69,214
10%
50%
90%

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$14.99 - $50.77
(Median)
$15
$26
$51
MEDIAN: $26.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$44,059 - $98,779  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,601  
Profit Sharing
$1.07 - $7,946  
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).
)
$41,220 - $100,773  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 660
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$14.99 - $50.77  
   
Overtime
$21.99 - $61.29  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,601  
   
Profit Sharing
$1.07 - $7,946  
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).
)
$41,220 - $100,773  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 120
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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 report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in UNIX, Cloud Computing, Virtual Machine, and Perl are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 9 percent and 16 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Cisco Networking, Apache / Apache HTTP Server, and Network Management / Administration. For most people, competency in Linux indicates knowledge of VMware ESX.

Pay by Experience Level for Linux System Administrator

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


For many Linux System Administrators, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $59K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $72K on average — a distinctly larger sum. For Linux System Administrators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $84K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $86K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $67,967

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

With a pay rate for Linux System Administrators that is 30 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Linux System Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+22 percent), San Diego (+19 percent), Baltimore (+19 percent), and New York (+18 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Linux System Administrator's salary, with Chicago Linux System Administrators earning salaries that are 25 percent less than the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Houston (8 percent lower) and Austin (4 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Linux System Administrator Salaries




National Average
$68,000


Skills That Affect Linux System Administrator Salaries

UNIX
up arrow 16%

Cloud Computing
up arrow 10%

Virtual Machine (VM)
up arrow 9%

Perl
up arrow 6%

up arrow 5%

VMware ESX
up arrow 4%

Shell Scripting
up arrow 1%

National Average
$68,000

Linux
up arrow 2%

MySQL
up arrow 4%

Puppet
up arrow 4%

System Administration
up arrow 6%



Cisco Networking
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 79 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
23%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 85%
dental benefits
Dental: 75%
medical benefits
Vision: 66%
dental benefits
None: 14%
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