Linux System Administrator Salary

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Linux System Administrators earn an average of $69K annually. In the world of Linux System Administrators, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $8K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $6K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $41K and $100K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Linux System Administrators. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$43,750 - $98,593

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$14.70 - $50.45

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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
$43,750 - $98,593  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,830  
Profit Sharing
$195.74 - $5,617  
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).
)
$40,579 - $100,457  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 515
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
$14.70 - $50.45  
   
Overtime
$21.48 - $58.21  
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 - $7,830  
   
Profit Sharing
$195.74 - $5,617  
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).
)
$40,579 - $100,457  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 98
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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 Perl, Puppet, UNIX, and Cloud Computing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 12 percent and 17 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Cisco Networking, System Administration, and Apache / Apache HTTP Server. It is often found that people who know Linux are also skilled in VMware ESX.

Pay by Experience Level for Linux System Administrator

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


Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $58K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $72K. For Linux System Administrators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $84K. Linux System Administrators who claim more than two decades of experience actually make somewhat smaller average paychecks of $83K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Linux System Administrators in San Francisco enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 29 percent above the national average. Linux System Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Diego (+22 percent), Washington (+22 percent), New York (+21 percent), and Boston (+14 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Linux System Administrators is geography, with workers in St. Louis earning a whopping 26 percent below the national average. Chicago and Houston are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 25 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively.

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Experience Affects Linux System Administrator Salaries




National Average
$68,000


Skills That Affect Linux System Administrator Salaries

Perl
up arrow 17%

Puppet
up arrow 15%

UNIX
up arrow 12%

Cloud Computing
up arrow 11%


up arrow 5%

Virtual Machine (VM)
up arrow 3%

Shell Scripting
0%

National Average
$68,000

Linux
up arrow 1%

MySQL
up arrow 4%



System Administration
up arrow 14%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 15%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 70 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 85% dental benefits Dental: 75%
vision benefits Vision: 65% employee benefits None: 14%
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