Linux System Administrator Salary (United States)

Men represent the vast majority of Linux System Administrators in the United States. People in this role can an average of earn $67,282 annually nationwide. Pay starts at $41,594 and can approach $98,458 per year on the higher side. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Benefits are plentiful in this line of work; most people have both medical and dental plans, and more than half have vision insurance. Most Linux System Administrators report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this outline were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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.
)
$44,817 - $98,707
(Median)
45K
56K
69K
84K
99K
MEDIAN: $68,944
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px
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.
)
$15.01 - $40.44
(Median)
15
20
25
31
40
MEDIAN: $24.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$44,817 - $98,707  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,179  
Profit Sharing
$1,008 - $12,208  
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).
)
$41,594 - $98,458  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 266
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
$15.01 - $40.44  
   
Overtime
$16.39 - $53.83  
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 - $7,179  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,008 - $12,208  
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).
)
$41,594 - $98,458  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 47
Is Linux System Administrator your job title? Get a personalized salary report!
Location:
United States (change)
Years in Field/Career:

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.
Read More...
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

Search for more jobs:
job title / company
location

Popular Skills for Linux System Administrator

Linux System Administrators report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, facility with Network Management / Administration, Perl, and UNIX are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 26 percent, 18 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Apache / Apache HTTP Server and Python. Those proficient in Linux are, more often than not, also skilled in Shell Scripting.

Pay by Experience Level for Linux System Administrator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Salaries start at $58K, which grows to $71K after five to 10 years. Those who spend a decent amount of time in this profession—one to two decades—usually make about $82K. Pay actually shrinks for Linux System Administrators after two decades in the profession, averaging $80K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 26 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 6 percent. Workers in this area tend to have one to nine years of experience.

Pay Difference By Location

Atlanta
up arrow 26%
New York
up arrow 23%
Denver
up arrow 18%
Seattle
up arrow 8%
Dallas
up arrow 7%
National Average
$67,000
Los Angeles
up arrow 3%
Austin
up arrow 10%
San Antonio
up arrow 15%
Chicago
up arrow 24%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Home to some of the best pay for Linux System Administrators, Atlanta offers exceptional salaries, 26 percent above the national average. New York, Denver, Seattle, and Dallas also offer top salaries for Linux System Administrators. Workers in these cities can expect to earn about 23 percent, 18 percent, 8 percent, and 7 percent more, respectively. The lowest-paying market is Chicago, which sits 24 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Employers pay around -15 percent in San Antonio and -10 percent in Austin, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Linux System Administrator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 19%
National Average
$67,000

Skills That Affect Linux System Administrator Salaries

Network Management / Administration
up arrow 26%
Perl
up arrow 18%
UNIX
up arrow 13%
Cloud Computing
up arrow 10%
Linux
up arrow 4%
VMware ESX
up arrow 4%
Shell Scripting
up arrow 4%
National Average
$67,000
Python
up arrow 3%
Apache / Apache HTTP Server
up arrow 18%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 58 votes.

Gender

Female
6%
female alumni
 
Male
94%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 79%
vision benefits Vision: 67% employee benefits None: 11%
Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid
Job Title:
Years in Field/Career:
Location:
United States (change)
- OR -