Senior Systems Administrator Salary

Between two-thirds and three-fourths of Senior Systems Administrators in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $58K to $112K per year, and the average comes out to $80K annually. With some bonuses and profit sharing proceeds approaching $11K each, total incomes of Senior Systems Administrators generally range from $58K to $112K depending on individual performance. Geographic location is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and experience level are driving factors as well. For the most part, Senior Systems Administrators enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$58,408 - $106,835
(Median)
$58K
$80K
$110K
MEDIAN: $80,273
10%
50%
90%

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$21.28 - $54.77
(Median)
$21
$35
$55
MEDIAN: $35.00
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
$58,408 - $106,835  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,752  
Profit Sharing
$484.79 - $10,279  
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).
)
$58,015 - $111,732  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,023
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
$21.28 - $54.77  
   
Overtime
$22.62 - $70.02  
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 - $10,752  
   
Profit Sharing
$484.79 - $10,279  
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).
)
$58,015 - $111,732  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 256
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Job Description for Senior Systems Administrator

Senior system administrators manage a team of system administrators as well as other employees of the IT department. They are responsible for designing, planning, putting into place, and having the highest level of performance as an expert in the system administration for computers and their complex operating systems. With this, senior system administrators research and select upgrades, software and other necessities for their company's computer systems. They also work with other administrators and the IT department to resolve or implement new hardware for computers, printers and other service systems for the company. Senior administrators are also responsible for training and supervising new employees that would work under them. They must be well versed in technology and have a strong ability to plan, organize, evaluate and redesign system designs to have them work better for the company. In addition, senior systems administrators must have strong communication skills (both verbal and written), be a team player and perform difficult tasks well under pressure.

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Senior Systems Administrator Tasks

  • Lead a team of systems administrators to manage servers and other computer system aspects of a company.
  • Configure and troubleshoot software and hardware enhancements, application deployments and infrastructure up-grades.
  • Diagnose and correct computer systems issues.

Common Career Paths for Senior Systems Administrator


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It's not very common for Senior Systems Administrators to move on to become Information Technology Architects. Average pay for an Information Technology Architect is $109K annually. Senior Systems Administrators go on to become Information Technology Managers more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $76K. Senior Systems Administrators who move into a Senior Unix System Administrator role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $90K.

Senior Systems Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Administrator


Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Lockheed Martin Corp, General Dynamics Information Technology Inc, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and Dell, Inc. are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Senior Systems Administrators. Salary cannot be beat at Dell, Inc., where median pay comes to $94K. The range seems somewhat confined, however; the lower end sits at $80K, and the higher end is not far away at $105K.

Bringing up the rear, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)'s median pay of $73K is the lowest in town; however, employee salaries widely range, with some making up to $127K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Administrator


Senior Systems Administrators report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Linux, Storage Area Networking, Virtualization, and VMware ESX are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Network Management / Administration, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft SQL Server. It is often found that people who know Microsoft Active Directory are also skilled in VMware ESX.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Systems Administrator

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


Senior Systems Administrators do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $73K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $78K on average. Senior Systems Administrators bring in $84K after working for 10 to 20 years. Senior Systems Administrators with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $88K.

Pay Difference by Location


Senior Systems Administrators will find that San Francisco offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 29 percent. Senior Systems Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), Dallas (+12 percent), and Boston (+11 percent).

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Experience Affects Senior Systems Administrator Salaries



National Average
$81,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Administrator Salaries

up arrow 9%

Virtualization
up arrow 1%

Storage Area Networking (SAN)
up arrow 1%

VMware ESX
0%

Active Directory
0%

Windows 2003 Server
0%

National Average
$81,000

System Administration
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Active Directory
up arrow 1%

Virtual Machine (VM)
up arrow 1%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 1%

Internet Information Server (IIS)
up arrow 3%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 3%




Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 636 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
57%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 85%
vision benefits Vision: 71% employee benefits None: 7%
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