Senior Systems Administrator Salary

Senior Systems Administrators in the United States tend to be well-versed in their field, and a little under three-quarters have more than 10 years of experience. Average salary is expected to be around $81K annually, but may range from $59K to $113K per year. In the world of Senior Systems Administrators, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $11K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $10K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $59K and $113K. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and years of experience. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$58,798 - $108,772
(Median)
$59K
$81K
$110K
MEDIAN: $81,191
10%
50%
90%

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$21.59 - $59.24
(Median)
$22
$36
$59
MEDIAN: $36.00
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
$58,798 - $108,772  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $11,023  
Profit Sharing
$440.42 - $10,213  
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).
)
$58,519 - $113,461  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 3,191
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
$21.59 - $59.24  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.57  
Overtime
$23.18 - $70.60  
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 - $11,023  
   
Profit Sharing
$440.42 - $10,213  
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).
)
$58,519 - $113,461  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 264
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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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Senior Systems Administrators who advance into the role of an Information Technology Architect are fairly uncommon. Information Technology Architects on average earn $109K per year. Senior Systems Administrators go on to become Information Technology Managers more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $77K. Senior Systems Administrators who move into a Senior Systems Engineer role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $89K.

Senior Systems Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Administrator


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Senior Systems Administrators include Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Lockheed Martin Corp, General Dynamics Information Technology Inc, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and Dell, Inc. The biggest paychecks can be found at Booz, Allen, and Hamilton — the median salary there is $102K. Senior Systems Administrators will also find cushy salaries at Dell, Inc. (+$94K), BAE Systems Inc. (+$90K), and General Dynamics Information Technology Inc (+$85K).

The consistently lowest paying firm is Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), where the median salary is just $73K. There isn't much variation there, either; the pay scale ranges only from $56K to $127K. Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Lockheed Martin Corp, and General Dynamics Information Technology Inc are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($77K, $84K, and $85K respectively).

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Administrator


Survey results imply that Senior Systems Administrators deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Linux, VMware ESX, Storage Area Networking, and Virtualization are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Network Management / Administration, Windows Operating System General Use, and Microsoft Exchange. Those proficient in Microsoft Active Directory are, more often than not, 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.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. The average inexperienced worker earns $74K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $79K. For Senior Systems Administrators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $84K. 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 $89K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $82,248

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

Surpassing the national average by 42 percent, Senior Systems Administrators in San Jose receive some of the highest pay in the country. Senior Systems Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+34 percent), New York (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+12 percent), and Boston (+11 percent).

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Experience Affects Senior Systems Administrator Salaries



National Average
$82,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Administrator Salaries

up arrow 9%

VMware ESX
0%

Virtualization
0%

Storage Area Networking (SAN)
0%

National Average
$82,000

System Administration
up arrow 1%

Active Directory
up arrow 1%

Windows 2003 Server
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Active Directory
up arrow 2%

Virtual Machine (VM)
up arrow 2%

Internet Information Server (IIS)
up arrow 2%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Exchange
up arrow 4%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 4%



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 601 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
55%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 84%
medical benefits
Vision: 72%
dental benefits
None: 7%
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