Senior Systems Administrator Salary

The majority of Senior Systems Administrators in the United States — between two-thirds and three-fourths — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $58K to $112K per year, and the median is $81K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $11K and $10K, respectively — total cash payment to Senior Systems Administrators can bottom out near $58K or peak near $112K depending on individual performance. This group's pay is mainly influenced by location, followed by the company and tenure. Job satisfaction for Senior Systems Administrators is high. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$58,592 - $107,024

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$21.24 - $55.04

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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
$58,592 - $107,024  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $11,073  
Profit Sharing
$463.69 - $10,017  
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).
)
$58,224 - $111,883  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,016
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
$21.24 - $55.04  
   
Overtime
$22.58 - $70.12  
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 - $11,073  
   
Profit Sharing
$463.69 - $10,017  
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).
)
$58,224 - $111,883  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 254
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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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There are some Senior Systems Administrators — though it's uncommon — that transition into Information Technology Architects, where earnings are an average $109K annually. As Senior Systems Administrators progress in their field, many go on to become Information Technology Managers. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and median pay for the role is $76K. Another common career choice for Senior Systems Administrators is to move into a Senior Unix System Administrator role — this promotion usually pays $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 top-notch employers for Senior Systems Administrators in this area. Senior Systems Administrators in search of the best pay head to Dell, Inc., where the median salary rolls in at $94K. Although pay is top-notch overall, it does seem to be curbed at $105K, which isn't dramatically higher than the lower-end figure of $80K.

Offering a median salary of only $73K, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) gives out the smallest paychecks. Furthermore, the earnings range of $56K to $127K isn't that wide, either.

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, Virtualization, Storage Area Networking, and VMware ESX are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Network Management / Administration, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft SQL Server. Those educated in Microsoft Active Directory tend to be well versed 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 claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $84K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $88K.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 30 percent, Senior Systems Administrators in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Senior Systems Administrators will also find cushy salaries in New York (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), Dallas (+11 percent), and San Diego (+10 percent).

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Experience Affects Senior Systems Administrator Salaries



National Average
$82,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Administrator Salaries

up arrow 10%

Virtualization
up arrow 1%

Storage Area Networking (SAN)
up arrow 1%

VMware ESX
0%

Windows 2003 Server
0%

National Average
$82,000

System Administration
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Active Directory
up arrow 1%

Active Directory
up arrow 1%

Virtual Machine (VM)
up arrow 1%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 2%

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 627 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: 72% employee benefits None: 7%
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