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Senior Systems Administrator Salary

With more than two-thirds of Senior Systems Administrators in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience, the field is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Average pay for Senior Systems Administrators is $80K annually and can range from $58K on the lower end to $111K per year near the higher end. Total cash compensation to Senior Systems Administrators bottoms out near $58K and approaches $111K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $11K from bonuses and almost $10K from profit sharing. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction for Senior Systems Administrators is high. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$58,040 - $105,992
(Median)
$58K
$80K
$110K
MEDIAN: $79,796
10%
50%
90%

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$21.30 - $54.56
(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
$58,040 - $105,992  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,917  
Profit Sharing
$485.81 - $10,122  
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).
)
$57,697 - $110,978  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,050
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
$21.30 - $54.56  
   
Overtime
$22.49 - $69.66  
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 - $10,917  
   
Profit Sharing
$485.81 - $10,122  
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).
)
$57,697 - $110,978  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 257

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United States (change)


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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 transition into an Information Technology Architect role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $109K per year. The most common promotion for Senior Systems Administrators is an Information Technology Manager position, which usually brings in $76K a year. Another standard transition for Senior Systems Administrators seeking advancement is to assume a Senior Unix System Administrator role, where pay is often $90K.

Senior Systems Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Administrator


Dominating the field, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Lockheed Martin Corp, General Dynamics Information Technology Inc, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and Dell, Inc. are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Senior Systems Administrators. Pay for Senior Systems Administrators is best at Dell, Inc., which offers a median salary of $94K. However, the highest reported salaries don't seem to be much higher than the lowest ones; the pay range here runs from $80K to $105K.

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) offers the lowest compensation; the median salary there averages out to only $73K. The pay range is also narrow, ranging between $56K and $127K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Administrator


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Linux, Storage Area Networking, VMware ESX, and Virtualization are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Network Management / Administration, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft SQL Server. Most people who know Microsoft Active Directory also know VMware ESX.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Systems Administrator

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


For Senior Systems Administrators, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. The average inexperienced worker earns $72K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $77K. Senior Systems Administrators bring in $83K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $87K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


For Senior Systems Administrators, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Senior Systems Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+15 percent), Dallas (+12 percent), and Washington (+11 percent).

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Systems Administrator Salaries



National Average
$81,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Administrator Salaries

up arrow 10%

VMware ESX
up arrow 1%

Virtualization
up arrow 1%

Storage Area Networking (SAN)
up arrow 1%

Active Directory
0%

Windows 2003 Server
0%

Virtual Machine (VM)
0%

National Average
$81,000

System Administration
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Active Directory
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 671 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: 84%
vision benefits Vision: 71% employee benefits None: 7%
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