The majority of Senior Systems Administrators in the United States — a little under three-quarters — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $59K to $115K per year, and the median is $82K per year. Total cash compensation for Senior Systems Administrators runs from $59K to $115K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $12K and profit sharing that can reach almost $10K. The company is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the particular city and tenure. Work is enjoyable for Senior Systems Administrators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. 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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$59,522 - $110,751
$60K
$82K
$110K
MEDIAN: $82,078
10%
50%
90%

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$22.44 - $56.89
$22
$38
$57
MEDIAN: $38.32
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
$59,522 - $110,751  
   
Bonus
$965 - $11,731  
Profit Sharing
$491.32 - $10,022  
Commission
$6,000  
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).
)
$58,734 - $114,732  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 2,101
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$26$52$78
Hourly Rate
$22.44 - $56.89  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.57  
Overtime
$29.58 - $75.35  
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$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$965 - $11,731  
   
Commission
$6,000  
Profit Sharing
$491.32 - $10,022  
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).
)
$58,734 - $114,732  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 186

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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

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

Common Career Paths for Senior Systems Administrator


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While not commonly seen, Senior Systems Administrators who transition into an Information Technology Architect position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Information Technology Architects is $110K per year. The most common promotion for Senior Systems Administrators is an Information Technology Manager position, which usually brings in $77K a year. Another standard transition for Senior Systems Administrators seeking advancement is to assume a Senior Systems Engineer role, where pay is often $89K.

Senior Systems Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Administrator


General Dynamics Information Technology Inc, Lockheed Martin Corp, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Dell, Inc., and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) are all popular places to work. Those at AT&T Inc. can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $117K. Dell, Inc., BAE Systems Inc., and Lockheed Martin Corp also offer top salaries for Senior Systems Administrators. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $94K, $93K, and $90K, respectively.

Other low-paying employers include Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) at $68K and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) at $78K, though some Senior Systems Administrators there earn up to $99K.

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 seem to negatively impact pay include Microsoft Office, Network Management / Administration, and Windows Operating System General Use. Those familiar with Microsoft Active Directory also tend to 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, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $72K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $79K. Senior Systems Administrators bring in $86K after working for 10 to 20 years. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $93K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $83,400

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

Home to some of the best pay for Senior Systems Administrators, San Jose offers exceptional salaries, 38 percent above the national average. Senior Systems Administrators will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+34 percent), New York (+16 percent), Seattle (+14 percent), and San Diego (+13 percent).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Senior Systems Administrator

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 330 votes.
049
Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
50%
20 years or more
19%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Systems Administrator Salaries



National Average
$83,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Administrator Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 330 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
50%
20 years or more
19%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 83%
vision benefits
Vision: 73%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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