Senior Systems Administrator Salary

Senior Systems Administrators who are practiced in their profession and carry more than 10 years of experience make up a little under three-quarters of Senior Systems Administrators. Pay fluctuates from $59K to $113K per year, but expected earnings average $81K annually. In the world of Senior Systems Administrators, total cash compensation can vary between $59K and $113K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $11K and $10K, respectively. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and experience level. For the most part, Senior Systems Administrators enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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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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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. An Information Technology Manager role is the most prevalent career advancement for Senior Systems Administrators. Paychecks for that role are $77K on average. The Senior Systems Engineer position is another common transition for Senior Systems Administrators; in this role, salaries are typically at the $89K mark.

Senior Systems Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Administrator


Senior Systems Administrators fill the offices of leading firms Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Lockheed Martin Corp, General Dynamics Information Technology Inc, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and Dell, Inc. Senior Systems Administrators flock to Booz, Allen, and Hamilton for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $102K lead the pack in compensation. Other leaders in compensation levels are Dell, Inc. at $94K, BAE Systems Inc. at $90K, and General Dynamics Information Technology Inc, where Senior Systems Administrators annually earn $85K.

Employees of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) can expect to make the least, with the company offering a median salary of $73K; however, pay is widely dispersed from top to bottom, ranging from $56K to $127K. Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Lockheed Martin Corp, and General Dynamics Information Technology Inc also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $77K, $84K, and $85K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Administrator


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their 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. For most people, competency in Microsoft Active Directory indicates knowledge of 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, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $74K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $79K. Senior Systems Administrators see a median salary of $84K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $89K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $82,248

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

For those looking to make money, Senior Systems Administrators in San Jose enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 42 percent above the national average. 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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