Senior Systems Administrator Salary

A little under three-quarters of Senior Systems Administrators in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $58K to $112K per year, but median earnings come to around $80K per year. In the world of Senior Systems Administrators, overall income ranges from $58K near the bottom to $112K at the top; this can include more than $11K from bonuses and more than $10K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. This group's pay is mainly influenced by residence, followed by the company and tenure. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$58,496 - $106,940
(Median)
$58K
$80K
$110K
MEDIAN: $80,418
10%
50%
90%

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$21.30 - $54.64
(Median)
$21
$36
$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
$58,496 - $106,940  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,821  
Profit Sharing
$456.15 - $10,234  
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).
)
$58,107 - $111,824  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,025
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 - $54.64  
   
Overtime
$22.62 - $70.02  
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 - $10,821  
   
Profit Sharing
$456.15 - $10,234  
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).
)
$58,107 - $111,824  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 257
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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. Given that the median pay is $76K, it may be surprising to find that an Information Technology Manager is the most common role for Senior Systems Administrators to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Senior Unix System Administrator role — which pays $90K — is also typical for Senior Systems Administrators, though less common by comparison.

Senior Systems Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Administrator


Senior Systems Administrators flock to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Lockheed Martin Corp, General Dynamics Information Technology Inc, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and Dell, Inc., highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Salary cannot be beat at Dell, Inc., where median pay comes to $94K. The range seems somewhat confined, however; the lower end sits at $80K, and the higher end is not far away at $105K.

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 participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Linux, Storage Area Networking, Virtualization, 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. Most people skilled in Microsoft Active Directory are similarly competent 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 median compensation for relatively untried workers is $73K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $78K. For Senior Systems Administrators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary 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


Senior Systems Administrators will find that San Francisco offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 29 percent. Senior Systems Administrators will also find cushy salaries in New York (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), Dallas (+12 percent), and Boston (+11 percent).

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Experience Affects Senior Systems Administrator Salaries



National Average
$81,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Administrator Salaries

up arrow 9%

Virtualization
up arrow 1%

Storage Area Networking (SAN)
up arrow 1%

VMware ESX
0%

Active Directory
0%

Windows 2003 Server
0%

National Average
$81,000

System Administration
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Active Directory
up arrow 1%

Virtual Machine (VM)
up arrow 1%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 1%

Internet Information Server (IIS)
up arrow 2%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 3%




Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 630 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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