Senior Systems Administrator Salary

Senior Systems Administrators in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with more than two-thirds bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $82K per year on average but can range from $59K to $114K per year. Overall cash earnings for Senior Systems Administrators stretch from $59K on the lower end to $114K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $12K from bonuses and $10K from profit sharing. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the company, followed by the particular city and experience level. Most Senior Systems Administrators like their work and job satisfaction is high. A large number enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$59,490 - $109,786
$59K
$82K
$110K
MEDIAN: $81,828
10%
50%
90%

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$22.34 - $56.83
$22
$39
$57
MEDIAN: $38.90
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
$59,490 - $109,786  
   
Bonus
$958 - $11,732  
Profit Sharing
$202.73 - $10,106  
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).
)
$58,842 - $113,884  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,996
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
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
$22.34 - $56.83  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.57  
Overtime
$29.46 - $75.20  
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
$958 - $11,732  
   
Commission
$6,000  
Profit Sharing
$202.73 - $10,106  
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).
)
$58,842 - $113,884  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 182
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

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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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Though it's uncommon, some Senior Systems Administrators move into roles as Information Technology Architects, where pay is an average $110K per year. Becoming an Information Technology Manager is, more often than not, the most common role that Senior Systems Administrators move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. A median salary for an Information Technology Manager is $78K. Another frequent advance is for Senior Systems Administrators to assume a Senior Systems Engineer role; in this role, workers often take home $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. AT&T Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $117K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Dell, Inc., BAE Systems Inc., and Lockheed Martin Corp, where Senior Systems Administrators typically earn around $94K, $93K, or $89K, 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


Senior Systems Administrators report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Linux, Virtualization, VMware ESX, and Storage Area Networking (SAN) are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft Office, Network Management / Administration, and Windows Operating System General Use. It is often found that people who know Microsoft Active Directory are also skilled in VMware ESX.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Systems Administrator

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


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $72K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $79K. Senior Systems Administrators with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $85K. After two decades in the workforce, the average Senior Systems Administrator generally earns more than ever; median pay for this group is estimated at $92K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $83,193

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

For Senior Systems Administrators, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 36 percent greater than the national average. Senior Systems Administrators will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+14 percent), Washington (+12 percent), New York (+11 percent), and Boston (+11 percent). With compensation 2 percent below the national average, Phoenix is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Senior Systems Administrator

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 321 votes.
Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
50%
20 years or more
19%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Systems Administrator Salaries

▲11%

▲2%

National Average
$83,000

▼4%

▼14%

Skills That Affect Senior Systems Administrator Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 321 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
50%
20 years or more
19%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 83%
vision benefits
Vision: 73%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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