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Senior Systems Administrator Salary

With somewhere between two-thirds and three-fourths of Senior Systems Administrators in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $58K to $110K per year and averages out to $80K annually. Cash earnings for Senior Systems Administrators — including $11K in bonuses and $10K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $58K to $110K depending on individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is location, though the specific employer and tenure have a (lesser) impact as well. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$57,946 - $105,621
(Median)
$58K
$80K
$110K
MEDIAN: $79,513
10%
50%
90%

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$21.24 - $51.85
(Median)
$21
$35
$52
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
$57,946 - $105,621  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,552  
Profit Sharing
$482.45 - $9,892  
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).
)
$57,661 - $110,188  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,045
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
$21.24 - $51.85  
   
Overtime
$22.49 - $68.11  
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 - $10,552  
   
Profit Sharing
$482.45 - $9,892  
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).
)
$57,661 - $110,188  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 254

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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 $108K annually. 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


Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Lockheed Martin Corp, General Dynamics Information Technology Inc, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and Dell, Inc. are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Senior Systems Administrators. 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.

Though lagging the field in terms of compensation — Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) offers the lowest median salary at $73K — pay within the company still varies considerably between $56K and $127K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Administrator


Senior Systems Administrators seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Linux, Storage Area Networking, VMware ESX, and Virtualization are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Network Management / Administration, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft Exchange. Those educated in Microsoft Active Directory tend to be well versed in VMware ESX.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Systems Administrator

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


Senior Systems Administrators do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. 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 with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $83K. 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


Surpassing the national average by 28 percent, Senior Systems Administrators in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Senior Systems Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+16 percent), Los Angeles (+16 percent), Dallas (+12 percent), and San Diego (+11 percent).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Systems Administrator Salaries



National Average
$81,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Administrator Salaries

up arrow 9%

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 686 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
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 84%
vision benefits Vision: 71% employee benefits None: 7%