Senior Systems Administrators in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with between two-thirds and three-fourths 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 $115K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $12K and $10K, respectively — total cash payment to Senior Systems Administrators can bottom out near $59K or peak near $115K depending on individual performance. While the company and years of experience impact pay for this group, geography is the most influential factor. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. Work is enjoyable for Senior Systems Administrators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$59,891 - $110,819
(Median)
$60K
$82K
$110K
MEDIAN: $82,160
10%
50%
90%

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$22.17 - $58.06
(Median)
$22
$38
$58
MEDIAN: $38.00
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
$59,891 - $110,819  
   
Bonus
$950 - $11,887  
Profit Sharing
$199.67 - $9,975  
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).
)
$59,214 - $115,368  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,107
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
$22.17 - $58.06  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.57  
Overtime
$28.70 - $75.13  
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
$950 - $11,887  
   
Profit Sharing
$199.67 - $9,975  
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).
)
$59,214 - $115,368  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 185
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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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Senior Systems Administrators who advance into the role of an Information Technology Architect are fairly uncommon. Information Technology Architects on average earn $110K per year. Senior Systems Administrators go on to become Information Technology Managers more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $77K. Senior Systems Administrators who move into a Senior Systems Engineer role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $89K.

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 General Dynamics Information Technology Inc, Lockheed Martin Corp, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Dell, Inc., and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Although Dell, Inc. offers the highest salaries (median pay is $94K), survey participants reported a rather limited pay range of $80K to $105K. Soaring salaries can also be found at BAE Systems Inc., Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, and Lockheed Martin Corp, where earnings of $92K, $90K, or $87K are standard for Senior Systems Administrators.

Other low-paying employers include General Dynamics Corp. at $80K and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) at $85K, though some Senior Systems Administrators there earn up to $98K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Administrator


Senior Systems Administrators seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Linux, Virtualization, Storage Area Networking, and VMware ESX are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Office, Network Management / Administration, and Windows Operating System General Use. Most people experienced in Microsoft Active Directory also 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, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $73K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $80K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Senior Systems Administrators make a median salary of $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: $83,418

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

For Senior Systems Administrators, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 32 percent above the national average. Senior Systems Administrators will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+14 percent), New York (+14 percent), Seattle (+12 percent), and Washington (+12 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 7 percent south of the national average, can be found in Phoenix.

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Experience Affects Senior Systems Administrator Salaries



National Average
$83,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Administrator Salaries

up arrow 8%

Virtualization
0%

Storage Area Networking (SAN)
0%

National Average
$83,000

VMware ESX
up arrow 1%

Active Directory
up arrow 1%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 1%

System Administration
up arrow 2%

Internet Information Server (IIS)
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Active Directory
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Exchange
up arrow 4%

Virtual Machine (VM)
up arrow 4%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 4%




Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 343 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
51%
20 years or more
19%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 84%
medical benefits
Vision: 73%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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