Sr. Unix System Administrator Salary
Average pay for a Senior Unix System Administrator in the United States is considerable, rounding six figures at $99K per year. The range in cash compensation to Senior Unix System Administrators ($75K to $136K) includes potential earnings of $15K each from bonuses and profit sharing in exceptional cases. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. For the most part, Senior Unix System Administrators enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Sr. Unix System Administrator
Senior Unix system administrators oversee Unix operating systems for companies and perform Unix server support for both hardware and software. They also perform periodic maintenance on these systems and carry out troubleshooting when problems arise; when troubleshooting systems, they intend to find the root causes of problems through objective analysis. They also perform upgrades when necessary to fine-tune systems for optimal performance.Read More...
Senior Unix system administrators must have optimal scripting capabilities in C++ and other coding/programming languages. They may be expected to automate certain processes to make them more effective, and other duties include maintaining patching levels, optimizing security, and conducting system backups to ensure that they are recoverable. As senior-level employees, they generally oversee a team of Unix system administrators and delegate their tasks, though they may also have basic duties such as administering payroll, hiring, and employee evaluations.
Strong leadership, communication, and teamwork skills are essential in order to lead an effective team. This job is usually full-time and carried out in an office environment, though some jobs may require being on-call at various times of the day or night. Because this is a senior-level position, many years of prior experience may be required, and some jobs also require prior leadership experience in a similar setting.
Sr. Unix System Administrator Tasks
- Install, configure, test and maintain new and existing servers, hardware and software components.
- Troubleshoot and resolve incidents, outages or degradations.
- Set policies for applications and infrastructure including patching schedules, release deployment, testing, and system readiness.
- Perform capacity planning, infrastructure design, systems administration, and updates according to patch and release specifications.
Common Career Paths for Sr. Unix System Administrator
Senior Unix System Administrators tend not to experience significant pay changes as they move up the career ladder to roles like Information Technology Architect. The two jobs pay about the same on average. A lot of Senior Unix System Administrators advance their careers by becoming Senior Systems Engineers and Information Technology Managers. However, those positions offer $12K less and $24K less per year on average.
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Popular Skills for Sr. Unix System Administrator
Survey results imply that Senior Unix System Administrators deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in System Administration, Network Management / Administration, Solaris, and IBM AIX are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking, HTML, and Windows Operating System General Use. It is often found that people who know Linux are also skilled in Sun Solaris and IBM AIX.
Pay by Experience Level for Sr. Unix System Administrator
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Senior Unix System Administrators do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $82K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $92K. After 10 to 20 years, professionals can make it pretty big; the median salary sits in the six-figure neighborhood of $103K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $105K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Senior Unix System Administrators, Baltimore provides a pay rate that is 23 percent greater than the national average. Senior Unix System Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+19 percent), San Jose (+14 percent), Dallas (+13 percent), and Houston (+12 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Philadelphia, 12 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Minneapolis (8 percent lower) and Miami (7 percent lower).
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