Sr. Unix System Administrator Salary

With more than four-fifths of Senior Unix System Administrators in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience, the field is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Average pay for Senior Unix System Administrators is $94K per year and can range from $71K on the lower end to $130K per year near the higher end. In the world of Senior Unix System Administrators, overall income ranges from $71K near the bottom to $130K at the top; this can include more than $12K from bonuses and more than $10K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Geography and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$69,271 - $121,432
(Median)
$69K
$94K
$120K
MEDIAN: $93,575
10%
50%
90%

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$36.50 - $79.59
(Median)
$37
$54
$80
MEDIAN: $53.00
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
$69,271 - $121,432  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $11,616  
Profit Sharing
$550 - $10,000  
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).
)
$71,241 - $129,892  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 899
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$27$54$81
Hourly Rate
$36.50 - $79.59  
   
Overtime
$33.57 - $76.12  
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$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $11,616  
   
Profit Sharing
$550 - $10,000  
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).
)
$71,241 - $129,892  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 104
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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.

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Sr. Unix System Administrator Tasks

  • 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.
  • Install, configure, test and maintain new and existing servers, hardware and software components.
  • Troubleshoot and resolve incidents, outages or degradations.

Common Career Paths for Sr. Unix System Administrator


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As Senior Unix System Administrators make advancements in their career path to positions such as Information Technology Architect, their salaries may climb. Information Technology Architects make $109K annually 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 $9K less and $21K less per year on average.

Sr. Unix System Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Sr. Unix System Administrator


Senior Unix System Administrators seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Sun Solaris, Storage Area Networking, Solaris, and VMware ESX are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 4 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking, SQL, and Windows Operating System General Use. Most people experienced in Linux also know 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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Senior Unix System Administrators — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $76K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $93K. On average, Senior Unix System Administrators make $98K following one to two decades on the job. Senior Unix System Administrators with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $103K.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Senior Unix System Administrators, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 26 percent above the national average. Senior Unix System Administrators will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+19 percent), San Jose (+19 percent), New York (+18 percent), and Los Angeles (+10 percent). The lowest-paying market is Dallas, which sits 11 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Austin (9 percent lower) and Philadelphia (6 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Sr. Unix System Administrator Salaries



National Average
$97,000


Entry-Level
up arrow 22%

Skills That Affect Sr. Unix System Administrator Salaries

Sun Solaris
up arrow 4%

Storage Area Networking (SAN)
up arrow 4%

Solaris
up arrow 4%

VMware ESX
up arrow 3%

IBM AIX
up arrow 2%

Cisco Networking
0%

National Average
$97,000

Linux
up arrow 1%

UNIX
up arrow 2%

Shell Scripting
up arrow 2%

Network Management / Administration
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 5%

HTML
up arrow 5%

SQL
up arrow 6%

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 179 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
57%
20 years or more
26%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 84%
vision benefits Vision: 74% employee benefits None: 8%
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