Sr. Unix System Administrator Salary

Senior Unix System Administrators in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $97K per year on average. Total cash compensation to Senior Unix System Administrators varies from $73K to $132K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $12K each. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$71,469 - $123,869
(Median)
$71K
$97K
$120K
MEDIAN: $96,625
10%
50%
90%

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$38.99 - $79.01
(Median)
$39
$57
$79
MEDIAN: $56.00
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
$71,469 - $123,869  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,036  
Profit Sharing
$730 - $12,242  
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).
)
$73,289 - $132,492  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 837
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$29$58$87
Hourly Rate
$38.99 - $79.01  
   
Overtime
$38.88 - $84.26  
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
$0.00 - $12,036  
   
Profit Sharing
$730 - $12,242  
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).
)
$73,289 - $132,492  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 97
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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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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. Senior Unix System Administrators most frequently advance into Senior Systems Engineer and Information Technology Manager roles even though the median salaries are $11K lower and $23K lower, respectively.

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Popular Skills for Sr. Unix System Administrator


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Fortunate workers who know MySQL can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 24 percent above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking, Windows Operating System General Use, and HTML. Most people skilled in Linux are similarly competent 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.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $83K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $94K. Experienced professionals who have spent one to two decades on the job can score lucrative paychecks that average out to $101K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $105K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $100,092

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

For Senior Unix System Administrators, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Senior Unix System Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+20 percent), Washington (+19 percent), San Jose (+16 percent), and Los Angeles (+8 percent). For Senior Unix System Administrators, the Midwest means smaller paychecks — those in St. Louis, Chicago, and Minneapolis earn less than Senior Unix System Administrators in the rest of the country. Below-median salaries also turn up in Chicago and Minneapolis (9 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).

Sr. Unix System Administrator Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Sr. Unix System Administrator in Addison:
"Stay Focused."
Stay focused, but maintain a well rounded career. Explore other areas in your work environment.

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Experience Affects Sr. Unix System Administrator Salaries



National Average
$100,000


Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Skills That Affect Sr. Unix System Administrator Salaries

MySQL
up arrow 24%

Storage Area Networking (SAN)
up arrow 2%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 2%

Sun Solaris
up arrow 1%

Solaris
up arrow 1%

IBM AIX
0%

National Average
$100,000

Linux
up arrow 1%

UNIX
up arrow 2%

Network Management / Administration
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 2%

Shell Scripting
up arrow 3%

SQL
up arrow 6%

HTML
up arrow 8%


Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 156 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
14%
10-19 years
57%
20 years or more
28%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 85%
medical benefits
Vision: 76%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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