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Sr. Unix System Administrator Salary

Senior Unix System Administrators in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with over four-fifths bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $93K annually on average but can range from $71K to $130K per year. Total cash compensation to Senior Unix System Administrators bottoms out near $71K and approaches $130K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $12K from bonuses and almost $10K from profit sharing. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Most Senior Unix System Administrators like their work and job satisfaction is high. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$68,726 - $120,989
(Median)
$69K
$93K
$120K
MEDIAN: $93,006
10%
50%
90%

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$37.09 - $82.02
(Median)
$37
$54
$82
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
$68,726 - $120,989  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $11,798  
Profit Sharing
$505 - $10,256  
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).
)
$70,583 - $129,710  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 927
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$28$56$84
Hourly Rate
$37.09 - $82.02  
   
Overtime
$32.67 - $75.74  
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 - $11,798  
   
Profit Sharing
$505 - $10,256  
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).
)
$70,583 - $129,710  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 108

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Job Description for Sr. Unix System Administrator

A senior UNIX system administrator administers and maintains a company's server hardware and operating systems as well as any required software. They are responsible for designing the company's UNIX infrastructure, while also contributing to the continued maintenance of individual department IT needs and documentation. The system administrator should ensure that the network is kept up to date according to patch and release specifications. More specifically, these duties require that the senior UNIX system administrator perform capacity planning, maintain patching schedules, release deployment, and test to make sure that the systems are ready. It is important that the system administrator be able to see to any problems that may arise, and troubleshoot and resolve departmental incidents as well as system outages and degradations. They must respond to employee requests for technical support and be capable of communicating technical problems in a user-friendly manner. They must also stay abreast of new developments in the field and implement new systems as required by the changing field of technology. This includes learning about new hardware and software developed for the Linux environment. The job requires an awareness of the company's needs and requirements, and the ability to adjust system resources to meet the changing needs of the company during peak periods and periods of quick growth. System security is an important aspect of the administrator's duties. A senior UNIX system administrator must be able to ensure the protection of sensitive information, implement and enforce security policies, and ensure that all employees understand and adhere to these policies. A system administrator may also be required to work with individual vendors in order to obtain hardware and software required by the company. This would involve specifying, quoting, comparing, validating, and purchasing the necessary products. Overall, it is important that the system administrator is available 24/7 to ensure uninterrupted network service. In addition, the system administrator may be required to provide support with other company IT systems (smartphones, PDAs, etc.).


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 who become Information Technology Architects may see a small rise in pay. On average, Information Technology Architects earn $109K per year. Many Senior Unix System Administrators advance into roles as Senior Systems Engineers or Information Technology Managers, but the median salaries are $9K lower and $21K lower, respectively.

Sr. Unix System Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Sr. Unix System Administrator


Survey takers working as Senior Unix System Administrators report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Solaris, Storage Area Networking, Sun Solaris, and VMware ESX are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 6 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking, SQL, and Windows Operating System General Use. Those proficient in Linux are, more often than not, 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.


For Senior Unix System Administrators, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $76K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $92K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Senior Unix System Administrators bring in $98K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $103K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


Senior Unix System Administrators will find that San Francisco offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 28 percent. Senior Unix System Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+20 percent), Washington (+18 percent), New York (+14 percent), and Houston (+10 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 18 percent south of the national average, can be found in St. Louis. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Dallas (11 percent lower) and Austin (9 percent lower).

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Sr. Unix System Administrator Salaries



National Average
$97,000


Entry-Level
up arrow 21%

Skills That Affect Sr. Unix System Administrator Salaries

up arrow 6%



VMware ESX
up arrow 3%

IBM AIX
up arrow 2%

Shell Scripting
up arrow 1%

Cisco Networking
0%

National Average
$97,000

Linux
up arrow 1%

UNIX
up arrow 2%

Network Management / Administration
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

HTML
up arrow 4%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 5%

SQL
up arrow 6%

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 185 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
58%
20 years or more
25%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 84%
vision benefits Vision: 73% employee benefits None: 8%
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