Sr. Unix System Administrator Salary

Senior Unix System Administrators in the United States tend to have a good amount of experience under their belt — over four-fifths have more than 10 years in the field. While pay runs from $71K to $130K per year, median earnings come to $94K annually. Total cash earnings of Senior Unix System Administrators range from $71K on the low end to $130K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $12K and $10K, respectively. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Most Senior Unix System Administrators like their work and job satisfaction is high. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$69,215 - $121,446
(Median)
$69K
$94K
$120K
MEDIAN: $93,795
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
$69,215 - $121,446  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $11,732  
Profit Sharing
$587 - $9,933  
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).
)
$71,235 - $129,935  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 901
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
$33.45 - $76.30  
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 - $11,732  
   
Profit Sharing
$587 - $9,933  
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).
)
$71,235 - $129,935  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 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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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


Senior Unix System Administrators report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Sun Solaris, Solaris, Storage Area Networking, and VMware ESX are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 4 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 familiar with Linux also tend to 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.


For Senior Unix System Administrators, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $76K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $93K. On average, Senior Unix System Administrators make $98K following one to two decades on the job. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $103K.

Pay Difference by Location


San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Senior Unix System Administrators, 27 percent above the national average. Senior Unix System Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+20 percent), San Jose (+19 percent), New York (+18 percent), and Los Angeles (+10 percent). Falling short of the national average by 10 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Dallas. Employers pay around 9 percent less in Austin and 6 percent less in Philadelphia, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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Experience Affects Sr. Unix System Administrator Salaries



National Average
$98,000


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 1%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 1%

National Average
$98,000

Linux
up arrow 1%

Shell Scripting
up arrow 1%

UNIX
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 178 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
15%
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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