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Sr. Unix System Administrator Salary

Senior Unix System Administrators in the United States with more than 10 years of experience in their profession represent more than four-fifths of Senior Unix System Administrators. Salaries average out to around $93K per year and spread from $71K to $130K per year. Overall cash earnings for Senior Unix System Administrators stretch from $71K on the lower end to $130K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $12K from bonuses and $10K from profit sharing. Geographic location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. The majority of Senior Unix System Administrators claim high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$68,968 - $121,090
(Median)
$69K
$93K
$120K
MEDIAN: $93,298
10%
50%
90%

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$37.03 - $82.22
(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
$68,968 - $121,090  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $11,685  
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).
)
$70,867 - $129,833  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 920
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
$37.03 - $82.22  
   
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 - $11,685  
   
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).
)
$70,867 - $129,833  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 107

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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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For Senior Unix System Administrators who go on to become Information Technology Architects, career progression may result in slightly increased compensation. On average, an Information Technology Architect earns $109K annually. Senior Unix System Administrators most frequently become Senior Systems Engineers and Information Technology Managers even though median compensation is $9K lower and $21K lower, respectively.

Sr. Unix System Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Sr. Unix System Administrator


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Solaris, Sun Solaris, Storage Area Networking, and VMware ESX are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 5 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking, Windows Operating System General Use, and SQL. The majority of those who know 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.


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. 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 $92K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $98K. 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 $103K.

Pay Difference by 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 will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+20 percent), San Jose (+19 percent), New York (+15 percent), and Los Angeles (+10 percent). Dallas ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 11 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 10 percent less in Austin and 6 percent less in Philadelphia, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Sr. Unix System Administrator Salaries



National Average
$97,000


Entry-Level
up arrow 22%

Skills That Affect Sr. Unix System Administrator Salaries



up arrow 5%

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%

SQL
up arrow 6%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 6%

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 183 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: 90% dental benefits Dental: 84%
vision benefits Vision: 74% employee benefits None: 8%
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