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. Overall incomes of Senior Unix System Administrators generally bottom out at around $73K and peak near $132K; the final number can, in exceptional cases, include upwards of $12K each for bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Senior Unix System Administrators. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$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. Many Senior Unix System Administrators choose to become Senior Systems Engineers and Information Technology Managers as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $11K less and $23K less, respectively.

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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. Fortunate workers who know MySQL can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 24 percent above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking, Windows Operating System General Use, and HTML. 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.


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. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $83K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger 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.

With a pay rate for Senior Unix System Administrators that is 24 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. 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). The lowest-paying positions for Senior Unix System Administrators can be found in the Midwest. St. Louis, Chicago, and Minneapolis all face salaries below the national rate. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Chicago (9 percent lower) and Minneapolis (6 percent lower).

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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