Sr. Unix System Administrator Salary
Senior Unix System Administrators enjoy a hefty income, with average pay passing six figures ($99K) annually in the United States. Overall cash earnings of Senior Unix System Administrators stretch from $74K near the bottom to $135K at the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $15K each from bonuses and profit sharing. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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.Read More...
Senior Unix system administrators must have optimal scripting capabilities in C++ and other coding/programming languages. They may be expected to automate certain processes to make them more effective, and other duties include maintaining patching levels, optimizing security, and conducting system backups to ensure that they are recoverable. As senior-level employees, they generally oversee a team of Unix system administrators and delegate their tasks, though they may also have basic duties such as administering payroll, hiring, and employee evaluations.
Strong leadership, communication, and teamwork skills are essential in order to lead an effective team. This job is usually full-time and carried out in an office environment, though some jobs may require being on-call at various times of the day or night. Because this is a senior-level position, many years of prior experience may be required, and some jobs also require prior leadership experience in a similar setting.
Sr. Unix System Administrator Tasks
- Install, configure, test and maintain new and existing servers, hardware and software components.
- Troubleshoot and resolve incidents, outages or degradations.
- 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.
Common Career Paths for Sr. Unix System Administrator
As Senior Unix System Administrators transition into upper-level roles like Information Technology Architects, it's possible that they won't see a change in salary. Information Technology Architects earn the same amount as Senior Unix System Administrators on average. Senior Unix System Administrators most often move into Senior Systems Engineer or Information Technology Manager roles. However, the former pays $12K less on average, and the latter pays $24K less.
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Popular Skills for Sr. Unix System Administrator
Senior Unix System Administrators seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in System Administration, Solaris, IBM AIX, and Linux are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate 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.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $82K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $92K. Between 10 and 20 years, pay surpasses six figures; at this stage, the average professional scores around $103K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $105K.
Pay Difference by Location
Baltimore offers some of the highest pay in the country for Senior Unix System Administrators, 23 percent above the national average. Senior Unix System Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+19 percent), San Jose (+14 percent), Washington (+13 percent), and Houston (+12 percent). In Philadelphia, salaries are 12 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers in Minneapolis and Miami also lean toward paying below-median salaries (7 percent less).
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