UNIX System Administrator Salary

Male UNIX System Administrators number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $70K per year in the United States. Cash earnings for UNIX System Administrators — including $10K in bonuses and $6K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $49K to $102K depending on individual performance. Geography and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$49,869 - $98,186

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$18.17 - $53.40

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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
$49,869 - $98,186  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,682  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $6,219  
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).
)
$49,223 - $102,185  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 784
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$18.17 - $53.40  
   
Overtime
$17.75 - $60.71  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,682  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $6,219  
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).
)
$49,223 - $102,185  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 113
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Job Description for UNIX System Administrator

A UNIX systems administrator must be knowledgeable with the UNIX operating system. This is imperative, as the duties of this administrator include installing, configuring, and maintaining the UNIX operating system and all other applications as needed. This worker will be responsible for identifying and troubleshooting all server hardware issues and correcting any problems with application software. In accordance with all of the above, UNIX systems administrator is also responsible for documentation regarding standards and procedures.

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UNIX System Administrator Tasks

  • Recognize and troubleshoot problems with server hardware and applications software.
  • Install, configure, maintain, and upgrade Unix server operating systems and applications.
  • Establish and document standards and procedures.

Common Career Paths for UNIX System Administrator


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UNIX System Administrators may progress into high-paying roles like Information Technology Architect, where median compensation is $109K annually. UNIX System Administrators typically move into roles as Senior Unix System Administrators or Senior Systems Engineers, and those positions pay $19K more and $17K more, respectively.

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Popular Skills for UNIX System Administrator


Survey results imply that UNIX System Administrators deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Sun Solaris, VMware ESX, Shell Scripting, and IBM AIX are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like SQL, HTML, and Windows Operating System General Use. For most people, competency in Linux indicates knowledge of Shell Scripting and Sun Solaris.

Pay by Experience Level for UNIX System Administrator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for UNIX System Administrators — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $62K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $73K on average — a distinctly larger sum. UNIX System Administrators bring in $79K after working for 10 to 20 years. UNIX System Administrators who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $83K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


UNIX System Administrators will find that Seattle offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 23 percent. UNIX System Administrators will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+16 percent), Washington (+14 percent), New York (+11 percent), and Dallas (+11 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 20 percent south of the national average, can be found in San Antonio. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Chicago and Houston (8 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).

UNIX System Administrator Reviews

What is it like working as an UNIX System Administrator?

UNIX System Administrator in Omaha:
"Compensation."
Pros: The most enjoyable part of my job is the people I work with. Specifically the IT staff. The casual dress environment is nice, as well.
Cons: For the majority of the IT staff, telecommuting is not permitted unless there is schedule work after business hours. Infogroup has made exceptions for a few their IT staff, but getting this approval is difficult to obtain. There have never been scheduled performance reviews. I was hired on to the Unix team as an entry level administrator which did not include a pay increase from my previous position. During the last three years, I have gradually taken on the responsibilities of a Senior UNIX Administrator and have been promised a raise and title to reflect this position, but this has not happened.

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Experience Affects UNIX System Administrator Salaries




National Average
$71,000


Skills That Affect UNIX System Administrator Salaries


VMware ESX
up arrow 2%

Shell Scripting
up arrow 1%

IBM AIX
up arrow 1%

UNIX
0%

Internet Information Server (IIS)
0%

National Average
$71,000

Linux
up arrow 2%

Network Management / Administration
up arrow 2%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 2%

Solaris
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 5%

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
up arrow 8%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 10%

HTML
up arrow 12%

SQL
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 162 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
34%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 81%
vision benefits Vision: 70% employee benefits None: 10%
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