UNIX System Administrator Salary

The average UNIX System Administrator in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $74K annually. Overall cash earnings for UNIX System Administrators stretch from $50K on the lower end to $114K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $10K from bonuses and $15K from profit sharing. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. Among survey respondents, men are more common than women; 88 percent of UNIX System Administrators are male. Most UNIX System Administrators report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$49,778 - $108,917
$50K
$74K
$110K
MEDIAN: $74,259
10%
50%
90%

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$21.32 - $59.39
$21
$31
$59
MEDIAN: $30.95
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
$49,778 - $108,917  
   
Bonus
$251.68 - $9,987  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $14,681  
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).
)
$49,782 - $113,653  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 238
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
$21.32 - $59.39  
   
Overtime
$45.32  
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
$251.68 - $9,987  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $14,681  
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).
)
$49,782 - $113,653  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 37

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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Job Description for UNIX System Administrator

A Unix system administrator works in an office, where the Unix multiuser operating system is used. The administrator will be responsible for installing software and hardware relating to the system. It is essential to manage risks and to eliminate them before problems arise. It is also important to monitor the system’s performance and to carry out routine maintenance so that the system operates smoothly. Sometimes, this may require debugging and troubleshooting of the system.

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UNIX System Administrator Tasks

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

Common Career Paths for UNIX System Administrator


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At the upper end, UNIX System Administrators who move into a Senior Storage Engineer role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Senior Storage Engineers is a much higher $101K per year. A common career progression for an UNIX System Administrator is to become a Senior Unix System Administrator or a Senior Systems Engineer. Compared to UNIX System Administrators, the first group earns $16K more on average, and the second group earns $14K more.

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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 IBM AIX, Sun Solaris, VMware ESX, and Network Management / Administration are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 15 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include HTML, Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking, and SQL. The majority of those who know Linux also know Shell Scripting and Sun Solaris.

Pay by Experience Level for UNIX System Administrator

Pay by Experience for a UNIX System Administrator has a positive trend. An entry-level UNIX System Administrator with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $64,000 based on 126 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A UNIX System Administrator with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $74,000 based on 84 salaries. An experienced UNIX System Administrator which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $94,000 based on 96 salaries. A UNIX System Administrator with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $104,000 based on 39 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $75,083

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

UNIX System Administrators will find that Washington offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 13 percent. UNIX System Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+13 percent), San Jose (+10 percent), Raleigh (+8 percent), and New York (+4 percent). The lowest-paying market is Pittsburgh, which sits 27 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include San Antonio (24 percent lower) and Chicago (18 percent lower).

UNIX System Administrator Reviews

Q: 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.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for UNIX System Administrator

Gender

Female
12 %
Male
88 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 43 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
14%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects UNIX System Administrator Salaries

▲38%

▲26%

National Average
$75,000

▼1%

▼15%

Skills That Affect UNIX System Administrator Salaries

▲15%

▲14%

▲8%

▲3%


▲2%


National Average
$75,000



Internet Information Server (IIS)
▼5%

Cisco Networking
▼7%

Solaris
▼9%

SQL
▼12%

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
▼13%

HTML
▼17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 43 votes.

Gender

Female
12 %
Male
88 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 81%
vision benefits
Vision: 77%
no benefits
None: 11%