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UNIX System Administrator Salary

UNIX System Administrators in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $70K per year. Total cash compensation to UNIX System Administrators bottoms out near $48K and approaches $102K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $10K from bonuses and almost $12K from profit sharing. Geography and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$49,246 - $97,908
(Median)
$49K
$70K
$98K
MEDIAN: $69,928
10%
50%
90%

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$16.97 - $52.80
(Median)
$17
$33
$53
MEDIAN: $32.00
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
$49,246 - $97,908  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,566  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $12,365  
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).
)
$48,471 - $101,973  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 831
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$16.97 - $52.80  
   
Overtime
$18.25 - $60.67  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,566  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $12,365  
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).
)
$48,471 - $101,973  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 125
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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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It's not very common for UNIX System Administrators to move on to become Senior Systems Engineers. Average pay for a Senior Systems Engineer is $99K 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


UNIX System Administrators seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Sun Solaris, VMware ESX, Shell Scripting, and UNIX are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include SQL, HTML, and Windows Operating System General Use. Those proficient in Linux are, more often than not, also skilled in 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.


For 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. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $61K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $73K. 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 $84K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for UNIX System Administrators, Seattle offers exceptional salaries, 24 percent above the national average. UNIX System Administrators will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+17 percent), Washington (+14 percent), New York (+13 percent), and Atlanta (+12 percent). San Antonio is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 19 percent. Employers in Chicago and Houston also lean toward paying below-median salaries (10 percent lower and 8 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%

UNIX
up arrow 1%

Shell Scripting
up arrow 1%

Internet Information Server (IIS)
up arrow 1%

IBM AIX
0%

National Average
$71,000

Linux
up arrow 2%

Network Management / Administration
up arrow 2%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 3%

Solaris
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 6%

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
up arrow 8%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 8%

SQL
up arrow 12%

HTML
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 186 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
33%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 79%
vision benefits Vision: 67% employee benefits None: 10%
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