UNIX System Administrator Salary

Men account for the majority of UNIX System Administrators in the United States. The overall average income for this group is approximately $70K annually. Total cash compensation to UNIX System Administrators approaches anywhere from $49K on the lower end to $103K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $10K from bonuses and upwards of $6K from profit sharing. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most UNIX System Administrators. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$49,496 - $98,204
(Median)
$49K
$70K
$98K
MEDIAN: $69,892
10%
50%
90%

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$17.94 - $53.83
(Median)
$18
$34
$54
MEDIAN: $33.00
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
$49,496 - $98,204  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,668  
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).
)
$48,834 - $102,634  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 795
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
$17.94 - $53.83  
   
Overtime
$18.12 - $60.72  
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 - $9,668  
   
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).
)
$48,834 - $102,634  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 119
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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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For UNIX System Administrators, progressing to an Information Technology Architect role may result in a significant raise. On average, an Information Technology Architect can earn $109K annually. Senior Unix System Administrators or Senior Systems Engineers are common next-step roles for UNIX System Administrators moving up in their careers; annual pay for Senior Unix System Administrators is $19K higher on average, and it's $17K higher for Senior Systems Engineers.

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Popular Skills for UNIX System Administrator


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Sun Solaris, VMware ESX, Shell Scripting, and IBM AIX 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. 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.


UNIX System Administrators with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. The average beginner in this position makes around $61K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $72K. UNIX System Administrators who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $79K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $83K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for UNIX System Administrators that is 25 percent greater than the national average, Seattle offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. UNIX System Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+16 percent), Washington (+14 percent), New York (+13 percent), and Atlanta (+11 percent). San Antonio is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 20 percent. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Chicago and Houston (10 percent lower and 7 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 3%

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 6%

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
up arrow 8%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 10%

HTML
up arrow 12%

SQL
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 167 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: 88% dental benefits Dental: 81%
vision benefits Vision: 69% employee benefits None: 10%
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