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 per year. Overall cash earnings for UNIX System Administrators stretch from $49K on the lower end to $103K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $10K from bonuses and $11K from profit sharing. Location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction for UNIX System Administrators is high. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$49,389 - $98,115
(Median)
$49K
$70K
$98K
MEDIAN: $69,974
10%
50%
90%

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$17.28 - $53.76
(Median)
$17
$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
$49,389 - $98,115  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,546  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $10,500  
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).
)
$48,624 - $102,514  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 802
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
$17.28 - $53.76  
   
Overtime
$18.00 - $60.78  
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 - $9,546  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $10,500  
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).
)
$48,624 - $102,514  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 120
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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 experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Information Technology Architect. The latter position pays an average of $109K annually. 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 $19K more on average, and the second group earns $17K more.

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Popular Skills for UNIX System Administrator


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Sun Solaris, VMware ESX, Shell Scripting, and IBM AIX are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include SQL, HTML, and Windows Operating System General Use. Those educated in Linux tend to be well versed 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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for UNIX System Administrators — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $61K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $73K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $79K in this role. 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


For UNIX System Administrators, busy Seattle offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 25 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 (+11 percent). With compensation 20 percent below the national average, San Antonio is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Below-median salaries also turn up 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 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 170 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: 80%
vision benefits Vision: 69% employee benefits None: 10%
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