UNIX System Administrator Salary

UNIX System Administrators in the United States can expect to earn an average of $73K per year. Total cash compensation to UNIX System Administrators bottoms out near $49K and approaches $113K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $10K from bonuses and almost $15K from profit sharing. Location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Work is enjoyable for UNIX System Administrators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. The vast majority (88 percent) of UNIX System Administrators who answered the questionnaire are male. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$49,606 - $108,537
$50K
$73K
$110K
MEDIAN: $73,275
10%
50%
90%

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$19.18 - $57.81
$19
$36
$58
MEDIAN: $36.14
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
$49,606 - $108,537  
   
Bonus
$503 - $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).
)
$49,316 - $112,857  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 254
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
$19.18 - $57.81  
   
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
$503 - $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).
)
$49,316 - $112,857  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 43

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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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UNIX System Administrators' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Senior Storage Engineer. The average Senior Storage Engineer brings home $101K per year. When UNIX System Administrators are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Senior Unix System Administrators or Senior Systems Engineers. Those roles pay an additional $17K and $15K, respectively.

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Popular Skills for UNIX System Administrator


UNIX System Administrators seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Sun Solaris, VMware ESX, IBM AIX, and Shell Scripting are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 12 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include HTML, Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking, and SQL. Most people who know Linux also know 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 many UNIX System Administrators, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $63K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $74K. UNIX System Administrators bring in $94K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $103K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $74,327

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

Houston is home to an above-average pay rate for UNIX System Administrators, 29 percent higher than the national average. UNIX System Administrators will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+14 percent), Los Angeles (+14 percent), San Jose (+11 percent), and Raleigh (+9 percent). UNIX System Administrators in Pittsburgh make 26 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers also pay below the national average in San Antonio (23 percent lower) and Chicago (17 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 47 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
14%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects UNIX System Administrator Salaries

▲39%

▲26%

National Average
$74,000

▼1%

▼15%

Skills That Affect UNIX System Administrator Salaries

▲12%

▲8%

▲4%



▲1%

▲1%

National Average
$74,000


Internet Information Server (IIS)
▼4%

Cisco Networking
▼6%

Microsoft Office
▼6%

Solaris
▼8%

SQL
▼11%

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
▼12%

HTML
▼16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 47 votes.

Gender

Female
12 %
Male
88 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 80%
vision benefits
Vision: 75%
dental benefits
None: 11%
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