What am I worth?
Get a free salary report »
What should I pay?
Pay the right way »

UNIX System Administrator Salary

UNIX System Administrators in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $70K annually. In the world of UNIX System Administrators, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $10K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $12K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $48K and $102K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the greater part. For the most part, UNIX System Administrators enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Read More
$49,198 - $97,888
(Median)
$49K
$70K
$98K
MEDIAN: $69,712
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$17.03 - $52.74
(Median)
$17
$32
$53
MEDIAN: $32.00
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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
$49,198 - $97,888  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,647  
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).
)
$48,441 - $102,128  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 838
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
$17.03 - $52.74  
   
Overtime
$18.38 - $60.61  
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 - $9,647  
   
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).
)
$48,441 - $102,128  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 126

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Comp Managers: Start Here »

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.

Read More...

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


Add this chart to your site:   640px 640px    300px 300px


While not commonly seen, UNIX System Administrators who transition into a Senior Systems Engineer position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Senior Systems Engineers is $99K 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 $20K and $18K, respectively.

Systems Administrator Job Listings

Search for more jobs:

Popular Skills for UNIX System Administrator


UNIX System Administrators report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Sun Solaris, VMware ESX, Shell Scripting, and Internet Information Server (IIS) are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include SQL, HTML, and Windows Operating System General Use. It is often found that people who know Linux are 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 many UNIX System Administrators, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. 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 $72K. On average, UNIX System Administrators make $79K following one to two decades on the job. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $84K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


Seattle offers some of the highest pay in the country for UNIX System Administrators, 26 percent above the national average. UNIX System Administrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+18 percent), Washington (+15 percent), New York (+13 percent), and Atlanta (+12 percent). San Antonio ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 19 percent below the national average. Workers in Houston and Chicago earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (12 percent less and 10 percent less, 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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects UNIX System Administrator Salaries




National Average
$71,000


Skills That Affect UNIX System Administrator Salaries


VMware ESX
up arrow 2%

Shell Scripting
up arrow 1%

Internet Information Server (IIS)
up arrow 1%

UNIX
0%

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 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 6%

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
up arrow 8%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 9%

HTML
up arrow 11%

SQL
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 188 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%
ADVERTISEMENT