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Become An Operations System Administrator

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Working As An Operations System Administrator

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $83,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Operations System Administrator Do

Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.

Duties

Network and computer systems administrators typically do the following:

  • Determine an organization’s network and computer system needs before setting one up
  • Install all network hardware and software and make needed upgrades and repairs
  • Maintain network and computer system security and ensure that all systems are operating correctly
  • Collect data in order to evaluate and optimize network or system performance
  • Add users to a network and assign and update security permissions on the network
  • Train users in the proper use of hardware and software
  • Interpret and solve problems when a user or an automated monitoring system alerts them that one exists

Administrators manage an organization’s servers and desktop and mobile equipment. They ensure that email and data storage networks work properly. They also make sure that employees’ workstations are working efficiently and stay connected to the central computer network. Some administrators manage telecommunication networks.

In some cases, administrators help network architects design and analyze network models. They also participate in decisions about buying future hardware or software to upgrade their organization’s network. Some administrators provide technical support to computer users, and they also may supervise computer support specialists who help solve users’ problems.

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How To Become An Operations System Administrator

Most employers require network and computer systems administrators to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. Others may require only a postsecondary certificate.

Education

Although some employers require only a postsecondary certificate, most require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. There are degree programs that focus on computer network and system administration. However, because administrators work with computer hardware and equipment, a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering usually is acceptable as well. Programs in these fields usually include classes in computer programming, networking, or systems design.

Because network technology is continually changing, administrators need to keep up with the latest developments. Many continue to take courses throughout their careers and attend information technology (IT) conferences to keep up with the latest technology. Some businesses require that an administrator get a master’s degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally offered directly from vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates knowledge and best practices required from network and computer systems administrators. Companies may require their network and computer systems administrators to be certified in the product they use. Microsoft and Cisco offer some of the most common certifications.

Other Experience

To gain practical experience, many network administrators participate in internship programs while in school.

Advancement

Network administrators can advance to become computer network architects. They can also advance to managerial jobs in information technology (IT) departments, such as computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Administrators need analytical skills to evaluate network and system performance and determine how changes in the environment will affect them.

Communication skills. Administrators must be able to describe problems and their solutions to non-IT workers.

Computer skills. Administrators oversee the connections of many different types of computer equipment and must ensure that they all work together properly.

Multitasking skills. Administrators may have to work on many problems and tasks at the same time.

Problem-solving skills. Administrators must be able to quickly resolve any problems that arise with computer networks.

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Operations System Administrator Jobs

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Operations System Administrator Career Paths

Operations System Administrator
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Consultant Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Information Systems Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Systems Analyst Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Lead Technician Technical Manager
Technical Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Network Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Network Manager Infrastructure Manager
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Operations Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Network Engineer Information Security Officer
Director Of Information Technology Security
12 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Network Engineer Data Center Engineer
Data Center Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Technical Services Manager Information Technology Operations Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Operations System Administrator?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
LAN Administrator 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Operations System Administrator
Technician 4.5%
Consultant 2.4%
Top Careers After Operations System Administrator
Consultant 4.5%

Do you work as an Operations System Administrator?

Average Yearly Salary
$83,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$59,000
Min 10%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$119,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Google
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Connecticut
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does an Operations System Administrator make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Operations System Administrator in the United States is $84,066 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $59,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $119,000.

Real Operations System Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Operating Systems Administrator, Principal Broadcom Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jan 14, 2016 $139,029
Operating Systems Administrator, SR. Staff Broadcom Corporation Santa Clara, CA May 30, 2014 $122,709
Operating Systems Administrator Broadcom Corporation San Jose, CA Jan 14, 2013 $116,229
Operating Systems Administrator Broadcom Corporation San Jose, CA Jan 14, 2012 $112,843
SR. Operations Systems Administrator Citrix Online, LLC Jersey City, NJ Sep 08, 2013 $111,500
Operating Systems Administrator Broadcom Corporation San Jose, CA Jan 14, 2011 $109,557
Operating Systems Administrator Broadcom Corporation San Jose, CA Jan 14, 2010 $106,159
Systems Administrator – Development Operations Thomson Reuters (Scientific), Inc. Carlsbad, CA Dec 19, 2016 $95,000
SR Application Operations Admin III-Portal Syste Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC New York, NY Aug 02, 2010 $95,000 -
$105,000
Senior Web Operations System Administrator Ciber, Inc. Washington, DC Aug 09, 2012 $92,000
Operations Engineer/Systems Administrator FUHU, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 23, 2013 $90,000
Operations Systems Administrator Citrix Online, LLC Goleta, CA Nov 07, 2011 $85,000 -
$105,000
Development Operations/System Administrator Dartnet Institute Aurora, CO Apr 04, 2016 $76,000
Systems Administrator, Operations Gogrid, LLC. San Francisco, CA May 15, 2013 $76,000 -
$86,816
Systems Admin/Operations Research INDU, LLC Chicago, IL Oct 01, 2012 $74,880
Systems Administrator for Application Hosting Operations Zoll Data Systems, Inc. Broomfield, CO Apr 18, 2016 $70,000
Systems Operations Administrator The Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. New York, NY Sep 23, 2015 $63,086 -
$80,995
Operations Engineer/Systems Administrator JNIT Technologies Minneapolis, MN Feb 27, 2014 $60,000

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Top Skills for An Operations System Administrator

  1. Customer Service
  2. Windows XP
  3. Backup
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided excellent customer service by personally taking calls from Securities Industry clients and worked cohesively to resolve problems.
  • Support the U.S. Military for over 6500 end users in a Windows XP and Active Directory environment.
  • Perform backups and disaster recovery operations in both classified and unclassified networks providing 99.8% network availability to Headquarters.
  • Developed applications to automated data entry, administrative tasks and file transfers to mainframe.
  • Monitor and maintain Active Directory users and computers for computer and user account security and configuration.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Operations System Administrators

  1. Maryland
  2. Virginia
  3. District of Columbia
  4. New Jersey
  5. Texas
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Connecticut
  8. California
  9. North Carolina
  10. Massachusetts
  • (2,023 jobs)
  • (3,113 jobs)
  • (610 jobs)
  • (827 jobs)
  • (2,231 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)
  • (310 jobs)
  • (3,641 jobs)
  • (936 jobs)
  • (1,011 jobs)

Operations System Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

70.5%

Female

22.6%

Unknown

7.0%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.5%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

9.6%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.5%

German

12.5%

French

6.3%

Dari

6.3%

Carrier

6.3%

Cantonese

6.3%
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Operations System Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.3%

Strayer University

10.5%

University of Maryland - University College

9.8%

Community College of the Air Force

5.9%

University of Houston

5.2%

American InterContinental University

4.6%

Western Governors University

4.6%

Troy University

3.9%

Regis University

3.9%

American University

3.9%

University of South Florida

3.3%

George Washington University

3.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.3%

More Tech Institute

3.3%

University of Virginia

3.3%

University of California - Berkeley

2.6%

The Academy

2.6%

Arizona State University

2.6%

San Jose State University

2.6%

Wichita State University

2.6%
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Majors

Business

18.8%

Computer Science

17.8%

Computer Information Systems

11.5%

Information Technology

10.6%

Computer Networking

5.7%

Information Systems

3.8%

Management

3.5%

Electrical Engineering

3.0%

Accounting

2.8%

Computer Engineering

2.6%

Computer Systems Security

2.6%

Finance

2.4%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Project Management

2.1%

Computer Technical Support

1.9%

Communication

1.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.7%

General Studies

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.5%

Other

21.3%

Associate

15.2%

Masters

13.5%

Certificate

4.1%

Diploma

1.8%

Doctorate

0.6%
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