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Working As a Senior 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

  • $93,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 A Senior 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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Senior System Administrator Career Paths

Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Project Leader Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager Senior Project Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Manager Production Manager Technical Manager
Technical Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Manager
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Systems Engineer Systems Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Manager Network Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Infrastructure Manager
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Systems Engineer Network Manager
Data Center Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Data Center Manager Infrastructure Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Operations Director Director, Technical Operations
Director Of Information Technology Security
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Senior System Administrator
Consultant 3.6%
Top Careers After Senior System Administrator
Consultant 5.5%

Do you work as a Senior System Administrator?

Average Yearly Salary
$93,000
Show Salaries
$73,000
Min 10%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$117,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Citrix Systems
Highest Paying City
Redwood City, CA
Highest Paying State
Montana
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Senior System Administrator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior System Administrator in the United States is $93,271 per year or $45 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $73,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $117,000.

Real Senior System Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR Systems Administrator Visa Technology and Operations LLC Ashburn, VA Jan 23, 2019 $122,221 -
$144,800
SR. Systems Administrator Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 09, 2013 $104,000 -
$116,000
SR. Systems Administrator Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA May 12, 2018 $100,194 -
$112,302
SR. Systems Administrator Visa Technology & Operations LLC Ashburn, VA May 12, 2018 $100,194 -
$112,302
SR Systems Administrator Visa Technology and Operations LLC Ashburn, VA Jan 16, 2019 $95,900 -
$153,400
Senior Systems Administrator Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 10, 2015 $95,472 -
$121,139
Senior System Administrator Infogen Software Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 01, 2016 $95,472 -
$96,000
SR. Systems Administrator Visa Technology & Operations LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 07, 2019 $90,500 -
$144,800
SR. Systems Administrator Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA Jun 28, 2010 $80,300 -
$92,350
Senior Systems Administrator Anjani Etech Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 09, 2016 $79,726
Senior Systems Administrator Anjani Etech Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 14, 2015 $78,603

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Top Skills for A Senior System Administrator

  1. Windows XP
  2. Backup
  3. Infrastructure
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Configured extensive group policy and scripting implementation for management of Windows XP/Windows 7 Desktops.
  • Increased data integrity and availability by migrating software development repositories to centralized UNIX disk-array storage system providing fault-tolerance and single-point backups.
  • Develop and oversee server and application infrastructure to drive business efforts, including web hosting and high-availability for mission critical applications.
  • Managed over 1000 Active Directory Users and Computer Object located throughout 5 different countries in Europe, increasing organizations communications capabilities.
  • Configured and maintained multiple SQL Servers and databases, increasing performance over previous installations and automating maintenance.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior System Administrators

  1. Maryland
  2. California
  3. Washington
  4. South Dakota
  5. Virginia
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Montana
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Connecticut
  10. Rhode Island
  • (1,574 jobs)
  • (4,076 jobs)
  • (733 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (2,609 jobs)
  • (1,108 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (579 jobs)
  • (322 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)

Senior System Administrator Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 11,334 Senior System Administrator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Senior System Administrator Resume

View Resume Examples

Senior System Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

82.0%

Female

11.0%

Unknown

7.0%
Ethnicity

White

57.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Asian

11.9%

Black or African American

11.7%

Unknown

4.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.3%

German

8.4%

French

7.2%

Chinese

6.0%

Carrier

4.8%

Portuguese

4.8%

Cheyenne

4.8%

Japanese

4.2%

Russian

3.6%

Arabic

3.6%

Italian

3.0%

Hindi

1.8%

Mandarin

1.8%

Korean

1.8%

Urdu

1.8%

Dutch

1.2%

Navajo

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Sami

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.6%
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Senior System Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.8%

Strayer University

10.4%

University of Maryland - University College

9.4%

Western Governors University

6.4%

Colorado Technical University

4.9%

George Mason University

4.2%

Capella University

4.0%

American InterContinental University

3.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.6%

San Jose State University

3.5%

Community College of the Air Force

3.5%

University of Houston

3.0%

American University

3.0%

More Tech Institute

3.0%

Northeastern University

3.0%

Northern Virginia Community College

2.7%

University of Texas at Austin

2.5%

Webster University

2.5%

New York University

2.4%

Purdue University

2.4%
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Majors

Computer Science

21.5%

Business

14.4%

Computer Information Systems

12.4%

Information Technology

12.2%

Electrical Engineering

6.7%

Information Systems

4.2%

Computer Networking

4.2%

Management Information Systems

3.7%

Computer Engineering

3.1%

Management

2.4%

Computer Systems Security

2.2%

Project Management

1.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Communication

1.5%

Education

1.4%

Computer Technical Support

1.4%

Criminal Justice

1.4%

Finance

1.2%

Accounting

1.2%

Engineering

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.4%

Masters

18.6%

Other

18.5%

Associate

11.6%

Certificate

3.3%

Diploma

1.6%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.0%
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Updated May 19, 2020