A senior system administrator specializes in overseeing the computer system operations in an organization. Their responsibilities primarily revolve around monitoring the performance of all software and hardware, installing servers, configuring systems, and making sure every technical aspect is running smoothly. Should there be any issues, they must take charge of troubleshooting and providing solutions. As someone with more experience, a senior system administrator leads and evaluates the performances of fellow skilled professionals in the department, all while adhering to the company's policies and regulations.

Senior System Administrator Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real senior system administrator resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage and optimize the design and delivery of project associate with AIX arena.
  • Perform daily health checking and manage drive space, CPU and memory loads.
  • Implement IIS servers for both the internal and external web servers and managing security on all web servers.
  • Manage large enterprise engineering development environment on Solaris & Linux platforms.
  • Manage server hardware/systems, file systems backup and recovery operations, group policy development, configuration management.
  • Manage web base ticketing system to monitor and troubleshoot report problems and implement necessary changes to ensure simulations systems availability.
  • Enhance resiliency by moving corporate services, such as DNS and DHCP, to highly available deployments.
  • Install and configure different UNIX and windows platforms to run test like NFS and CIFS on the filers.
  • Deploy new DNS infrastructure in-house to hide internal addresses and consolidate, previously separate and conflicting, zone files.
  • Maintain database and content backups for both the website and employees utilizing SAN, NAS, DAS and cloud storage.
Senior System Administrator Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Multitasking skills is one's ability to take on several responsibilities at one time.

Senior System Administrator Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, senior system administrator jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a senior system administrator?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of senior system administrator opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 18,200.

On average, the senior system administrator annual salary is $88,979 per year, which translates to $42.78 an hour. Generally speaking, senior system administrators earn anywhere from $68,000 to $115,000 a year, which means that the top-earning senior system administrators make $47,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a senior system administrator, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a senior infrastructure engineer, lan administrator, linux administrator, and network/server administrator.

Senior System Administrator Jobs You Might Like

Senior System Administrator Resume Examples

Senior System Administrator Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 9% of Senior System Administrators are proficient in Hardware, Windows, and Linux. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Communication skills, and Multitasking skills.

We break down the percentage of Senior System Administrators that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Hardware, 9%

    Worked with IT management and Business organization to forecast and procure software and hardware needed to support Business requirements.

  • Windows, 7%

    Supported system and network infrastructure that consisted of Windows Servers and applications and various other network components.

  • Linux, 7%

    Coordinated work with developers and database administrators to deploy and monitor HA environment applications utilizing VERITAS Cluster Services and Linux Cluster.

  • Active Directory, 6%

    Administered large-scale enterprise Microsoft Active Directory environment at one of three primary sites for the Department of Homeland Security.

  • Troubleshoot, 5%

    Manage web based ticketing system to monitor and troubleshoot reported problems and implement necessary changes to ensure simulations systems availability.

  • System Administration, 4%

    Execute basic functions such as System Administration, debugging/software troubleshooting, information assurance scanning, software installation/testing, and software/hardware upgrades.

"hardware," "windows," and "linux" aren't the only skills we found senior system administrators list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of senior system administrator responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a senior system administrator to have happens to be analytical skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "administrators need to evaluate networks and systems to make sure that they perform reliably and to anticipate new requirements as customers’ needs change." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that senior system administrators can use analytical skills to "developed vc++, c#, java and asp.net utilities to access data on mf using tcpip socket interface. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform senior system administrator duties is the following: communication skills. According to a senior system administrator resume, "administrators must describe problems and their solutions to non-it workers." Check out this example of how senior system administrators use communication skills: "managed over 1000 active directory users and computer object located throughout 5 different countries in europe, increasing organizations communications capabilities. "
  • Senior system administrators are also known for multitasking skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a senior system administrator resume: "administrators may have to work on many problems and tasks at the same time." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "refined skills in multitasking and customer service. "
  • In order for certain senior system administrator responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "problem-solving skills." According to a senior system administrator resume, "administrators must quickly resolve problems that arise with computer networks." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "created software solutions by planning and implementing algorithms and short programs in c++ and java. "
  • See the full list of senior system administrator skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a senior system administrator. We found that 62.0% of senior system administrators have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 10.9% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most senior system administrators have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every seven senior system administrators were not college graduates.

    Those senior system administrators who do attend college, typically earn either computer science degrees or business degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for senior system administrators include computer information systems degrees or information technology degrees.

    Once you're ready to become a senior system administrator, you should explore the companies that typically hire senior system administrators. According to senior system administrator resumes that we searched through, senior system administrators are hired the most by General Dynamics, Raytheon Company, and Science Applications International .. Currently, General Dynamics has 198 senior system administrator job openings, while there are 46 at Raytheon Company and 37 at Science Applications International ..

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, senior system administrators tend to earn the biggest salaries at Bloomberg, Google, and CQG. Take Bloomberg for example. The median senior system administrator salary is $146,199. At Google, senior system administrators earn an average of $140,953, while the average at CQG is $137,419. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on senior system administrator salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at IBM, Lockheed Martin, and EDS Electronic Financial Services. These three companies have hired a significant number of senior system administrators from these institutions.

    In general, senior system administrators fulfill roles in the technology and finance industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the senior system administrator annual salary is the highest in the insurance industry with $107,749 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the manufacturing and finance industries pay $105,380 and $102,128 respectively. This means that senior system administrators who are employed in the insurance industry make 30.9% more than senior system administrators who work in the government Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious senior system administrators are:

      What Senior Infrastructure Engineers Do

      A senior infrastructure engineer specializes in designing and developing systems and infrastructures based on client preferences and industry standards. They have the duty to identify and understand the project's needs, streamline project requirements, produce drafts, create prototypes and models, and establish tests to identify potential issues and ensure the projects' quality. Additionally, a senior infrastructure engineer has the authority to make decisions, train and supervise junior engineers, establish goals and timelines, provide technical support, and implement policies and guidelines.

      In this section, we compare the average senior system administrator annual salary with that of a senior infrastructure engineer. Typically, senior infrastructure engineers earn a $12,956 higher salary than senior system administrators earn annually.

      Even though senior system administrators and senior infrastructure engineers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require hardware, windows, and linux in the day-to-day roles.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a senior system administrator responsibility requires skills such as "dod," "user accounts," "nas," and "security patches." Whereas a senior infrastructure engineer is skilled in "cloud," "aws," "customer service," and "puppet." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Senior infrastructure engineers tend to make the most money in the health care industry by averaging a salary of $117,078. In contrast, senior system administrators make the biggest average salary of $107,749 in the insurance industry.

      The education levels that senior infrastructure engineers earn is a bit different than that of senior system administrators. In particular, senior infrastructure engineers are 2.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a senior system administrator. Additionally, they're 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a LAN Administrator?

      LAN administrators are responsible for maintaining the local area network of an organization. These administrators manage the server that connects an organization's network to computers and equipment that need them. They install, configure, and troubleshoot the local area network or LAN in a corporate office. It is part of their job to ensure that the internet is available for everyone who uses computers to perform their roles. They also evaluate and recommend the computers, hardware and software, and the equipment needed to create a hack-proof server.

      Next up, we have the lan administrator profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a senior system administrator annual salary. In fact, lan administrators salary difference is $29,642 lower than the salary of senior system administrators per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of senior system administrators and lan administrators are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "hardware," "windows," and "linux. "

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that senior system administrator responsibilities requires skills like "system administration," "powershell," "dod," and "os." But a lan administrator might use skills, such as, "network security," "personal computers," "access points," and "laptops."

      Lan administrators may earn a lower salary than senior system administrators, but lan administrators earn the most pay in the technology industry with an average salary of $75,869. On the other side of things, senior system administrators receive higher paychecks in the insurance industry where they earn an average of $107,749.

      In general, lan administrators study at lower levels of education than senior system administrators. They're 8.1% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Linux Administrator Compares

      A Linux administrator is responsible for monitoring the efficiency of Linux operating systems to support business operations and high-quality deliverables. Linux administrators handle the resolution of Linux network issues, maintaining its stability and ensuring its safety and security from unauthorized access and malware threats. They also conduct regular maintenance to configure the system navigation and infrastructure, running multiple diagnostic tests to identify defects, and recommending strategic procedures for system enhancement. A Linux administrator must have excellent communication and technical skills, especially in providing technical support on faulty servers.

      The linux administrator profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of senior system administrators. The difference in salaries is linux administrators making $27,460 lower than senior system administrators.

      While looking through the resumes of several senior system administrators and linux administrators we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "hardware," "windows," and "linux," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from senior system administrator resumes include skills like "system administration," "powershell," "dod," and "desktop," whereas a linux administrator might be skilled in "python," "bash," "centos," and "database. "

      Linux administrators make a very good living in the finance industry with an average annual salary of $84,549. Whereas senior system administrators are paid the highest salary in the insurance industry with the average being $107,749.

      When it comes to education, linux administrators tend to earn higher education levels than senior system administrators. In fact, they're 5.6% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.5% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Network/Server Administrator

      A Network Administrator ensures an organizations' network is operational and up to date. They solve problems that arise within computer networks, maintaining computer networks, interacting with clients, and consulting with them to determine their system requirements.

      Now, we'll look at network/server administrators, who generally average a lower pay when compared to senior system administrators annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $15,113 per year.

      While their salaries may vary, senior system administrators and network/server administrators both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "hardware," "windows," and "linux. "

      Each job requires different skills like "system administration," "dod," "netapp," and "security patches," which might show up on a senior system administrator resume. Whereas network/server administrator might include skills like "customer service," "server administration," "server environment," and "procedures."

      In general, network/server administrators make a higher salary in the technology industry with an average of $100,242. The highest senior system administrator annual salary stems from the insurance industry.

      The average resume of network/server administrators showed that they earn lower levels of education to senior system administrators. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 7.2% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.6%.