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Become A Systems Administrator

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Working As A Systems 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

  • $74,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Systems 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 Systems 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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Systems Administrator Jobs

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Systems Administrator Career Paths

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

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Engineer 3.1 years
Top Careers Before Systems Administrator
Consultant 3.8%
Technician 2.7%
Top Careers After Systems Administrator
Consultant 5.6%
Engineer 3.3%

Do you work as a Systems Administrator?

Systems Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

75.9%

Female

15.9%

Unknown

8.2%
Ethnicity

White

56.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Asian

11.6%

Black or African American

11.4%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.6%

French

9.2%

German

4.8%

Carrier

4.6%

Arabic

4.4%

Russian

4.2%

Portuguese

4.2%

Chinese

3.9%

Mandarin

3.8%

Japanese

3.0%

Italian

2.6%

Hindi

2.0%

Cheyenne

1.9%

Cantonese

1.9%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Urdu

1.3%

Korean

1.2%

Dutch

0.8%

Swedish

0.6%

Ukrainian

0.6%
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Systems Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.6%

Strayer University

9.0%

University of Maryland - University College

9.0%

Western Governors University

6.4%

Community College of the Air Force

4.9%

George Mason University

4.3%

Colorado Technical University

4.0%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.7%

University of Houston

3.5%

Pennsylvania State University

3.3%

San Jose State University

3.2%

American InterContinental University

3.1%

More Tech Institute

3.1%

Northeastern University

3.0%

Kaplan University

2.9%

The Academy

2.7%

Capella University

2.7%

University of Maryland - College Park

2.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

2.5%

American University

2.4%
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Majors

Computer Science

19.2%

Business

14.1%

Information Technology

12.5%

Computer Information Systems

12.2%

Electrical Engineering

6.8%

Computer Networking

5.8%

Information Systems

4.1%

Computer Engineering

3.7%

Management Information Systems

3.1%

Management

2.4%

Computer Systems Security

2.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.9%

Criminal Justice

1.8%

Accounting

1.7%

Project Management

1.5%

Communication

1.4%

Computer Technical Support

1.4%

Engineering

1.4%

Finance

1.3%

Computer Applications

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.6%

Other

18.8%

Masters

16.6%

Associate

14.2%

Certificate

3.4%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$74,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$56,000
Min 10%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$97,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Exxon Mobil
Highest Paying City
Palo Alto, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Systems Administrator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Systems Administrator in the United States is $74,085 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $56,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $97,000.

Real Systems Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Systems Administrator Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 09, 2013 $105,435 -
$118,800
Systems Administrator Aptiva Corp Ashburn, VA May 03, 2019 $98,000
Systems Administrator ICSA Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 17, 2016 $97,000
System Administrator UBS Financial Services Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 06, 2010 $96,450 -
$98,500
Systems Administrator Infowin Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Feb 01, 2011 $96,158
Systems Administrator GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2018 $96,000
Systems Administrator ICSA Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 21, 2015 $96,000
Systems Administrator Amiti Consulting, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 19, 2016 $95,763
Systems Administrator Inovant LLC Ashburn, VA May 15, 2018 $95,000 -
$115,000
System Administrator Idexcel, Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 19, 2019 $94,000
Systems Administrator Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA Oct 31, 2016 $93,930 -
$95,000
Systems Administrator Inovant LLC Ashburn, VA Jul 20, 2016 $93,000 -
$113,000
System Administrator Idexcel, Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 21, 2018 $92,100
System Administrator Advanced Knowledge Tech, LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 08, 2019 $86,600
System Administrator Wipro Limited Ashburn, VA Feb 07, 2018 $85,280
System Administrator Wipro Limited Ashburn, VA Oct 10, 2017 $85,280
Systems Administrator Inovant LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 23, 2016 $85,000 -
$105,000
System Administrator Wipro Limited Ashburn, VA Aug 18, 2017 $83,221
System Administrator Wipro LLC Ashburn, VA Aug 26, 2017 $83,221
Systems Administrator Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 10, 2012 $80,018 -
$85,000
System Administrator Arthur Grand Technologies Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 09, 2016 $80,000
Systems Administrator Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA Apr 05, 2010 $79,997 -
$86,400
Systems Administrator Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 08, 2010 $79,997 -
$96,000
Systems Administrator New England It Associates, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 25, 2015 $79,726
System Administrator Wipro Limited Ashburn, VA Jun 01, 2016 $79,726
System Administrator Wipro Limited Ashburn, VA Dec 04, 2016 $79,726
System Administrator Wipro Limited Ashburn, VA Apr 20, 2016 $79,726
System Administrator Wipro Limited Ashburn, VA May 05, 2016 $79,726
Systems Administrator Zillion Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 10, 2016 $79,726
Systems Administrator Inovant, LLC Ashburn, VA Jan 26, 2015 $78,603 -
$111,600
System Administrator Novisync Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA Nov 11, 2014 $75,000
System Administrator CSC Covansys Corporation Ashburn, VA Dec 21, 2009 $74,000 -
$105,000
Support Engineer I Vadata Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 03, 2015 $71,614 -
$74,500
Support Engineer I Vadata Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 10, 2015 $71,614 -
$74,500
System Administrator Microinfo, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 01, 2014 $70,000
Systems Administrator Digital Terrain, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 05, 2014 $70,000
Systems Administrator Benecias LLC Ashburn, VA Mar 13, 2017 $68,000
System Administrator Novisync Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 13, 2017 $67,288
System Administrator Eforce Technologies, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 09, 2017 $67,288
Systems Administrator Novisync Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2017 $67,288
Systems Administrator Novisync Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2017 $67,288
Systems Administrator Infowin Technologies LLC Ashburn, VA Feb 01, 2011 $65,000
Systems Administrator (SAP) Value Consulting, LLC Ashburn, VA Aug 20, 2010 $65,000
Systems Administrator Microinfo Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 09, 2016 $63,710
Systems Administrator Explicit Systems USA, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 19, 2016 $63,710 -
$80,000
Systems Administrator Baltech Solutions Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 05, 2015 $61,714
System (Storage) Administrator YASH Solutions, LLC Ashburn, VA Nov 18, 2013 $60,000
Systems Administrator Novisync Solutions, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 17, 2014 $60,000
System Administrator Gallant Global Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2013 $60,000
Systems Administrator Ampcus, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 14, 2010 $60,000
Systems Administrator YASH Solutions, LLC Ashburn, VA Feb 10, 2011 $54,600

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Top Skills for A Systems Administrator

  1. Windows XP
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Active Directory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform responsibilities of implementing Windows XP and hardware applications.
  • Maintained and repaired PC and notebook computer hardware and software using basic troubleshooting procedures.
  • Provided day-to-day operational support for Active Directory and Exchange issues.
  • Participated in backup process and monitoring of Geo-quest systems.
  • Configured and installed operating systems and applications on desktops and notebooks for user deployment.

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Top 10 Best States for Systems Administrators

  1. Vermont
  2. Maryland
  3. Nebraska
  4. Washington
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Connecticut
  7. California
  8. North Carolina
  9. Texas
  10. District of Columbia
  • (71 jobs)
  • (1,636 jobs)
  • (182 jobs)
  • (669 jobs)
  • (994 jobs)
  • (335 jobs)
  • (3,419 jobs)
  • (941 jobs)
  • (2,379 jobs)
  • (561 jobs)

Top Systems Administrator Employers

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