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Become A Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator

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Working As A Systems Engineer/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

  • $92,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Systems Engineer/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 Engineer/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 Engineer/Systems Administrator Jobs

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Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator Career Paths

Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator
Senior System Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Information Technology Manager Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator 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
Consultant Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Windows System Administrator Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Windows System Administrator Senior Systems Engineer Senior Project Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Windows System Administrator Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Administrator Business Analyst Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Administrator Senior Software Engineer Technical Manager
Technical Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Administrator Engineer Senior Network Engineer
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Database Administrator Solutions Architect Network Manager
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Database Administrator Systems Manager Information Technology Operations Manager
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Database Administrator Systems Manager Network Manager
Data Center Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Network Engineer Information Security Officer
Director Of Information Technology Security
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Network Engineer Senior Software Engineer Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Consultant Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Consultant Systems Manager Information Technology Operations Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
Applications Developer Application Support Analyst Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Engineer 3.1 years
Top Careers Before Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator
Engineer 2.0%
Top Careers After Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator
Consultant 5.4%
Engineer 2.1%

Do you work as a Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator?

Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

81.4%

Female

10.1%

Unknown

8.5%
Ethnicity

White

55.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Asian

12.8%

Black or African American

12.2%

Unknown

5.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.1%

Cheyenne

10.5%

Mandarin

10.5%

Swedish

5.3%

Chinese

5.3%

Vietnamese

5.3%

Malay

5.3%

Polish

5.3%

Arabic

5.3%

Korean

5.3%
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Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.9%

Strayer University

14.0%

University of Maryland - University College

9.8%

American InterContinental University

5.6%

Colorado Technical University

5.6%

University of South Florida

4.7%

University of Houston

4.7%

National University

3.7%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.7%

George Mason University

3.7%

University of Nebraska at Omaha

3.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.3%

Kaplan University

3.3%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.3%

Bellevue College

2.8%

Western Governors University

2.8%

Boston University

2.8%

Villanova University

2.3%

San Diego State University

2.3%

Colorado State University

2.3%
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Majors

Computer Science

23.1%

Business

12.0%

Information Technology

11.6%

Computer Information Systems

11.6%

Electrical Engineering

7.8%

Computer Networking

4.3%

Computer Engineering

4.0%

Information Systems

3.8%

Management Information Systems

3.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.8%

Computer Systems Security

2.6%

Management

2.5%

Criminal Justice

1.6%

Education

1.4%

Engineering

1.4%

Computer Programming

1.3%

Computer Technical Support

1.2%

Finance

1.2%

Mechanical Engineering

1.2%

Computer Applications

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.6%

Other

18.7%

Masters

17.7%

Associate

13.2%

Certificate

4.0%

Diploma

1.8%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$92,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$69,000
Min 10%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$123,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Google
Highest Paying City
Campbell, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator in the United States is $92,380 per year or $44 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $69,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $123,000.

Real Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
ENG Systems Admin 4 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Nov 04, 2016 $160,000 -
$180,000
SNR. Systems Engineer/System Security Administrator Delta Computer Consulting, Inc. Torrance, CA Feb 09, 2015 $156,525
System Administrator/Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Jan 05, 2015 $144,000
Engineering Systems Administrator Dreamworks Animation LLC Glendale, CA Apr 04, 2016 $140,559
Systems Administrator/Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Apr 27, 2016 $134,100
Engineering Systems Adminstrator Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Feb 04, 2015 $133,887 -
$145,400
System Admin Engineer II Amazon Web Services, Inc. Seattle, WA Nov 23, 2015 $133,500
System Admin Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Dec 18, 2016 $133,500
Engineering Systems Adminstrator Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jan 28, 2015 $133,000 -
$145,400
System Administrator/Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Nov 04, 2016 $130,000
Systems Administrator/Engineer II Amazon Web Services, Inc. Seattle, WA Aug 15, 2016 $128,000
System Administrator/Software Engineer Bandcamp, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 04, 2016 $126,795
Advisory System Engineer System Administration Syniverse Technologies Campbell, CA Apr 01, 2016 $125,717
System Admin Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA May 15, 2016 $112,700
Systems Administrator Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Jul 23, 2015 $112,700
ENG Systems Admin 3 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 21, 2015 $111,509 -
$132,400
Engineering Systems Administrator Dreamworks Animation LLC Glendale, CA Sep 14, 2016 $110,402
Systems Administrator/Engineer I Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Sep 19, 2016 $110,000
System Administrator/Engineer II A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jun 05, 2016 $108,493 -
$158,400
System Administrator/Engineer II A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 28, 2016 $108,493 -
$158,400
Engineering Systems Administrator Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 11, 2016 $106,966 -
$135,100
Systems Administrator Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Aug 04, 2016 $97,200
System Admin/Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Oct 18, 2016 $97,200
ENG Systems Admin 3 Apple Inc. Elk Grove, CA May 23, 2016 $94,328 -
$113,900
System Administrator/Engineer I Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Aug 03, 2015 $94,000
Systems Administrator/Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Jan 29, 2016 $93,621 -
$144,000
Systems Administrator/Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Aug 01, 2016 $93,621 -
$144,300
Systems Administrator/Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Sep 21, 2015 $93,621 -
$144,300
Systems Engineer/Weblogic Administrator Idexcel, Inc. Reston, VA Aug 10, 2015 $90,000

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Top Skills for A Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator

  1. Windows XP
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Active Directory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed and maintained over 300 client computers with Windows XP Operating System and 4 production servers running Microsoft Windows Server 2003..
  • Provided support for infrastructure, applications and database systems.
  • Designed an Active Directory domain and migrated 400+ servers from a Linux Samba domain to the new Active Directory environment.
  • Coordinated and planned backup strategy policies and formulated, tested and implemented data restore and recovery plan.
  • Designed and support disk to disk backup solution for Microsoft SQL Server and offloaded SQL backups from local disk to NAS.

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Top 10 Best States for Systems Engineers/Systems Administrator

  1. Maryland
  2. California
  3. Washington
  4. Virginia
  5. Rhode Island
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Texas
  8. Connecticut
  9. Massachusetts
  10. North Carolina
  • (2,643 jobs)
  • (5,625 jobs)
  • (1,117 jobs)
  • (4,459 jobs)
  • (124 jobs)
  • (783 jobs)
  • (3,013 jobs)
  • (435 jobs)
  • (1,417 jobs)
  • (1,122 jobs)

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