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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

  • $77,810

    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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Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Systems Manager 4.2 years
Network Manager 3.9 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
LAN Administrator 3.3 years
LAN Engineer 3.2 years
Systems Engineer 3.2 years
Administrator 3.2 years
Systems Integrator 3.2 years
MIS Administrator 3.2 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Systems Support 3.1 years
Systems Consultant 3.0 years
Site Administrator 2.7 years
Server Engineer 2.5 years
Network Consultant 2.4 years
Exchange Engineer 1.9 years
Unix Consultant 1.9 years
Windows Engineer 1.8 years
NOC Engineer 1.7 years
Linux Engineer 1.6 years
Migration Engineer 1.1 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 2.4%
Top Employers After
Consultant 3.8%

Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

86.2%

Female

12.6%

Unknown

1.3%
Ethnicity

White

73.7%

Asian

11.7%

Hispanic or Latino

11.2%

Unknown

2.6%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Polish

50.0%

Spanish

50.0%

Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.8%

Henry Ford College

7.8%

University of Maryland - University College

5.9%

Western Governors University

5.9%

Boston University

5.9%

Colorado Technical University

5.9%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.9%

Champlain College

3.9%

Barry University

3.9%

University of Nebraska at Omaha

3.9%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.9%

Hinds Community College

3.9%

National University

3.9%

Villanova University

3.9%

Webster University

3.9%

Auburn University-Montgomery

3.9%

Strayer University

3.9%

Southern University and A & M College

3.9%

American InterContinental University

3.9%

Towson University

3.9%
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Majors

Computer Science

20.5%

Information Technology

12.8%

Computer Information Systems

11.5%

Business

8.3%

Electrical Engineering

7.7%

Management Information Systems

5.1%

Computer Networking

5.1%

Computer Systems Security

3.2%

Education

3.2%

Information Systems

3.2%

Criminal Justice

3.2%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

2.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Management

1.9%

Computer Applications

1.9%

Project Management

1.9%

Biology

1.3%

Marketing

1.3%

Computer Programming

1.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.0%

Other

19.2%

Masters

17.6%

Associate

13.7%

Certificate

3.8%

Doctorate

1.1%

Diploma

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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 Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Dec 18, 2016 $133,500
System Admin Engineer II Amazon Web Services, Inc. Seattle, WA Nov 23, 2015 $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
Systems Administrator Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Jul 23, 2015 $112,700
System Admin Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA May 15, 2016 $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 Apr 28, 2016 $108,493 -
$158,400
System Administrator/Engineer II A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jun 05, 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 Aug 01, 2016 $93,621 -
$144,300
Systems Administrator/Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Sep 21, 2015 $93,621 -
$144,300
Systems Administrator/Engineer II Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Jan 29, 2016 $93,621 -
$144,000
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

WindowsServerHardwareNetworkInfrastructureActiveDirectoryOperationalProceduresSymantecBackupExecDisasterRecoveryRemoteDatabaseServersWebDNSUnixSetupSQLServerStorageLinuxSystemAdministratorSANWindowsNewTechnologiesDhcp

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Top Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator Skills

  1. Windows Server
  2. Hardware
  3. Network Infrastructure
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Cluster windows servers for database functionality and connectivity to DB SANs.
  • Coordinate the acquisition of additional licenses and hardware of new or replacement components and software.
  • Network Security and Monitoring Systems Configured, maintained and supported WatchGuard firewalls to protect all aspects of the network infrastructure.
  • Migrated corporate HQ systems and network from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows 2000 and Exchange Active Directory environment.
  • Documented MOPs / SOPs (Maintenance / Standard Operational Procedures) Account creation and modification support via VAS and Active Directory.

Top Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator Employers

Systems Engineer/Systems Administrator Videos

Day in the Life: Los Angeles Datacenter (QuadraNet)

Q&A - Salaries for Computer Jobs [How much $$$ can you make?]

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