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Become An Unix/Linux Administrator

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Working As An Unix/Linux 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

  • $76,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Unix/Linux 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 An Unix/Linux 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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Unix/Linux Administrator Career Paths

Unix/Linux Administrator
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Consultant Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Build-Release Engineer Engineer Senior Project Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Linux Systems Administrator Senior System Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Linux Systems Administrator Senior System Administrator Information Technology Director
Director, Technical Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Linux Systems Administrator Senior System Administrator Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Unix Systems Administrator Consultant Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Unix Systems Administrator Consultant Senior Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Unix Systems Administrator Team Leader Operations Director
Director, Network Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Developer Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Build-Release Engineer Engineer Senior Network Engineer
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
AIX Administrator Senior Systems Engineer Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
AIX Administrator Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Director
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
AIX Administrator Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Operations Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Administrator Analyst Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Administrator Human Resources Generalist Senior Technical Recruiter
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Build-Release Engineer Senior Infrastructure Engineer Network Manager
Data Center Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineer Senior Network Engineer Infrastructure Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Unix/Linux Administrator?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
AIX Administrator 3.4 years
Unix Administrator 2.9 years
Unix Engineer 2.8 years
Unix Consultant 2.1 years
Linux Engineer 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Unix/Linux Administrator
Server 1.1%
Manager 0.7%
Top Careers After Unix/Linux Administrator
Engineer 1.3%

Do you work as an Unix/Linux Administrator?

Average Yearly Salary
$76,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$56,000
Min 10%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Citi
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
Nevada
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Unix/Linux Administrator make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Unix/Linux Administrator in the United States is $76,163 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $56,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $102,000.

Real Unix/Linux Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Linux/Unix Administrator International Technology Solutions, Inc. Edison, NJ May 18, 2011 $100,259
Linux/Unix Administrator International Technology Solutions, Inc. Edison, NJ Jun 29, 2010 $100,259
Unix/Linux Administrator Netstrive Consulting Palo Alto, CA Nov 15, 2016 $85,000
Linux/Unix Administrator Sapphire Software Solutions Inc. New York, NY Dec 06, 2013 $85,000
Unix/Linux Administrator Sapphire Software Solutions Inc. Monterey, CA Nov 09, 2013 $85,000
Unix/Linux Administrator Dizer Corp GA Feb 09, 2016 $66,150
Unix Linux Adminstrator Valiantica Inc. San Jose, CA May 09, 2016 $65,260
Linux/Unix Administrator Veritis Group, Inc. Irving, TX Jan 09, 2016 $65,100
Linux/Unix Administrator Veritis Group, Inc. Irving, TX Jun 09, 2016 $65,100
Unix/Linux Administrator Appsoft Solutions Inc. Madison, WI Sep 10, 2015 $65,000
Unix/Linux Administrator Appsoft Solutions Inc. Madison, WI Sep 24, 2015 $65,000
Unix/Linux Administrator Content Archiving Solutions, Inc. Amherst, MA Aug 09, 2016 $65,000
Unix Linux Administrator Marvelltech LLC Bloomington, IL Sep 08, 2015 $61,600
Unix Linux Administrator Marvelltech LLC Bloomington, IL Sep 24, 2015 $61,000
Linux/Unix Administrator Cggveritas Services (Us) Inc. Houston, TX Nov 15, 2009 $60,882 -
$70,616

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Top Skills for An Unix/Linux Administrator

  1. Linux
  2. Veritas
  3. Vmware
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Develop Linux shell scripts to accomplish redundant tasks to simplify in distributed administration.
  • Install, configured, troubleshoot, and administer VERITAS and Logical volume manager and managing file systems.
  • Perform Real time troubleshooting of VMware, windows Server and Network.
  • Configure File Systems and administer using Network File Services (NFS) and Network Information Service (NIS).
  • Authorized Solaris users/groups to access various applications and troubleshot various user problems using management tools.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Unix/Linux Administrators

  1. Maryland
  2. Virginia
  3. New Jersey
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Connecticut
  7. California
  8. North Carolina
  9. Washington
  10. Massachusetts
  • (1,045 jobs)
  • (1,673 jobs)
  • (539 jobs)
  • (388 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (179 jobs)
  • (2,027 jobs)
  • (546 jobs)
  • (393 jobs)
  • (596 jobs)

Unix/Linux Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

71.7%

Female

16.5%

Unknown

11.8%
Ethnicity

White

44.7%

Asian

25.7%

Hispanic or Latino

10.9%

Black or African American

9.7%

Unknown

9.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

Arabic

33.3%

Unix/Linux Administrator Education

Schools

Bryn Mawr College

10.8%

University of Phoenix

10.8%

More Tech Institute

9.2%

University of Texas at Arlington

7.7%

University of Central Missouri

6.2%

Texas A&M University

4.6%

University of Nebraska at Omaha

4.6%

Wilmington University

4.6%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.6%

Michigan State University

4.6%

Mississippi State University

4.6%

University of Florida

3.1%

University of Maryland - University College

3.1%

Prince George's Community College

3.1%

Central State University

3.1%

College of Saint Rose

3.1%

University of New Hampshire at Manchester

3.1%

University of California - San Francisco

3.1%

Lehigh University

3.1%

Bergen Community College

3.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

32.9%

Electrical Engineering

16.3%

Information Technology

8.9%

Engineering

7.6%

Computer Engineering

6.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.1%

Business

3.9%

Computer Applications

3.7%

Information Systems

2.8%

Computer Information Systems

2.4%

Management

2.2%

Computer Networking

2.2%

Computer Systems Security

1.1%

Business/Commerce

1.1%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

0.9%

Education

0.9%

Accounting

0.9%

Mathematics

0.7%

Finance

0.7%

Information Sciences

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

63.3%

Masters

18.2%

Other

13.8%

Associate

3.2%

Diploma

1.0%

Certificate

0.4%
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