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Become An Unix Systems Administrator

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Working As An Unix 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

  • $78,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Unix 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 An Unix 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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Unix Systems Administrator Jobs

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Unix Systems Administrator Career Paths

Unix Systems Administrator
Network Technician Systems Administrator Analyst
Analyst Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Information Technology Manager Application Manager
Application Services Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Project Leader
Architect & Project Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Senior Consultant Architect
Chief Architect
11 Yearsyrs
Linux Systems Administrator Engineer Project Leader
Consultant/Project Leader
6 Yearsyrs
Linux Systems Administrator Senior System Administrator Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Operations Analyst
Lead Operations Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Operations Manager
Manager, Enterprise Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Engineer
Network Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Network Operation Technician Network Operations Center Supervisor
Network Operations Center Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Information Technology Director Senior Project Manager
Project Manager & Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Linux Administrator Engineer Application Engineer
Senior Applications Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Oracle Database Administrator Senior Software Engineer Senior Consultant
Senior Consultant Architect
8 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Systems Administrator Senior Analyst
Senior Lead Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Web Administrator Technician Support Tier NOC Engineer
Senior NOC Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Oracle Database Administrator Senior Consultant Subject Matter Expert
Senior Subject Matter Expert
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Unix Systems Administrator Senior System Administrator Project Manager
Technical Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Unix Systems 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 1.9 years
Linux Engineer 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Unix Systems Administrator
Consultant 3.4%
Top Careers After Unix Systems Administrator
Consultant 5.1%

Do you work as an Unix Systems Administrator?

Unix Systems Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

82.0%

Female

15.1%

Unknown

2.9%
Ethnicity

White

53.2%

Asian

15.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Black or African American

11.4%

Unknown

6.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.1%

French

19.6%

Hindi

6.5%

Russian

4.3%

Chinese

4.3%

German

4.3%

Carrier

4.3%

Cantonese

4.3%

Vietnamese

2.2%

Turkish

2.2%

Marathi

2.2%

Dutch

2.2%

Malay

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

Persian

2.2%

Mandarin

2.2%

Urdu

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Gujarati

2.2%

Korean

2.2%
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Unix Systems Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.0%

University of Maryland - University College

9.6%

Strayer University

7.1%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

6.7%

San Jose State University

6.0%

More Tech Institute

5.0%

University of Washington

4.6%

George Mason University

4.3%

Purdue University

3.9%

National University

3.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.5%

Community College of the Air Force

3.5%

University of Houston

3.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.2%

Webster University

3.2%

Old Dominion University

3.2%

University of Central Florida

3.2%

Northeastern University

3.2%

University of Alabama

2.8%

Prince George's Community College

2.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

29.7%

Business

12.2%

Computer Information Systems

11.7%

Electrical Engineering

8.6%

Information Technology

7.0%

Computer Engineering

5.6%

Information Systems

2.8%

Management Information Systems

2.4%

Computer Networking

2.4%

Engineering

2.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Education

1.8%

Management

1.8%

Mechanical Engineering

1.6%

Computer Systems Security

1.6%

Project Management

1.6%

Computer Applications

1.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.3%

Mathematics

1.3%

Computer Programming

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.3%

Masters

20.2%

Other

18.9%

Associate

8.4%

Certificate

2.9%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.0%
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Real Unix Systems Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Unix Systems Administrator Teksystems, Inc. Owings Mills, MD Dec 30, 2016 $176,800
MTS 2, Unix Systems Administrator Stubhub, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 27, 2016 $158,000
MTS 1, Unix Systems Admin EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 11, 2016 $150,000
Mts1, Unix System Admin Paypal, Inc. San Jose, CA Feb 12, 2016 $148,847
MTS 1, Unix Systems Administrator EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA May 04, 2015 $147,833
Unix System Administrator Staff Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Apr 12, 2015 $139,400 -
$152,365
MTS 1, Unix Systems Administrator Stubhub San Francisco, CA Apr 02, 2016 $134,472
Unix Systems Admin 3 EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 10, 2015 $134,000
Unix Systems Admin 3 EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA May 04, 2015 $125,000
Unix Systems Administrator Randstad Technologies, LP Marlborough, MA May 22, 2015 $121,680
Unix System Administrator The Gymboree Corporation San Francisco, CA May 11, 2015 $118,000
Unix Systems Admin 3 EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 19, 2016 $117,645 -
$134,000
IT Unix System Administrator National Student Clearinghouse Herndon, VA Mar 03, 2015 $110,094
Unix Systems Admin 2 EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 09, 2016 $107,100
Unix Systems Administrator III Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Newport News, VA May 18, 2015 $85,500 -
$109,000
Unix Systems Administrator Synopsys, Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 17, 2015 $85,359 -
$160,359
Unix Systems Administrator Velocity Technology Solutions, Inc. Minneapolis, MN Feb 18, 2015 $85,000
Unix Systems Administrator Sapphire Software Solutions Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 11, 2015 $85,000
Unix Systems Administrator Synopsys, Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 04, 2016 $84,995 -
$159,995
Unix Systems Administrator Emulex Corporation Costa Mesa, CA Jan 26, 2015 $84,825 -
$100,000
Unix Systems Administrator Shivam Infotech, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jan 10, 2016 $84,000
Associate Director, Unix Systems Administrator UBS Financial Services Inc. Nashville, TN Apr 22, 2015 $83,000 -
$105,000
HP Unix/System Administrator Imetris Corporation Saline, MI Aug 12, 2015 $71,739
Unix Systems Administrator Synopsys, Inc. Mountain View, CA May 01, 2015 $71,418 -
$146,418
Unix System Administrator Infosoft, Inc. Chattanooga, TN Oct 14, 2015 $71,094
Unix Systems Administrator CNET Global Solutions, Inc. Atlanta, GA Sep 11, 2015 $70,000
Unix Systems Administrator CNET Global Solutions, Inc. Columbia, MD Oct 01, 2015 $70,000
Unix Systems Administrator CNET Global Solutions Inc. Catonsville, MD Nov 22, 2016 $70,000
Unix System Security Admin Arete Systems, Inc. Bloomington, IL Sep 06, 2015 $70,000
Unix-Systems Administrator Kellton Tech Inc. Princeton, NJ Sep 15, 2016 $70,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR An Unix Systems Administrator

Average Yearly Salary
$78,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$58,000
Min 10%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
JPMorgan Chase & Co
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Unix Systems Administrator make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Unix Systems Administrator in the United States is $78,623 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $58,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $105,000.

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Top Skills for An Unix Systems Administrator

  1. Windows XP
  2. Solaris
  3. Veritas
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Installed, configured, and maintained Linux, FreeBSD and Windows XP systems in support of JFCOM M&S.
  • Trained India Support Team and performed Full Knowledge transfer and documentation for Oracle Solaris environment.
  • Worked with VERITAS Volume Manager, VERITAS Cluster Server in all environments.
  • Performed Operating System, web application security and user administration via roles level profile, privilege.
  • Performed general server maintenance, including account maintenance and file system maintenance.

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Top 10 Best States for Unix Systems Administrators

  1. Virginia
  2. California
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Maryland
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Connecticut
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Washington
  9. North Carolina
  10. New Hampshire
  • (2,662 jobs)
  • (2,942 jobs)
  • (551 jobs)
  • (1,775 jobs)
  • (71 jobs)
  • (242 jobs)
  • (809 jobs)
  • (555 jobs)
  • (731 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)

Top Unix Systems Administrator Employers

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