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Working As a Windows System 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

  • $73,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Windows System 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 Windows System 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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Windows System Administrator Career Paths

Windows System 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 Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director, Technical Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Administrator Analyst Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Administrator Consultant Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Administrator Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Project Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineer Architect Senior Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Senior Systems Analyst Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Engineer Senior Network Engineer
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Consultant Infrastructure Analyst Service Desk Analyst
Service Desk Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Exchange Administrator Systems Engineer Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Network Engineer Infrastructure Manager
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Network Engineer Information Security Officer
Director Of Information Technology Security
12 Yearsyrs
Exchange Administrator Systems Engineer Network Manager
Data Center Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Network Administrator Network Manager Infrastructure Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Server Engineer 2.6 years
Windows Engineer 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Windows System Administrator
Consultant 2.8%
Top Careers After Windows System Administrator
Consultant 3.8%
Engineer 3.3%

Do you work as a Windows System Administrator?

Average Yearly Salary
$73,000
Show Salaries
$55,000
Min 10%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$95,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
Annapolis, MD
Highest Paying State
Montana
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Windows System Administrator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Windows System Administrator in the United States is $73,203 per year or $35 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $55,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $95,000.

Real Windows System Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Windows Systems Administrator Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. Jersey City, NJ Jan 06, 2016 $135,000
SR. Windows Administrator Saba Software Inc. Redwood City, CA Dec 30, 2013 $132,080
Windows Systems Engineer Ing Financial Services LLC Totowa, NJ Jan 15, 2016 $125,000 -
$135,000
Windows/Vmware Systems Administrator Artech Information Systems LLC Minneapolis, MN Sep 23, 2016 $124,531
Windows Systems Administrator Tower Research Capital LLC New York, NY Jun 25, 2014 $120,000
Windows System Administrator Riverbed Technology, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 06, 2013 $115,300
Windows Systems Administrator Ts Techno Service, Inc. Washington, DC Apr 04, 2014 $110,094
Linux/Windows Administrator Sapphire Software Solutions Inc. Austin, TX Apr 22, 2013 $110,000
Windows System Admin United Software Group Inc. Scottsdale, AZ Oct 12, 2015 $105,000
Windows Administrator IV Oneneck It Services Corporation Scottsdale, AZ Oct 01, 2015 $100,330
Windows Administrator DCM Limited Coppell, TX Jan 05, 2015 $97,968
Vmware and Windows Administrator Hilmar Cheese Company Hilmar-Irwin, CA Dec 01, 2015 $90,000 -
$110,000
DBA-Windows Administrator Igate Technologies Inc. Somerset, NJ Feb 19, 2014 $75,900
Windows Administrator Infosoft, Inc. Reston, VA Dec 31, 2013 $75,670
Windows Administrator Infosoft, Inc. Jacksonville, FL Oct 02, 2014 $75,670
Windows Admin Team Lead United Software Group Inc. Louisville, KY May 12, 2016 $75,000
Windows Administrator Amerisoftpro Systems LLC Atlanta, GA Jun 20, 2016 $75,000
Windows Admin Team Lead United Software Group Inc. Louisville, KY Dec 05, 2016 $75,000
Windows/Vm Ware Administrator Novisync, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Nov 07, 2015 $75,000
Windows & VM Ware Administrator Novisync Solutions, Inc. New York, NY Sep 09, 2014 $75,000
Senior Exchange and Windows Administrator Region Technologies, Inc. Little Rock, AR Jul 11, 2016 $65,000
Windows Administrator Amlogix, Inc. San Ramon, CA Oct 22, 2014 $65,000
Windows Administrator Satnam Data Systems Inc. Somerset, NJ Aug 01, 2014 $65,000
Windows Administrator Niteosoft Inc. Orange, CA Jun 01, 2015 $65,000
Windows Administrator Niteosoft Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jun 12, 2015 $65,000
Windows OS Systems Engineer 3I Infotech, Inc. Columbus, OH Mar 18, 2016 $65,000
Windows Administrator III Rackspace Us, Inc. San Antonio, TX Mar 09, 2014 $64,500
Windows Azure Admin Gooyah Technologies, Inc. Redmond, WA Nov 04, 2016 $64,000

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Top Skills for A Windows System Administrator

  1. Windows XP
  2. Vmware
  3. Active Directory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Installed and configured Windows XP/Vista operating systems.
  • Installed, maintained and configured VMware3.x/4.0 environment.
  • Provide administration and tier 3 operational support for servers, workstations and applications in a Windows Active Directory environment.
  • Configured and managed security permissions in virtual center management for access to virtual machines.
  • Established and created security and remote access policies, backup procedures and pertinent network/client machine documentation and user instructions for organization.

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Top 10 Best States for Windows System Administrators

  1. Maryland
  2. Virginia
  3. New Jersey
  4. Nebraska
  5. California
  6. South Dakota
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Montana
  9. Minnesota
  10. Washington
  • (1,214 jobs)
  • (2,928 jobs)
  • (766 jobs)
  • (165 jobs)
  • (3,422 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (606 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (419 jobs)
  • (609 jobs)

Windows System Administrator Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,330 Windows System Administrator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Windows System Administrator Resume

View Resume Examples

Windows System Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

78.8%

Female

12.4%

Unknown

8.8%
Ethnicity

White

54.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Asian

14.3%

Black or African American

11.1%

Unknown

5.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.0%

Arabic

8.0%

Cheyenne

6.0%

German

6.0%

Hindi

6.0%

Portuguese

4.0%

Japanese

4.0%

Indonesian

2.0%

Chinese

2.0%

Dutch

2.0%

Braille

2.0%

French

2.0%

Greek

2.0%

Carrier

2.0%

Tagalog

2.0%

Urdu

2.0%

Korean

2.0%

Thai

2.0%

Bengali

2.0%
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Windows System Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.0%

Strayer University

9.3%

University of Maryland - University College

7.8%

Western Governors University

5.8%

Community College of the Air Force

4.8%

Bellevue University

4.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.8%

Colorado Technical University

3.8%

American InterContinental University

3.5%

George Mason University

3.5%

ECPI University

3.3%

Kaplan University

3.3%

Regis University

3.0%

Capella University

3.0%

University of Houston

2.8%

More Tech Institute

2.8%

San Jose State University

2.8%

Texas A&M University

2.8%

National University

2.5%

Pennsylvania State University

2.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

21.9%

Information Technology

12.9%

Computer Information Systems

12.4%

Business

11.5%

Electrical Engineering

7.5%

Computer Networking

6.2%

Information Systems

3.9%

Computer Engineering

3.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.3%

Management

2.3%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Computer Applications

2.2%

Engineering

2.0%

Criminal Justice

1.6%

Computer Systems Security

1.5%

Computer Programming

1.4%

Education

1.3%

Computer Technical Support

1.3%

Communication

1.2%

Project Management

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.6%

Other

19.1%

Masters

15.3%

Associate

13.6%

Certificate

3.0%

Diploma

2.0%

Doctorate

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Updated May 19, 2020