Systems Administrator Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Systems Administrator Do?

Most companies can’t function without computers; they need system administrators to ensure their technology systems stay up-to-date and running. Systems administrators are responsible for the installation, configuration, maintenance, and support of computer systems and servers. They are also responsible for monitoring the systems for performance and security, as well as troubleshooting any issues that may arise. They also ensure that all software and hardware are up to date, as well as create and maintain backup systems.

A successful systems administrator has a solid technical background and expertise in computers and servers, along with excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. They need to possess strong communication and interpersonal skills to effectively interact with clients, stakeholders, and other team members.

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National Average Salary

Systems administrator salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Systems Administrator is:


Systems Administrator Job Descriptions

It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a systems administrator. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.

Example 1

Professional and expert system administrator needed for [Your Company Name] to manage our company’s IT system. You will be in charge of computer and network management, which will include maintenance, troubleshooting, and configuration. You will be required to install parts and software and upgrade the system in order to keep it up to date with the latest technology available for our specifications and budget. Providing documentation for our users and IT staff will also be required. The ideal candidate will have previous experience with setting up and managing backups and will be able to take over this position and manage backups with our current system. If this position sounds like you, please apply! Relevant certificates are an extreme benefit, especially COMPTIA or similarly recognized certifications.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Develop, maintain, and support technical infrastructure, hardware, and system software components
  • Configure, debug, and support multiple infrastructure platforms
  • Perform installation, maintenance, and support of system software/hardware and user support
  • Perform high-level root-cause analysis for service interruption recovery and creating preventive measures
  • Build an internal wiki with technical documentation, manuals, and IT policies

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in IT, computer science, or a relevant field. Professional certification such as Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate is strongly preferred.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Ability to create scripts in Python, Perl, or other languages
  • Knowledge of various business computer platforms like Microsoft Azure or Linux
  • Experience with databases, networks (LAN, WAN), and patch management
  • Ability to communicate complex information to technical and nontechnical users, including management
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Several years of IT administration experience

Preferred qualifications

  • Strong knowledge of local area network administration
  • Hands-on software and hardware troubleshooting experience
  • Experience with data (records) management
  • Experience documenting and maintaining configuration and process information

Example 2


Our client seeks a Systems Administrator to oversee complex processes that ensure technology resources are distributed, maintained, and effectively utilized across their growing network. This is a technical role that requires hands-on knowledge of User Management and Authentication (Okta), 2FA, MacOS Operating Systems, Cloud Enterprise Collaboration Tools (Google Admin and Office 365), Cloud Infrastructure (AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform), Device Management Platforms (JAMF, Google Admin), and familiarity with networking and wireless.


  • Manages multiple projects/initiatives in a timely manner while coordinating and communicating with stakeholders
  • Clear communicator with ability to articulate technical concepts in a language that anyone can understand
  • Demonstrates initiative with a strong sense of urgency and purpose
  • Proven success in the support and administration of customer-centric solutions
  • Possesses knowledge of industry best practices and the ability to understand complex and advanced technical concepts
  • Ability to work collaboratively and quickly shift focus in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
  • Comprehensive knowledge and hands on experience with JAMF, Mac OS, Chrome OS, Google Admin, Okta, Workday, AWS, and other SaaS enterprise cloud-based services
  • Familiarity with Azure and Active Directory
  • Experience with operating endpoint management tools including Apple DEP, JAMF Pro/Cloud, as well as Windows Server
  • Experience using IT Service Management software to manage projects and tasks (Preferred: TeamDynamix).


  • Administers and maintains existing device management frameworks, integration, and identity management solutions
  • Reviews and applies security best practices and performs proactive performance monitoring and tuning
  • Manage entire lifecycle of Linux/Unix Systems (i.e. Apple Mac OS/iOS)
  • Provide systems support to DevOps and application engineers
  • Acts as tier three support for HelpDesk
  • Supports Gmail configuration and mailbox management including email routing, spam filtering, and forensics

Troubleshooting and maintenance

  • Serve as point of escalation for systems troubleshooting and issue resolution
  • Supports business continuity plans and site readiness
  • Performs testing of data retention and recovery policies


  • Continuously provides and receives feedback regarding current IT processes to identify areas of improvement
  • Performs other duties or special projects as assigned in their field
  • Comfortable with eDiscovery concepts and data collection including Holds and Retention Policies
  • Expected to work out of the main office location with pre-negotiated remote options
  • On Call as business needs dictate

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology or related field or 3+ years of experience in IT
  • 3+ years of experience providing technical support in an enterprise environment
  • Previous experience supporting 25+ offices/sites in large footprint areas

If this sounds like you, then let’s connect!

Example 3

We are looking for an System Administrator to join our team and work closely across IT Operations and architecture to ensure that all the environments are operational and available some on a 24/7 basis. This is a remote role.


  • Administer, maintain and monitor all company vSphere virtual server infrastructure
  • Maintain, report, and upgrade network and computer systems including switches, firewalls, storage devices, etc.
  • Installation, configuration, implementation, and maintenance of Linux (CentOS and RHEL) servers
  • Ensure all environments are operational and available on a 24/7 basis
  • Responsible for system performance, analysis, and tuning
  • Responsible for data backup and recovery
  • Responsible for installation of systems and software, including system patches and upgrades
  • Document systems, configurations, and operational instructions
  • Will assist in the development of proposals for recommending upgrades to software/hardware, and plan for sizing and scaling of servers
  • Ensure proper security, monitoring, alerting and reporting for the infrastructure


  • US citizen with the ability to obtain a security clearance
  • Strong problem solver with excellent communication skills
  • Have a growth mindset with a desire to learn and embrace challenges
  • Innovative and passionate about your work
  • Excellent team player

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or related discipline
  • At least 3 years of experience as a System Administrator
  • In-depth knowledge of RHEL/CentOS Linux (components, commands, layout, maintenance)
  • Strong knowledge of networking and storage technologies
  • VMware experience managing vSphere, ESXi deployments and virtual servers
  • Experience in scripting and building required automation using standard technologies such as puppet, ansible
  • Expertise with server components and operating systems in data center, cloud, and hosted configurations

Example 4

This position is responsible for the administration and maintenance of the environments running Microsoft Windows Server Operating Systems and VMware at all corporate facilities working in cooperation with the IT Network, Security, Systems, Storage, and Database administrators to provide highly available and reliable systems to support employees and business departments.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Responsible for providing day-to-day support and maintenance for all Windows hardware, operating systems, and enterprise applications
  • Accountable for maintaining server and security configurations in compliance with established best practices and established baseline configurations
  • Responsible for Administration of Microsoft Windows Server OS 2008R2 – 2019, Active Directory, Azure AD, DNS, DHCP, GPO, IIS
  • General Administration of SQL
  • Upgrade/install Windows OS and Server software
  • Administration of VMware including Horizon VDI
  • Administration of Exchange on-prem and O365 including SharePoint and Project Online
  • Message hygiene solutions; Mimecast, Microsoft ATP, Proofpoint, etc.
  • Storage administration (EMC, NetApp, Nimble, etc.)
  • Ensure proper backup processes are in place to allow for full recovery of sites and documents; Backup Exec, Datto, Veeam, and/or other backup solutions
  • Evaluate tools and applications relevant to the sites
  • Maintain proper Change Control and Configuration Management processes
  • Monitor sites daily, respond to alerts, and provide on-call support
  • Create PowerShell scripts to automate tasks
  • Administration of Microsoft System Center Applications
  • Provide daily, weekly, and monthly Windows system checklist with historical trending reports
  • Provide monthly KPI metrics and trending reports
  • Work service requests and help desk tickets on a daily basis
  • Patch Management KACE, ivanti, WSUS
  • Perform other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned from time to time by management

Job requirements:

  • Demonstrated expert skills with Windows Administration, maintenance, performance tuning, and troubleshooting
  • Demonstrated expert skills in performance tuning strategies, as well as disaster recovery strategies
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the change management procedures for IT Operations
  • Ability to work with other teams to promote changes to production and other environments
  • Ability to work with the cross functional teams to automate reactive procedures where possible, and to promote rapid response to known issues
  • Deep understanding of the supporting application architectures and the general application functionality running in the Windows environments
  • Understanding of O365 Administration
  • General understanding and Administration of SharePoint Online and Project Online
  • Familiarity with SharePoint development for site customization and applications
  • Deep understanding of IT operational policies and procedures within all IT core disciplines
  • Proficiency with all IT Operations Remote Monitoring performance tools
  • Deep understanding of PowerShell scripts
  • Deep understanding of Azure and other Cloud Platforms
  • Ability to Manage and lead Windows and VMWare projects to completion
  • Full understanding of the security stack

Experience/education requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science/MIS or similar industry experience
  • 6-8+ years Microsoft Server OS Administration in a senior position
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and VMware VCP preferred
  • ITIL experience strongly preferred
  • HIPAA experience strongly preferred

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Network 5 Certification. The Network 5 Certification is known to be a widely recognized certification for network technicians and system administrators. This certification serves as exposure and education to basic networking concepts in order to improve the expertise of a system administrator.
  • Certified System Administrator (CSA). The Certified System Administrator certification is offered in order to certify system administrators of their expertise and skill sets. This certification is offered by Xinuos and can prove to be extremely beneficial to a system administrator. Because this certification is so closely intertwined with system administration, it is often used as a method to further the career of a systems administrator and open pathways to better certifications.
  • CompTIA A+ Certification. The CompTIA A+ certification is a certification built to evaluate the technical skills, computer skills, and network skills of technicians and is widely recognized as a standard for those in the systems and computer fields. This certification can prove to be immensely beneficial to a system administrator in order to demonstrate their knowledge of the position and expand their knowledge into other technological fields.

Sample Interview Questions

  • Please describe your experience installing, configuring, maintaining, and supporting computer systems and servers.
  • What is your experience with disaster recovery procedures and managing system backups?
  • How have you monitored system performance and ensured that systems were functioning optimally?
  • Can you provide an example of how you have successfully implemented and maintained security protocols, such as firewalls and antivirus software?
  • What is your experience managing user accounts and permissions?
  • What is your experience ensuring and limiting system access based on authorization?
  • How would you go about troubleshooting a network or system which cannot connect to the internet?
  • Do you have any certifications which will help prove your expertise as a system administrator?
  • What is your top specialty as a system administrator?
  • What background do you have in computer science or systems administration?
  • How would you go about setting up a system backup?
  • How would you ensure that a network is secure from outside threats?

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