Most companies can’t function without computers; they need System Administrators to make sure their computer systems stay up-to-date and running. A System Administrator isn’t just responsible for maintaining computer systems. They are also usually responsible for installing those systems or leading a team of people who install those systems.
A System Administrator usually maintains the essential IT functions of a business such as operating systems, business applications, security tools, web-servers, email, PCs, local and wide-area networking of both hardware and software, and mid-range server hardware. They are also in charge of installing updates to software and troubleshooting system issues.
Some System Administrators are also in charge of data backup, security, and recovery, depending on the size of the company for which they work. A System Administrator needs to stay abreast of the latest changes in technology, to maintain the most efficient system for their company.
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 Background
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.
Skills and Competencies
- 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
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a System Administrator with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $60,000
- Tampa, Florida: $60,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $53,000
- Miami, Florida: $60,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $67,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $69,000
- Houston, Texas: $65,000
- Los Angeles, California: $65,000
- New York City, New York: $78,000
- Seattle, Washington: $75,000
- Overall: $68,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $70,000
- Tampa, Florida: $71,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $70,000
- Miami, Florida: $74,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $80,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $80,000
- Houston, Texas: $75,000
- Los Angeles, California: $77,000
- New York City, New York: $80,000
- Seattle, Washington: $80,000
- Overall: $76,000
Similar Job Titles
- Server Administrator
- IT Infrastructure Administrator
- IT Systems Manager
- Systems Engineer
- Systems Architect
- Systems Integration Engineer
- Implementation Specialist
A System Administrator must have a bachelor’s degree in IT, computer science, or a relevant field. It’s also helpful for candidates to pursue internships in the IT departments of tech companies or other businesses while in college.
Troubleshooting and logical thinking skills are essential for successful System Administrators because they’ll have to quickly think through the possible causes and potential solutions to IT issues. Also, System Administrators are often called upon to recall technical facts related to the platforms their organizations use.
Obtaining professional certifications like Microsoft Certified Solution Expert, Oracle Linux System Administrator, Red Hat Certified Engineer or CompTIA Server+, is vital for any System Administrator. Companies are often attracted to candidates who have taken the initiative to obtain these critical certifications.
It’s always essential for a System Administrator to stay up on the latest IT trends. According to the IT education and training company Pluralsight, continuing education will be key for System Administrators in the coming years. Technology is changing quickly, so pursuing as many courses in the latest platforms available, perhaps even obtaining a master’s degree, will be helpful for System Administrators looking to advance in their field.
Also, more System Administrators will be called upon to develop their soft skills in the coming years. System Administrators have to interact with people at all levels of an organization, which means they have to communicate complicated ideas to people who may not have a great deal of technical expertise.
The need for System Administrators stays steady in the coming years as more businesses take advantage of technology to perform their everyday work.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Network and Computer Systems Administrator field is expected to grow by five percent between 2018 and 2028, which is as fast as average.
The typical work hours in an office setting for a System Administrator are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Extra work hours may be necessary to troubleshoot issues with a particular system.
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