Information Technology Careers | Systems Administrator

Systems Administrator

Career Area: Information Technology

Occupation Group: Network and Systems Support

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Systems Administrator earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $82,338

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $83,027

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Manages the day-to-day operations of an organization's computer networks, including the systems that connect computers and other technology to each other and to outside networks. Installs, organizes, and supports the hardware and software of these systems.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina1657+10.6%
Nationwide46901+6.1%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Systems Administrator is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Troubleshooting: Troubleshooting or dpanneuring is a form of problem solving, often applied to repair failed products or processes on a machine or a system.
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Problem Solving: Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems.
  • Planning: Working experience with the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve desired goals.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • System Administration: A system administrator, or sysadmin, is a person who is responsible for the upkeep, configuration, and reliable operation of computer systems; especially multi-user computers, such as servers.
  • Linux: Linux (pronounced LIN-ks or, less frequently, LYN-ks) is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution.
  • Microsoft Active Directory: Working experience of Microsoft Active Directory, which is a directory service that Microsoft developed for Windows domain networks. It is included in most Windows Server operating systems as a set of processes and services and is an umbrella title for a broad range of directory-based identity-related services. Active Directory stores information about objects on the network and makes this information easy for administrators and users to find and use. Active Directory uses a structured data store as the basis for a logical, hierarchical organization of directory information. A set of rules, the schema, that defines the classes of objects and attributes contained in the directory, the constraints and limits on instances of these objects, and the format of their names.
  • VMware: VMware, Inc. is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies that provides cloud computing and platform virtualization software and services.
  • Windows Server: Windows Server is a brand name for a group of server operating systems released by Microsoft.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Systems Administrator that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Red Hat Linux Administration: Working experience of Red Hat Linux Administration, which is competency at system administration, including installation and configuration of a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system and attaching it to a live network running network services.
  • VMware vSphere: Working experience ofVMware vSphere, which is an enhanced suite of tools for cloud computing utilizing VMware ESX/ESXi 4.
  • Hyper-V: Microsoft Hyper-V, codenamed Viridian and formerly known as Windows Server Virtualization, is a native hypervisor; it can create virtual machines on x86-64 systems running Windows.
  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP): The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP; ) is an open, vendor-neutral, industry standard application protocol for accessing and maintaining distributed directory information services over an Internet Protocol (IP) network.
  • Virtual Private Networking (VPN): A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Host Based Security Systems: The Host Based Security System (HBSS) is the official name given to the United States Department of Defense (DOD) commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) suite of software applications used within the DOD to monitor, detect, and defend the DOD computer networks and systems.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years17%
3 to 5 years50%
6 to 8 years20%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Systems Administrator
  • Senior Systems Administrator
  • It Systems Administrator
  • Service Delivery Manager
  • Systems Administrator II

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