A senior systems administrator is usually responsible for all of the networks, servers, and IT equipment used by a company. When something goes wrong within the IT department, employees and supervisors will look to the senior systems administrator to fix it or make sure it is fixed as soon as possible so the company can function.
Senior systems administrator is not an entry-level position, but typically requires a great deal of knowledge and experience in the field. Some entry-level positions, like IT technician, systems engineer, or systems administrator can lead to a senior systems administrator position with enough time, experience, and education.
Skills Needed for Senior Systems Administrator Position
Senior systems administrators must know a lot about all aspects of IT in order to do their jobs well. They typically have knowledge of all the programming languages used within the company as well as the hardware and software being used, the Unix operating system, backup and recovery processes, monitoring tools for system performance, and management and supervision practices. Although these positions are not primarily focused on cybersecurity, knowledge in this area is also helpful.
This position also requires the ability to design and organize complex systems, to configure those systems to work well together and conform to a company’s policies and procedures, and to be able to communicate about these systems with others in writing and verbally. The ability to multi-task and respond effectively to emergencies is also needed.
Work Environment of Senior Systems Administrator Position
The work environment of a senior systems administrator can be pressure-filled at times, especially when there are problems with the system. Night and weekend work is sometimes required in order to resolve problems promptly and perform updates while the system is not being used.
Effective senior staff will be able to delegate some of these tasks to the staff they supervise, but in the end, the senior administrator will always be expected to know what is happening in the department and will be held responsible for the outcome. Many senior staff members are also expected to be on call during their off hours in case a problem comes up.
Although senior administrators have a lot of responsibilities, they also make a considerably higher salary than entry level employees. According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a senior systems administrator is $105, 290.
A Path to a Senior Systems Administrator Position
Entry level positions for systems technicians, engineers or administrators often don’t require a degree if you can demonstrate that you have the skills for the position. Many senior positions do require degrees, however. Starting with an entry level position and taking courses as you gain experience is one way to get a senior position.
You should also earn certifications in the network and server areas to demonstrate your skills. PC AGE offers coursework that can help you earn certifications and even be used toward a degree through an agreement with Thomas Edison State University. Contact us to learn more about all our programs and how they can help you get a senior systems administrator position.
Rameez Khizer, IT Marketing