Job description: What does a system administrator do?
Good news for budding system administrators: the prospect of getting a job has never been better. Few professional fields have grown as rapidly as that of system administration. But what exactly does a system administrator do? The short answer: He plans, develops, installs, configures, optimizes, and maintains a company’s IT landscape.
So he does a lot. And that is also the downside of the job profile: the work-life balance. It’s not always that optimal. In any case, the profession of a system administrator is not a classic nine-to-five job. Or not always.
Anyone working in public administration, for example, can look forward to regular working hours. But there are also enough colleagues who work shifts in companies: Since IT has to be manned at all times to ensure smooth processes, shift work is also the order of the day for system administrators. If in doubt, also on the weekend. But the good pay makes up for a lot.
Education: How do you become a system administrator?
The path to becoming a system administrator is not as firmly established as is the case with traditional apprenticeships. Both an apprenticeship and a degree qualify for the job profile.
As a rule, system administrators have completed a relevant degree in information technology or computer science – either at a university or a technical college. That hardly makes a difference.
However, there are also trained physicists, mathematicians, or engineers in the professional profile. Not surprisingly: The basic requirement is a deeper understanding of logic and technological processes, which is guaranteed in the fields mentioned.
It is also possible to start a career with the following training :
- IT specialist
- IT specialist system integration
- IT clerk
- IT technician
- IT system administrator
If you will, system administrators are always lateral entrants, precisely because the subject can neither be specifically studied nor learned.
What can promote entry is the acquisition of relevant certificates that are offered by hardware and software manufacturers. These include, for example:
- Cisco system
Depending on the company and the main task, system administrators are entrusted with the administration of servers and workstation computers and with the support and advice of users. You manage.
- User rights,
- Administer storage systems,
- Are responsible for data backup and data recovery,
- Plan and monitor networks,
- Install software or administer upgrades.
Employer: Who is looking for system administrators
System administrators can find work in practically every industry: To be competitive, the smooth functioning of IT is essential for every company. There is hardly any area that could do without the support of colleague computers.
Accordingly, there is the System Administrator job profile in the areas:
- Public service
Salary: How much does a systems administrator make?
As always, the income depends on the industry, the size of the company, and the region. System administrators earn comparatively well – the demand determines the price.
Map of systems administrator salaries
The darker areas on the map show where systems administrators earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.
- Median Annual Salary: $82,050
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $130,720
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $50,990
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
However, system administrators tend to bring up the rear in terms of salary among IT specialists.
Entry opportunities: the prospects for system administrators
Companies, data centers, cities, municipalities, hospitals – they all compete for specialists. Depending on the size of the employer, the number of employees in the IT departments varies considerably. That ranges from the one-man software department to a hundred employees. And the area is growing. There are therefore excellent opportunities for entry and careers for newcomers and career changers.
Application: How do system administrators score
Prospective system administrators should bring the following soft skills with them and highlight them in their application documents :
- Accurate and careful work
Especially for specialists in the IT industry, we have prepared appropriate modern resume templates taking into account all professional aspects of the IT industry.
The following technical qualifications are usually desired:
- Server knowledge
- Knowledge of database management systems such as MySQL
- Knowledge of script programming
- Programming language skills in PHP, Java, or Perl
Initial experience in the private sector, for example through internships, also yields plus points.
Career: The development opportunities as a system administrator
System administrators can certainly make a career. In many industries, IT departments are growing rapidly as digitization is in full swing. And so the need for the system administrator job profile is increasing noticeably. It often doesn’t take long to get promoted as a team or department leader.