How to Become a Systems Administrator

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions need a certificate and/or a bachelors degree in systems or network administration, computer systems management, or information systems management. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a master’s degree along can help you stand out in the hiring process. Learn more by clicking our “Education Required” tab up top.

Start your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a systems administrator.

How Much Does a Systems Administrator Make?
$72,560 (national median salary, to view salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+42,900 additional people employed

Specialization Options:
Information systems administration, windows, UNIX, iOS, and management

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Network and Computer Systems Administration page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a System Administrator

California offers the highest number of employment opportunities nationwide, with 41,110 jobs currently being utilized in the field, yet its wage offers are roughly the same as other states at $85,580. Texas is second with 32,070 systems administration jobs, but the highest average annual wage is found in Virginia, with a salary of $89,950 for professionals.

Just about every business needs systems administrators to keep employees moving across their internal and external networks. The following industries employ the most network and computer systems administrators:

Computer systems design and related services 14%
Educational services; state, local, and private 12%
Finance and insurance 10%
Manufacturing 7%
Telecommunications 6%

Employment and Salary Information by State for System Administrators

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in System Administration.

Employment and Information Data for Systems Administrator

Why Become a Systems Administrator?

Systems administrators keep just about all organizations’ computer systems up and running. These professionals typically manage  servers and ensure email and data storage networks are operating efficiently. Once again studies show it pays to work in the IT and Technology spaces. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of network and computer systems administrators is expected increase 28% from now until 2020.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Systems Administrator

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Computer and Operating Systems Architecture
  • Computer-Cyber Ethics/Policy
  • Network Administration
  • Network Security Engineering
  • MS System Administration
  • Unix & Linux Administration
  • Storage Area Networking
  • Database Management
  • Mobile Computing

Degrees for Systems Administrator Careers

While many organizations require a bachelor’s degree, some positions can be filled with professionals who have obtained associate’s degree, or even professional certification.

Bachelor’s Degree
These four-year program degrees are offered in a number of disciplines. Many network and systems administrators focus on an information technology curriculum.

Master’s Degree
Systems administrators that have completed an undergraduate degree are eligible for advanced graduate programs that often prepare individuals for work at larger organizations that often require a more sophisticated and complex set of operational skills.