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System Administrator Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A System Administrator, also called a Network Administrator, takes care of computer systems and networks. Their duties include maintaining websites, monitoring and optimizing connectivity and installing server hardware and software.

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What does a System Administrator do?

A System Administrator supervises the operation of a computer network for an organization and makes sure that servers function properly, allowing customers and employees to communicate with each other, coordinate their actions and take care of essential tasks. System Administrators work in a variety of industries, so a System Administrator’s day-to-day activities often vary, from helping new users get started to looking for threats or errors on the local network to upgrading software. They spend most of their time in offices, and some visit multiple business locations regularly. Some System Administrators work from home for some or all of every week.

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System Administrator Job Description Examples:

System Administrator duties and responsibilities

Systems Administrators often help with a wide range of tasks, including answering user questions, analyzing network speed and performance and creating budgets for upgrades or repairs. The duties and responsibilities in a System Administrator job description may include:

  • Ensuring the integrity of data storage and backup systems
  • Maintaining the internet connection and firewall and monitoring security tools
  • Managing the configuration of operating systems
  • Responding immediately to security or usability concerns
  • Anticipating potential problems and taking action to solve them before they impact users when possible
  • Testing software and reviewing application logs
  • Adding, removing or updating user information such as logins and passwords
  • Documenting the network’s configuration

System Administrator skills and qualifications

Successful System Administrators have a combination of technical and social skills. They can find errors in programming code, explain how to use software and hardware and interact with a wide variety of network users. Top skills and qualifications for System Administrators include:

  • Customer service skills
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Planning and organization skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • An extensive understanding of operating systems and programming languages like C++, HTML, Java, Linux, Oracle, Pascal and Delphi
  • The ability to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment

System Administrator experience requirements

Most System Administrator jobs require two years of experience in a similar position. However, openings for more specialized or Senior System Administrators often ask for more than five years of experience with the programming language that the company uses most.

System Administrator education and training requirements

Most System Administrator jobs require an associate or bachelor’s degree in computer science, but many employers will accept programming certifications from software vendors instead. These certifications include Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), Red Hat Certified System Administrator, CompTIA Server+ and VMware Certified Professional. You can also consider a candidate with an equivalent amount of experience instead of a more formal education. Even extensively educated candidates should be willing to complete on-the-job training.

System Administrator salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a System Administrator is $63,586 per year. Pay rates for individual System Administrators depend on locations, education and experience and employers.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a System Administrator isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, here are some samples of other job descriptions that may fit your needs:

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System Administrator job description FAQs

Who does a System Administrator report to?

System Administrators usually report to the head of the IT department or a Senior System Administrator. Many create technical reports to document updates, changes and network performance for executives as well. The most experienced, educated System Administrators supervise junior IT employees, and they may train all employees to use company hardware and software.

How is a System Administrator different from a Database Administrator?

A System Administrator keeps your computer network, hardware and software running smoothly. They also make sure that computer systems are as easy to use and efficient as possible. Database Administrators oversee specialized software that lets users access and enter data while ensuring that the information stays secure. Some Database Administrators design new databases and develop processes for transferring older data. Like System Administrators, they help people learn how to use software to input and analyze data. Both types of employees spend most of their time working in an office, and they may work from home a few days per week at some businesses.

What makes a good System Administrator job description?

A job description helps candidates decide whether their values, skills, experience and education are a good match for the openings available. To write a great System Administrator job description, include an overview of your company, its culture and values and any benefits your company offers new hires. Summarize key responsibilities and let people know about the hardware, software and programming languages they should expect to be working with most. You should also keep job descriptions brief and use clear, simple language.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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