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Systems Administrator Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Systems Administrator maintains, configures, and troubleshoots networks and computer systems. Their duties include installing software and hardware, improving the performance of systems, and providing technical support to users.

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Systems Administrator duties and responsibilities

Some of the important duties and responsibilities of a Systems Administrator include:

  • Evaluating and installing computer software, hardware, and operating system software
  • Troubleshooting the computer system and network issues of others
  • Performing server and information backups and recovery operations
  • Designing, installing, and upgrading data security systems
  • Operating firewalls, file servers, and other computer systems
  • Continually monitoring systems for security breaches and risks
  • Monitoring Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), and network segments for security threats
  • Responding to user issues, concerns, problems, and inquiries
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What does a Systems Administrator do?

A Systems Administrator ensures that the network and computer systems of an organization work properly. They are responsible for identifying and resolving technical issues to reduce work disruptions. They typically work in offices at a desk. While many Systems Administrators work regular nine-to-five hours, you may request that they are available during the weekends and holidays to monitor systems.

Systems Administrators collaborate with other technical professionals such as network administrators, systems analysts, and Information Technology (IT) specialists.

Systems Administrator skills and qualifications

A Systems Administrator must be familiar with different computer systems and networks. Depending on the needs of your firm, look for a candidate with both specialized system knowledge and broad-based computer and systems experience. Other skills and qualifications include:

  • Excellent problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills to help other employees
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills
  • Ability to identify issues or threats in systems and networks
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Leadership skills
  • Excellent customer service skills

Systems Administrator experience requirements

A Systems Administrator generally needs three to five years of experience working with computer systems or networks. Alternatively, they may have previous experience as a network technician. Volunteer experience in a similar role is often acceptable. When going through resumes, consider applicants who have experience training and teaching others how to use computer systems and networks.

Systems Administrator education and training requirements

Systems Administrators need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, network administration, web technology, or related fields. You can ask Systems Administrators for training certifications from software vendors. For example, many Systems Administrators have certifications from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+.

Applicants learn the fundamental IT skills for various devices from the CompTIA A+ certification. While the CompTIA Network+ certification covers the design, configure, manage devices, the CompTIA Security+ certification teaches the best practices in operational security and IT network.

Systems Administrator salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, average pay for a Systems Administrator in Canada is $27.56 per hour. Rates may vary based on experience, location, and your organization’s needs.

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Systems Administrator job description FAQs

What qualities make a good Systems Administrator?

A good Systems Administrator is familiar with computer systems, networks, and servers. They are eager to learn new technologies and improve their skills. They are good at preventing problems before they become urgent and coming up with solutions quickly. Successful Systems Administrators know how to collect and analyze information to make decisions. They must also know how to multi-task and work in a fast-paced environment.

What is the difference between a Systems Administrator and a Systems Engineer?

Systems Engineers and Systems Administrators perform similar roles in an organization. Both professionals work on systems and manage technical issues. However, they are different in the way they work on systems. Systems Engineers plan, design, and build systems, networks, and related tools. They manage the engineering, business, and management aspects of projects or systems. Systems Administrators, on the other hand, are responsible for upgrading and maintaining those systems and projects.

What should you look for in a Systems Administrator job description?

When going through resumes, look for applicants who have strong soft and hard skills. Applicants with an educational background in computer science, information technology, and systems engineering can make successful applicants. Also, look for applicants who have training certifications in systems administration and computer engineering. If a Systems Administrator needs to lead a team, check that an applicant has relevant leadership experience.

Do Systems Administrators have different responsibilities in different industries?

Systems Administrators have similar responsibilities regardless of industry. Their primary task is to monitor and maintain the computer systems, servers, and networks of an organization. You may give Systems Administrators additional duties and responsibilities such as automating tasks to perform time-specific backups.

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