A system administrator sets up a computer network and takes care of regular server maintenance. He or she must ensure that an organization’s IT infrastructure facilitates an optimal work environment, especially when multiple user computers access a local area network (LAN) at the same time, that is, during a typical workday.

Any organization with a connected network needs a reliable system administrator to manage complex computer operations and ensure that all systems work optimally. As such, a system administrator may also need to resolve issues that arise following hardware failures.

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Read More about a “System Administrator

The system administrator role is ideal for those looking for a position with excellent work-life balance and career growth. Learn more about the job below.

What Are the Main Roles and Responsibilities of a System Administrator?

The day-to-day tasks of a system administrator include:

  • Configuring employees’ desktops and other work devices
  • Structuring IT policies
  • Supervising technicians
  • Purchasing and auditing IT equipment
  • Maintaining servers and networks of the entire IT infrastructure
  • Monitoring system performance
  • Troubleshooting issues
  • Creating backups to safeguard data integrity
  • Doing system upgrades
  • Creating employee accounts
  • Ensuring network integrity and security

What Are the Skills and Requirements Expected of a System Administrator?


In terms of education, a system administrator should have a bachelor’s degree in IT, information system (IS) management, or computer science. Those who graduated from other programs need to undergo training and certification for managing computer networks.

Some of the noteworthy certifications system administrators can get include:

  • CompTIA Server+
  • Microsoft-Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
  • Oracle Linux System Administrator (Oracle)
  • Red Hat-Certified Engineer (RHCE)
  • VMware-Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization

Hard Skills

When it comes to developing skills, system administrators should be well-versed in IS systems and storage. They should also be familiar with multiple operating systems (OSs) and programming. Some organizations require their system administrators to have virtualization and cloud computing skills. A system administrator should also be comfortable tinkering with different IT resources.

Soft Skills

It is also essential for system administrators to acquire non-technical skills such as excellent communication and interpersonal skills since they often have to deal with people from different departments.

What Organizations Hire System Administrators?

System administrators can find work in most companies that have extensive IT infrastructure. These organizations need dedicated IT staff to monitor and manage critical IT services and often corporations, schools, government agencies, and hospitals.

What Is the Future Like for a System Administrator?

System administrators are considered jacks of all trades in the IT world. As such, they can pursue different careers. They can become senior system administrators or dabble with system architectures, cybersecurity, and IT consulting.

How Much Does a System Administrator Earn on Average?

What is a system administrator’s annual earning? According to PayScale, a U.S.-based system administrator can earn an average of US$62,000 a year. New graduates typically earn US$51,000, while those with a few years of experience can have an annual salary of US$64,000. More senior system administrators can have a yearly compensation of US$74,000.

System administrators are increasingly becoming in demand, so considering a career in the field is ideal.