What Does a System Administrator Do?

Information technology (IT) specialists who oversee the proper operation and functionality of an organization’s computer systems are called system administrators, or sysadmins. Computer servers and networks are supported, troubleshooted, and maintained by sysadmins.

What is system administration? Tasks and responsibilities

A system administrator’s job description might include: 

  • Managing Windows, Linux, or Mac systems
  • Upgrading, installing, and configuring application software and computer hardware
  • Troubleshooting and providing technical support to employees
  • Creating and managing system permissions and user accounts
  • Performing regular security tests and security monitoring
  • Maintaining networks and network file systems

System administrator salary and job prospects

The United States Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) estimates that the average base salary for a system administrator in the United States in 2021 was $80,600. The cost of living in your area and experience level can both affect salary.

The employment of computer systems administrators is predicted to expand by 3% between 2020 and 2030, which is less than the average for all occupations.

How to be a system administrator

Learning a few specialised skills is necessary to become a system administrator. Getting certified can improve your resume and provide you the experience you need.

Skills you need as a system administrator

You must acquire a core set of abilities as a sysadmin in order to ensure that the computer systems in your company are operating efficiently. The following are the essential competencies for your resume:

  • In-depth knowledge of operating systems: Hiring managers typically look for proficiency in managing the operating system used in their organisation, whether it be Mac, Linux, or Windows. Although Windows and Linux are excellent choices for beginners and have gained widespread acceptance, it’s a good idea to find out which operating system is preferred in your business.
  • Familiarity with hardware: Operating hardware, like servers or printers, will play a significant role in a system administrator’s work.
  • Cloud computing skills: Familiarity with cloud applications like Office365, Google Cloud Platform, and AWS can give you a boost in the hiring process.
  • Knowledge of networks: System administrators are frequently expected to be able to configure and maintain both Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wide Area Networks (WAN), as well as set up network security features like firewalls. This may frequently be the situation in smaller businesses where IT staff members are required to take on multiple roles.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills: Sysadmins are frequently expected to assist other staff members who lack the same technical expertise in addition to working in teams. This assistance may take the form of help desk support or other resources. Effective communication is going to be essential to a system administrator’s daily work.

Read More: 7 IT Career Paths and How to Get Started in 2024

Certifications for system administrators

There are several certifications you can take in order to gain experience as a systems administrator.

Windows Server Administration Fundamentals

It’s likely that knowledge of Windows servers will come in extremely handy as a system administrator.

Obtaining the Windows Server management Fundamentals certification will allow you to prove your competence with Active Directory, Windows servers, networking, account management, and system recovery tools.

Red Hat System Administrator Certification

Obtaining the Red Hat System Administrator Certification can provide you with the necessary Linux operating system experience to secure a systems administration entry-level position.

CompTIA Server+ or A+

A number of certifications from CompTIA are available to help you get ready for entry-level jobs.

Having earned the Server+ or A+ certifications, in particular, will equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to begin looking for entry-level IT positions.

Although the Server+ certification will give you specific understanding about servers, the A+ certification covers a wider range of skills that are useful to various areas of information technology.

Preparing for the sysadmin interview

Any interview requires preparation, which includes foreseeing some questions and being prepared with responses. These are some common questions you might be asked during a system administrator job interview.

  • Describe your experience with hardware.
  • How would you deal with a virus?
  • How would you know when to upgrade a server?
  • Tell us about a time when you weren’t able to solve an issue. What did you do?
  • What qualities do you have that make you a good system administrator?

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