Network systems administrators provide crucial technical support to a company. Whether at the cutting-edge of technology or the back office operations of a bank, the network often controls the pace of work and system administrators are critical personnel. If the network is down, operations may stop. Ensuring your salary scale is competitive keeps your network systems administration consistent and well-staffed.
While the salary earned by a network systems administrator varies by region and education level, as well as training and certifications, the midpoint salary for this field is $69,160, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2010. The top 10 percent of salaries are over $108,090 and the lowest 10 percent is $42,400.
Impact of Education on Salary:
Network systems administrators typically have at least a bachelor's degree. For those just starting out, an associate degree or technical certification may suffice, according to the BLS. If you attain certification, starting salaries range from $26,000 to $30,000 annually. The field is dynamic, however, so many network systems administrators continue their education throughout their career, reviewing new types of networks, computers and servers. Network systems administrators may also certify in particular vendor software or hardware, especially if doing so makes them more competitive in their field. For some network systems administrators, typically those working on large-scale implementations, a master's degree is required. These positions typically pay more, starting in the low $70,000s.
The field in which you're working impacts your salary. As of May 2010, the median salaries reported by the BLS for network systems administrators working in design of systems is about $74,000 annually. Those supporting finance and insurance companies are paid a median salary of about $72,000, and manufacturing network systems administrators are paid about $67,000 annually. Health care and education are at the lower end, paying a median salary of $64,000 and $59,000 respectively.
Network systems administrators typically work full-time, with more than 90 percent of the positions reported as full time in May 2010, according to the BLS. In addition, because of the crucial need to keep networks up and running, network systems administrators may work long days and may need to respond to emergencies after normal business hours. The field of network systems administration is growing faster than the pace of the average job market, according to the BLS. The field is expected to grow 28 percent faster than average between 2010 and 2020. The need for efficient and secure networks is driving much of this growth, as are the increasingly complex network configurations that require specialized training and attention.