System Administrator Career Overview & Outlook

Information technology has been an indispensable element in connecting internal work in every enterprise and company. Computers, wireless internet, and standard software provide a work environment for all employees.

These organizations will need to rely on coordination and management from system administrators to function smoothly. So system administration plays an important role in any industry.

This profession requires workers to have the necessary knowledge and skills in computer science. In this article, I will share the job description, educational requirements, and related skills.

Job Description

Who is a System Administrator?

A system administrator deeply understands computer hardware and software, wireless internet systems, and the company’s organizational structure.

They will be responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the server and the computers in the system. Besides, they may install malicious anti-virus software and protection applications for the computer.

Server performance, network security, and maintaining wireless connections are also responsibilities of system administrators.

System administrators are also the ones who answer employees’ questions about the work hierarchy on their computers. They will have to understand the operation, security, and authority of the IT equipment.

In many cases, they are also tasked with upgrading the company’s computer systems. It aims to keep pace with new era trends and improve work efficiency.

System Administrator

Duties and Responsibilities

System administrators have responsibilities in many areas related to information technology, and they will appear at every stage of organizational management.

The first site administrators will design and create the management network. The computer structure and wireless network must match the work nature.

Their subsequent task is monitoring system operations and promptly predicting, identifying, and correcting problems. Their work will create an innovative and secure working environment for the organization’s data.

System administrators may undertake some or all of the tasks that I list below:

  • Ensure uninterrupted server operation
  • Design and created an office computer system for the organization
  • Configure LAN or WAN wireless Internet connection networks according to specific business needs
  • Organize your business applications and the scope of each device
  • Install and ensure the operation of system security tools
  • Creating and maintaining shared libraries
  • Supports operations in the user’s computer hardware
  • Troubleshoot possible problems
  • Maintenance of wireless network transmission
  • Monitor the performance of the whole system
  • Upgrade the system when needed
  • Perform data backup and recovery operations
  • Complete reports on the operation of the entire system
  • Training personnel in related fields

Where Do System Administrators Work?

System administrators are people who work with business office computers. So they will spend time working at the office. This career will face long hours on computers, fixed work positions, and limited mobility.

Their working time will depend on the company and job requirements. They will work during office hours. Their working time is usually 8 hours per day. Yet, sometimes they will also have to work overtime to meet the work demand.

Education Requirements

After studying the above items, you should be able to imagine the essential work of a system administrator. Next, I will tell you the requirements employers often have for candidates for this position.

Education & Training

Many companies only recruit candidates with bachelor’s degrees in relevant fields to work as system administrators. Your education will be convincing evidence to employers of your problem-solving abilities. The more advanced you are, the more likely you will find solutions to technical problems.

If you want to start your career in this industry, start attending college in computer majors. You can pursue information technology, data science, computer science, or information management.

Graduate degrees from these majors receive positive reviews from employers. There are many system administrators with masters or doctoral degrees. They can handle highly specialized tasks professionally, so businesses are very fond of these candidates.

Work Experience

Besides theoretical knowledge, practical experience is a plus point in every CV.

Many candidates, although only graduated from college or high school, have good work experience. They can become system administrators in companies.

Many businesses put experience requirements on those who want to apply as their system administrator. All companies need workers for at least one year working in the profession.

Even more, rigorous organizations put more significant experience requirements on candidates. Positions with high requirements will also receive better compensation from employers.

If you are a student, apply for internships at companies to gain experience. This internship period will help you make a good impression on employers and give you more stable job opportunities.


To increase your competitiveness against other applicants, you can take short and long-term courses to receive relevant certifications.

One of the certifications with high confidence in employers is the Microsoft Certified Solutions Engineer (MCSE). It ensures basic skills for learners related to internal and network computer security systems.

Oracle Linux System Administrator (Oracle) is another valuable short-term qualification. And your job opportunities will be more open with these prestigious educational certificates.

You can also pursue a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) or a Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) certification. These two qualifications are also advantageous and can be a great addition to your CV.

A specialized certification like VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization can also strengthen your application for jobs related to extensive data management.

Essential Skills

Essential skills

Each job will have different skill requirements for the candidate. When you want to work as a system administrator, you will need to equip some elements.

Hard Skills

Some hard skills required to be able to work as a system administrator are:

  • Basic office computer skills
  • Understand wireless networking like SD-branch, VLAN, SD-WAN, and SASE
  • Master the information about VPN
  • Understanding the structure and operation of cloud computing
  • Know how to use SQL structured query language
  • Skills to manage IoT devices
  • Hardware manageability
  • Ability to identify system failures
  • Creative solutions to possible problems
  • Learn how to use the software

Soft Skills

In addition to the basic skills, you should prepare yourself with adequate soft skills. They will help you get the job done faster and more efficiently.

  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management skills
  • Sensitivity and caution in work
  • Analytical and logical thinking skills
  • Presenting the report by presentation and writing

Essential Tools

System administrators will often use tools to assist them in completing their assigned tasks. Some of the most useful tools you should consider are:

  • Notepad++
  • Clonezilla
  • Netwrix Account Lockout Examiner
  • RSAT Tools for Windows 10
  • Process Hacker
  • Wireshark and Microsoft Message Analyzer
  • RSAT Tools for Windows 10
  • Tools from the Sysinternals Suite

Job Outlook

The system administrator is a job with good growth prospects compared to other professions. This sector’s average growth is 4%. This figure equates to the average growth for all related occupations.

It is due to the development of cloud computing and other scientific and technical achievements that have replaced human activities.

This challenge requires you to have a high degree and certificate of good work capacity to ensure job opportunities.


A system administrator’s salary will vary greatly depending on the nature of their work and business.

Their earnings will be around $65 per hour worked. In large enterprises, the task that a professional system administrator needs to handle is heavier and more, and they will often receive a higher salary.

In the US, a system administrator can receive an average of $83,000 per year. The figure is $60,000 in Canada and $68,000 in Australia.

In Singapore, the income for a system administrator reaches $44,500. It is quite a high salary compared to other professions.

Advantages and Disadvantages

As a system administrator, there are significant advantages and disadvantages. This helpful information will be in the later part of the article.


The strengths that you cannot ignore as a system administrator are:

  • High stable salary
  • High level of security
  • Various fields of work involved
  • Opportunity for rapid advancement
  • Professional working environment


On the opposite side, you can see some disadvantages that still exist in this profession, such as:

  • High pressure at work
  • Strict requirements for qualifications and skills
  • Not much opportunity to exercise
  • Having to work long hours in front of a computer screen


Is a system administrator an excellent job?

Yes. As you grow with the trend of becoming a system administrator, you will have good background knowledge in many related technology areas.

Moreover, the system administrator position has stable job prospects and an attractive salary for you.

How many types of administrators are there?

There are four types of system administrators, and each comes with different requirements and tasks. These job positions include network administrators, database administrators, and server administrators.

What can an administrator do on a computer?

A system administrator can perform many different tasks. They manage the device hardware and software data. These professionals can install, repair or delete software on the computer.

They will also monitor how the company’s computers work and provide enough authority for other users to do the job.

Meanwhile, they ensure there are no system vulnerabilities for bad guys to break in and exploit or bring down the computer network from the outside.

Are system administrators self-taught?

You can self-study knowledge related to system administration at home through available documents. Yet, this should only be an addition to formal classes.

Supplement and broaden your understanding of the field. Self-studying system administration from scratch is complicated and can cause harmful misunderstandings if you do not have an experienced instructor.

Does a system administrator have to code?

Coding is a good skill that can support the work of a system administrator. However, this is optional when you want to pursue this job.

Is it hard to become a system administrator?

Yes, it is not accessible if you want to be a system administrator. You will need a lot of relevant knowledge and skills to do your job well.

Can I become a system administrator without a degree?

No. Businesses will not be convinced that you are qualified to complete the task if you do not present the appropriate qualifications and certifications.

What makes a perfect systems administrator?

Excellent technical skills, top soft skills, a willingness to learn, and a good listening attitude are essential for your success in the workplace.

Who are system administrator colleagues?

System administrators will need to coordinate activities with IT experts in the same unit to achieve the best results in their work.

How do I know if I am fit to be a system administrator?

You can test your career compatibility with personality tests and job tests. I recommend participating in a trial to see if you’re the right fit for the position before making a firm decision.

Career Advice

The system administrator is a profession that offers excellent opportunities for growth and income. However, you need to work very hard to meet this career’s requirements. You also have to go through a learning and training process to get the necessary qualifications and skills.

System administrator is a job that is being loved and pursued by many young people. With the attractive benefits that this job brings, it certainly will continue to be a great career.

Do you have any questions or concerns regarding System administrator? We are always ready to answer and support all your concerns as soon as possible.

Thank you for your interest in the article!