SYSTEM ADMIN: Definition, Duties, Salary, Types & Courses

job description salary courses interview questions SYSTEM ADMIN

One of the most stable and sought-after occupations in the IT sector is a system admin. Even though they don’t always get attention, the System Admin is an important part of the IT organization and is vital to a company’s success. A system admin is a person in charge of ensuring the smooth running of a computer system, typically one that serves several users. They ensure the server and client computers are secure and running well by configuring and maintaining them on a daily basis. This article explains the job description, salary, and courses you need to take to become a system admin. We also added some system admin interview questions that would be of help to you to get this dream job of yours. Let’s dive in!

Who Is a System Admin?

IT professionals provide system admin work for an organization. The goal of this position is to guarantee the smooth operation of all IT infrastructure and services. There is a vast variety of responsibilities that fall under the purview of system admin, and these jobs can change based on the type of computer system being administered.

Installing new hardware or software, setting up and managing user accounts, maintaining computer systems like servers and databases, and preparing for and effectively responding to system outages and other difficulties are all common responsibilities. Light programming or scripting to streamline system workflows and user and assistance training are additional duties.

Types of System Admin

The duties and responsibilities of a system admin might differ greatly from one organization to another. Here are the types of system admin based on their job descriptions:

#1. Network Administrators

The organization’s whole network infrastructure is managed by network administrators. They plan, develop, and put into action computer networks, including LANs, WANs, and intranets. They keep an eye on the infrastructure, maintain it, and fix any issues that crop up.

#2. Database Administrators

Data management administrators (DBAs) are responsible for creating and managing an organization’s databases. In other cases, they may need to build a database from the ground up or incorporate data from an existing database into a new one. Database administrators (DBAs) are employed by major businesses to handle data management. The duties of database administrators and system administrators frequently cross over in smaller businesses.

#3. Server/Web Administrators

Administrators of servers and their associated web services and operating systems are known as server or web administrators. To ensure that everything functions normally, they keep an eye on the internet’s speed. They also examine the site’s analytics data and make adjustments based on what they learn. 

#4. Security Systems Administrators

Administrators of security systems are responsible for keeping an organization’s safeguards operational. They create policies for ensuring the safety of company data and conduct routine data audits, which include adding, removing, and updating user accounts.

These responsibilities may be split up into multiple jobs within the same division in a more decentralized organization. They may be shared by a small team of system administrators or even just one individual in a very large company.

How to Become a System Admin

Knowing how to become a system admin will make it easier for you to become one. The following are steps you need to take to become a system admin:

#1. Higher Secondary Education

When deciding what to study in high school, it is suggested that you give serious consideration to science-related options like math and physics. You should do everything in your power to get a 10+2 aggregate score of at least 50%. This is a standard requirement for admission to many schools and fields of study.

#2. A Bachelor’s Degree

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field from a reputable university or college will help you prepare for the fundamental duties of a system admin once you finish your formal education. An undergraduate degree in computer science, IT, or engineering would serve this purpose. If you want to get your bachelor’s degree from a prestigious university, you’ll have to take difficult exams.

#3. Relevant System Admin  Courses

Although certification is not strictly necessary to land a position as a system admin, it can give you an edge in the job market. Also, credentials might assist employers to determine whether or not an applicant is truly committed to a career in the sector. Therefore, obtaining certifications improves your employability and technical chops at the same time.

#4. A Master’s Degree

Although a master’s degree is not required for most positions, having one can help you stand out from the crowd. Courses like system administration and information security, business administration in system management, and master’s degrees in computer science and information technology are good places to start.

System Admin Job Description

The following is the job description of a system admin:

  • Setup and adjustment of devices and software
  • Manage technology tools and network servers.
  • establish user accounts and workstations
  • Track performance and keep systems up to date in accordance with regulations.
  • Investigate problems and malfunctions
  • Protect data using firewalls, backups, and access controls.
  • Upgrade hardware with new releases and models.
  • Create expertise to teach personnel new technologies
  • Create an internal wiki with manuals, instructions, and IT regulations.

System Admin Job Description Template

A System Admin is needed to oversee the organization’s computers, servers, and associated networks. The ability to improvise is crucial for success in this position. One of your skills should be the ability to swiftly identify and fix issues. You should also be patient, as you’ll need to talk to people from all sorts of different backgrounds and specializations. Your job will be to make sure everything in our technological infrastructure is working properly.

System Admin Skills

The following are skills you need to have to become a system admin:

  • Ability to create scripts in Python, Perl, or other language
  • Communication Skills
  • Technical Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Familiarity with various operating systems and platforms
  • Resourcefulness and problem-solving aptitude
  • BSc/Ba in Information Technology, Computer Science, or a related discipline; professional certification (e.g. Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)) is a plus
  • Proven experience as a System Administrator, Network Administrator, or similar role
  • Experience with databases, networks (LAN, WAN), and patch management
  • Knowledge of system security (e.g. intrusion detection systems) and data backup/recovery

System Admin Salary

The average salary for a system admin is $79,482 per year. Also, the salary of a system admin also depends on your location and the organization you work with.

System Admin Courses

You need to take some system admin courses to become one. It is a very important goal for you to attain. The following are some system admin courses you need to go for:

#1. Red Hat Certified System Administrator

System administrators with extensive expertise managing servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux should pursue the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) credential. It’s also needed for people to qualify for the Red Hat Certified Engineers program. The ability to set up, configure, deploy, and maintain Linux systems and firewalls is validated by this certification. 

Candidates must score at least 70% on a three-hour exam to be awarded this certification. The cost is different for each country and testing format (online, classroom, or on-site). There are no prerequisites for the RHCSA. 

#2. Microsoft Certifications

The three levels of Microsoft certifications are as follows:

  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA): The possession of a Microsoft Technology Associate certification demonstrates a familiarity with fundamental technical concepts.
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: This is the second tier of Microsoft certification, and it could be required for entry-level positions in some industries. Having this credential shows that you understand fundamental technical concepts.
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: After gaining technical expertise in the field of system administration, you can pursue your third-level Microsoft certification.

#3. Red Hat Certified Engineer

Senior Linux or UNIX system administrators can become certified as Red Hat Certified Engineers (RHCE). It’s a useful credential for demonstrating expertise in DevOps and the Red Hat ecosystem, as well as in system administration. These settings rely heavily on automation, and to get the RHCE credential, candidates must demonstrate an understanding of how to automate the deployment, maintenance, and support of multisystem environments. 

To become certified, you must pass a four-hour exam (offered both online and in-person) and pay a $400 fee. As was previously noted, passing the RHCSA test is a prereq before taking the RHCE exam. 

#4. CompTIA Server+

The vendor-neutral CompTIA Server+ certification is created for administrator-level professionals who install, manage, and troubleshoot servers. An in-depth understanding of server hardware and software, including scripting and cloud computing, is tested in this examination. 

You must do well on a 90-minute multiple-choice test to earn this credential. A+ certification and 18-24 months of IT expertise or professional experience working in server environments are highly recommended by the company. Exams can be taken in person at proctored testing centers or remotely for a fee.

#5. System Administration Training (LinkedIn Learning)

LinkedIn Learning offers over a thousand System Admins tutorials. Information technology professionals can learn the ropes of system admin for a wide range of platforms by reading these guides. You can select a course based on the industry in which you wish to specialize and work in the future. Classes range from basic file configuration to advanced topics like remote system administration and cloud storage. Learn more about the hierarchy of IT storage and security systems, and how to create user groups. 

#6. CompTIA Security+

If you work in the field of cybersecurity, you should consider earning your CompTIA Security+ certification. Administrators of computer networks might want to earn this credential to demonstrate their proficiency in data security. The ability to install and configure secure systems, conduct threat evaluations, and implement risk mitigation and response actions are all demonstrated through the attainment of this certification. 

In order to pass this course, you must score at least 70% on a 90-minute test comprised of 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions. Candidates are expected to have two years of IT experience, focusing on security, and the Network+ certification. Exams can be taken in person at proctored testing centers or remotely for a fee.

#7. ServiceNow Certified System Administrator

The ServiceNow Certified System Administrator credential is for those who wish to demonstrate their proficiency in administering ServiceNow platforms. Some companies use ServiceNow, a cloud-based platform for automating IT business administration tasks. ServiceNow administrators can be hired by these businesses to create new apps for the platform and assist existing ones.

Prerequisites for this credential include attendance at or completion of the ServiceNow Fundamentals live or on-demand training course. Also, they recommend that you have used ServiceNow in the real world for at least six months before applying. You’ll need to sign up and pay a fee to take this 90-minute, multiple-choice test on the computer.

Why Are System Admin Courses Important?

The value of system admin courses lies in their ability to confirm candidates’ IT proficiency. A candidate’s reputation might be bolstered by certifications that prove they have up-to-date abilities that are in line with industry norms. Some other advantages are:

  • Competitive edge: Candidates who obtain industry-specific certifications have an advantage over their competition. Certifications, for instance, demonstrate not only superior competence but also a dedication to continuing education and the development of one’s IT expertise.
  • Possibility of income: System admin courses can boost a candidate’s salary by demonstrating that they have current IT expertise. They may be eligible for promotions or pay increases due to their efforts to acquire more sophisticated abilities and maintain their certifications.
  • Additional expertise or knowledge: Certifications are useful evidence of competence for individuals who need more extensive work experience or formal schooling. Certified individuals have demonstrated their ability to perform the duties of their position, even if their educational and professional backgrounds aren’t a perfect fit, by completing coursework and passing exams pertaining to specific systems administration skills.

System Admin Interview Questions

The following are some System admin interview questions that can help you prepare for that interview of yours:

  • What, according to you, could be the personal characteristics of a person administering a system? 
  • Can you give us one of the examples of the systems you have been working with as an Administrator? 
  • What do you know about the active directory in the system administration?
  • Can you differentiate between firewall and antivirus? 
  • According to you, what is the difference between FAT and NTFS?
  • Can you tell us about the experience you have with hardware Components? 
  • What is Python? 
  • What are the applications of Python?
  • Describe the concept of DHCP.
  • What is a domain controller?
  • What is group policy?
  • What do you know about proxy servers?

What Makes a Good Systems Admin?

Since they deal directly with employees across a company to understand their needs and guarantee that all employees can function successfully, a System Admin needs to have great communication skills. They must also have a deep awareness of the technical aspects of information systems in order to effectively solve problems that crop up at all levels of the company.

Who Does a System Admin Work With?

Even though many System Admins are employed by companies in the computer sector, they can be found working in any sector. Some might find employment in the banking sector, while others would seek employment in the healthcare sector or at the municipal level. A System Admin gains a deeper understanding of the systems they maintain by collaborating with IT Analysts.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a System Admin?

Typically, a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline, such as Computer and Information Technology, is required for a position as a systems admin. However, for a systems admin position at a top company, you typically need three to five years of experience.

Does System Admin Require Coding?

Coding skills are not required for system admin. It entails controlling the entire computer system. To assist software developers or engineers, system admins occasionally may need to code. So, it makes sense to study computer programming.

Final Thoughts

The job of system admin is crucial and in high demand in the modern technological world. The System Admin position is an excellent entry point with excellent compensation for anyone interested in a career in information technology operations. As a System Admin, you’ll always be addressing problems and troubleshooting various problems that arise, which will require you to master new skills and technologies on the job. In a DevOps setting, you’ll collaborate closely with every other department and learn about potential new fields of expertise.


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