Monday, August 2, 2021

IT Salary Tracker: UNIX systems administrators

Heads up, IT labor enthusiasts! UNIX systems administrators could be migrating this year en masse, most likely to the urban coastal regions of Silicon Valley and New York. What better chance to grab the binoculars and get a closer look at these versatile creatures? The most striking markings are the tattered sleeves and cuffs of the UNIX SA’s clothing, shredded to ribbons by the fingernails of desperate users driven mad by the complexity of their operating environments. Also keep an eye out for the characteristic dazed expression, puffy eyes, and other symptoms of sleep deprivation resulting from the SA’s 24-hour proximity to its overactive pager. Closer examination may reveal within the UNIX systems administrator’s back pocket a plane ticket to one of the migratory destinations mentioned above, where its unique abilities are truly appreciated and where it will likely be paid a higher salary, if not permitted ever to catch up on its sleep.

In May 2000, employers were offering UNIX systems administrators an average salary of $80,000 per year and an average contract rate of $71 per hour, according to, Datamation’s sister site and an online job board for IT professionals. It contained 2,170 listings for this type of professional. Silicon Valley had more availabilities for this job type than other regions, comprising 28% of the overall demand. The highest wages were in New York, where UNIX SA salaries were on average $88,000 per year, and contract rates averaged $97 per hour.

Results are based on averages or totals from the following information at job titles, job skills, and locations. Benefits are not included in compensation listings. Next week: UNIX software engineers.Zach Rodgers

Would you like to see a salary tracker for your job type? Have other ideas for these surveys? Please let us know.

  • Highest salary by skill type (average):
    Sendmail, $86,750 yearly salary

  • Highest hourly contract rate by skill type (average):
    Apache, $86 per hour

  • Skill type with the most demand (average):
    Perl, 3,972 job availabilities

    Datamation/ IT Salary Tracker
    UNIX systems administrators: average salaries by city

    Source: Datamation/ IT Salary Tracker/May 2000

    Datamation/ IT Salary Tracker
    UNIX systems administrators: average hourly contract rates by city

    Source: Datamation/ IT Salary Tracker/May 2000

    Datamation/ IT Salary Tracker
    UNIX systems administrators: distribution of jobs by city

    Source: Datamation/ IT Salary Tracker/May 2000

    Chart data compiled by Laurie Souza.

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