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Ordered Computing: Salaries and Employment for Network and Systems Administrators

Updated on July 2, 2013

Both network and systems administrators design, install and manage computer systems for organizations. They configure hardware and software for efficient functioning, test and evaluate different systems, and set up LANs, WANs, and intranet and Internet communications. They may also be in charge of system security. The job often requires at least a bachelor’s degree, though an associate degree and professional certification may work in some positions. Advanced degrees are available at many colleges and universities. All job and salary information is the latest available from the U.S. Department of Labor.

© 2013 by Aurelio Locsin.


The nation’s 350,320 network and systems administrators earn a mean $76,320 per year, or $36.69 per hour.

  • The lowest-paid 10 percent make a mean$44,320 per year, or $21.31 per hour, while the best-paid 10 percent made over $115,10 yearly, or $55.38 hourly.
  • Their salary is slightly lawyer than the mean$80,180 annually, or $38.55 hourly, earned by the 3.57 million professionals working in computer and mathematical occupations. This category also includes information research scientists, programmers, systems analysts and statisticians.
  • Their salary is more than 60 percent over the average $45,790 per year, or $22.01 per hour, earned by all 130 million workers in the country.


The industries with the highest employment for network and systems administrators are the following:

  1. Computer systems design and related services have 16 percent of the positions with mean wages at $81,270 per year, or $39.07 per hour.
  2. Companies that take over the management of other companies have 6 percent of the jobs, averaging $77,890 yearly, or $37.45 hourly.
  3. Colleges, universities and professional schools show almost 5 percent of the jobs at a mean annual $35,390, or $31.44 hourly.

The highest paying jobs are with the following industries:

  1. Oil and gas extraction pays a mean $103,560 per year, or $49.79 per hour.
  2. Petroleum and coal products manufacturing average $102,560 yearly, or $49.31 hourly.
  3. Other financial investment activities, such as portfolio managers, offer a mean annual $93,310, or $44.86 per hour.


The states with the most network and systems administrators follow population trends:

  1. California, which ranks number one for population, has 40,080 positions, averaging $84,400 per year, or $40.57 per hour.
  2. Texas, which has the second greatest population, has 29,480 jobs, paying a mean $77,330 yearly, or $37.18 hourly.
  3. New York, ranking third for people, has 21,690 administrators making a mean annual $82,720, or $39.77 per hour.

As for wages, the following states, which border the U.S. capital, top the list:

  1. The District of Columbia, which the Labor Department classifies with states, shows mean wages of #88,470 per year, or $42.53 per hour.
  2. Virginia salaries average an annual $87,880, or $42.25 hourly.
  3. Maryland has means at $86,530 yearly, or $41.60 per hour.

Metro Areas

The following metropolitan areas show the most employment for network and systems administrators:

  1. Washington DC has 17,720 jobs at a mean $92,880 per year, or $44.65 per hour.
  2. New York City shows 14,750 positions, averaging an annual $89,150, or $42.86 hourly.
  3. Los Angeles has 9,660 professionals paying a mean $80,460 yearly, or $38.68 per hour.

The following cities have the best pay:

  1. Boulder, Colorado, has mean wages of $97,780 per year, or $47.01 per hour.
  2. San Jose, California, shows average pay of $94,850 yearly, or $45.60 hourly
  3. San Francisco, California, has average salaries at $94,170 per year, or $45.28 per hour.


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    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      It is interesting how the gentleman in the video (Michael Brass) was able to keep hold of his passions while exploring the various avenues of being in the IT field. I sure wish I made their kind of money.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks Brett, but the salary is so high because the responsibility and stress are high too.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Wow, I knew the salaries were good, but didn't know that they were this good! Maybe time for another career change (or at least start learning more about the IT world).