Home Jobs & Education What is the Average Network Administrator Salary?

The average network administrator salary in the US nowadays ranges from $36,000 to $77,000 depending on work location, employer and skills.

This field appears to be dominated by men as statistics show that 93% of IT workers occupying this position are male. Find out more interesting information on the job and cash compensation below.

Network Systems Administrator at Work

Network and Computer Systems Administrator

Average Network Administrator Salary & Benefits

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the average annual wage for network and computer systems administrators was $72,560 in May 2012.

But more recent surveys show that network and computer systems administrators earn $53,921 in average per year. Their annual income though may vary from $36,000 to $77,000 depending on geographical position, employer, bonuses, experience, skills and complexity of duties.

According to a Pay Scale salary survey, higher pay packages can include bonuses and profit sharing worth $5,000 each.

Among the benefits, most of the reporting professionals in this field receive medical coverage and dental insurance.

 What do Network and Computer Systems Administrators Do?

Network and computer systems administrators represent a type of IT technology workers. Nowadays, they are part of almost every existing organization and their job is to ensure that all information operations work properly.

Network administrators have knowledge of how servers, firewalls, routers and other devices work. Not only they are expected to install and perform troubleshooting of an organization’s data communication system, and provide technical support and network maintenance, but they also need to be able to supervise other computer technicians and communicate with non-IT professionals.

Tasks Network Administrators Perform:

  • Discuss and determine the needs of customers in a network and computer system;
  • Install network hardware and software;
  • Manage an organization’s network equipment, handle upgrades and repair it if necessary;
  • Ensure computer systems operate properly on a daily basis;
  • Evaluate data, diagnose issues and make systems operate more efficiently;
  • Analyze network and system performance;
  • Identify network systems problems and find solutions;
  • Maintain network security, ensure data storage works correctly;
  • Add users to a computer system and show them how to work with network hardware and software;
  • Communicate with other specialists such as computer systems managers and network architects;
  • Decide in what equipment is needed to best meet the organization’s requirements;
  • Provide technical assistance and operations support to non-IT workers.

What is the Average Salary for Jr. Network Administrators as Compared to Senior Professionals?

Junior network and computer systems administrator earn an average of $45,000 per year. Experts consider that the years of experience have weak influence on cash compensations, those more experienced not necessarily earning higher wages.

While an entry-level network systems administrator salary is around $47,000, a professional with more than 5 years of experience earns around $55,000, and the average payment for IT workers with more than 10 years of experience is around $58,000. A senior network administrator has a slightly bigger paycheck of around $62,000.

Job Requirements

From the educational point of view, there are some employers who require only a postsecondary certificate, but a Bachelor’s Degree in IT and Computer Science or a related field is desirable.

As network administrators need to prove technical knowledge and skills, it is acceptable to be hired with a degree in computer engineering as well or even electrical engineering.

Computer Science and Information Technology are ever-growing fields and professional administrators are required to keep step with new technologies and developments. Having a master’s degree is considered an advantage.

Certifications also show a high level of competence and might be the key to successful applications.

General Skills Network Administrators Have in Their CVs

  • Technical Skills/ Computer Skills)
  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Problem-solving Skills
  • Multi-tasking Skills

Popular Network Administrator Skills

Best paid IT Network Administrators master System Administration, Cisco Networking, SQL, Windows 2003 Server, Microsoft Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange.  

These skills can boost their paycheck with 5 to 11 percent above the average.

Where Do Network Administrators Work?

Typical work environments for network administrators are to be found in all kinds of industries and work areas. They are practically needed everywhere as more and more organizations operate with computer systems. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics registered no less than 366,400 jobs in 2012 across the States.

Network administrators are more likely to be employed in the following industries:

  • Finance
  • Information
  • Computer Systems Design
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Private Organizations

According to BLS, most popular industries are the first two on the above list, offering an average wage of $77K per year.

Among the best paying employers you can find U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Marine Corps, General Dynamics Information Technology Inc, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and Compuweigh. 

Work Hours

Most of network and computer systems administrators work full time, 40 hours per week or more.

As this is a demanding occupation, for big organizations especially, administrators might be required to work overtime. Statistics show that more than 25% of these administrators work over 40 hours every week.

Job Prospects

Good news for future-to-be network administrators. Prospects look good for those wishing to take up such a career path in the next few years.

According to the Employment Projection program of US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an employment growth of 12% is expected from 2012 to 2022 as there will be more than 40,000 jobs made available.

As regards the demand of network administrators, a boost of opportunities is projected in healthcare institutions as the use of information technology becomes a necessity.

Job prospects are now favorable for those who have a Bachelor’s Degree in IT and Computer Science or related subjects and have knowledge of the latest technologies in the field, especially cloud computing.

Also, the job opportunities for network administrators in the computer systems design services is expected to show a 35% growth in the next 7 years.

Network administrators who are excellent in what they do can orientate to advance positions and become computer network architects or computer and information systems managers. Their annual earnings may rise dramatically for those who have the chance to become Information Technology Directors as the average salary for an IT Director can exceed $100k per year.

But until reaching such a position, a network administrator has to become a Senior Network Administrator, with an average annual salary reaching $70K, and then an IT Manager, earning in average $80K per year.

Job Facts Summary


Network System Administration Average Salary as for May 2015  $55K
Entry-level Average Salary (0-5 years) $45K – $47K
Mid-level Career Average Salary (>5 years) $58K
Senior Average Salary (>10 years) $60K – $70K
Education Requirements  Postsecondary Certificate minimumInternships

Bachelor Degree in Computer Science or related subjects

Master’s Degree (advanced work skills)

Certification and Licenses Cisco and Microsoft Certifications  
Job Experience   On-the-job Trainings
Work Environment  Finance, Information, Computer systems related services, Education, Healthcare, Private
Best Paying Employer  Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) 
Best Paying Market Washington (+27% above the average), New York (+21%), San Diego (+14%), Los Angeles (+12%), Minneapolis (+12%)
Lowest Paying Market Miami (-9%)
Job Prospects 2012 – 2022 12% employment growth35% employment growth in computer systems design
Work Schedule 40 hrs/ week and over


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