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Home » Roles » Systems administrator

Systems administrator

System administrators play a pivotal role in maintaining a company’s internal computer system.

They are one of the most important people who keep a company running smoothly and without any unwanted interruptions.

Continue reading this article to learn more about this role, the duties and responsibilities that come with it, and what skills to look for when hiring or outsourcing one.

What is a systems administrator?

A systems administrator, or sysadmin, is an information technology (IT) expert who ensures a business’s computer systems are fully operational. 

Systems administrators are responsible for keeping things running smoothly and providing assistance when issues arise. This involves monitoring the company’s internal servers, preventing cyber threats and malware, and gatekeeping access from unauthorized users.

Duties of a systems administrator

A systems administrator has a wide range of responsibilities to help keep a company running.

Technical support

Technical support is one of the sysadmins’ main responsibilities and what they spend most of their time doing. They are at the frontline when dealing with technical concerns or issues.

They may be in charge of attending to customer service tickets or fixing an internal company problem, such as Wi-Fi interruptions or software problems.

Operating system management

A system administrator ensures that all employees are using the best and most updated operating system on their computer so they can do their daily work efficiently.

Part of this job involves updating the system when needed, installing firewalls and other preventive measures, and any necessary hardware repairs.

Conducting regular security checks

System administrators are responsible of making sure a company’s infrastructure is well-secured and safe from threats. They perform daily security checks and backups in case of a system failure.

If a system failure occurs, the sysadmins’ will restor it while ensuring data and other information are not lost.

Managing permissions

System admins are responsible for monitoring and regulating who has access to the computer servers and systems. This involves managing logins, sign-on policies, and preventing unauthorized access.

Data security

Sysadmins are crucial in maintaining the safety and confidentiality of private information.  They are essential in implementing data security protocols to prevent data leaks, hackers, and other threats.

Skills and requirements needed in a systems administrator

A systems administrator requires a unique set of skills to do the job well. Here are some of the qualities and requirements to look for:

Technical expertise

Since sysadmins will be working with computers the entire time, the ideal candidate must have the necessary technical knowledge to do the job. 

This covers a wide range of areas, such as operating systems, cloud computing, networks, and hardware and software.

Problem-solving skills

System administrators will be attending to several tech problems daily, so it is important that they possess relevant problem-solving skills in order to solve these issues.

They must figure out the root of the problems, identify bottlenecks, and troubleshoot them before they escalate into larger issues.

Analytical skills

Analytical skills are crucial for systems administrators to determine whether the company’s system is performing well. It helps them identify potential vulnerabilities and optimize system configurations.

They need to be able to analyze logs, monitor system metrics, and interpret data to make objective decisions about system improvements and security enhancements.

System administrator certifications

Certifications are not mandatory, but they help verify a sysadmin’s competencies and skills. 

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is one of the leading providers of IT certifications. Some common certifications to look for include:

  • CompTIA A+ (Foundational IT skills)
  • CompTIA Network+ (Wired and wireless device management)
  • CompTIA Security+ (Network security)

Where to hire a systems administrator

System administrators can be hired or outsourced through various platforms. Listed below are some of the most common ways to find the best candidates.

1. Job posting sites

You can easily find and reach out to system administrator candidates on sites like:

2. Freelance sites

You can hire sysadmins on freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr and have them work on a contract basis or for short-term projects.

3. Recruitment agencies

Consider enlisting the help of a recruitment agency that specializes in IT and other technical roles. These firms assist with the whole hiring process and can direct you to a pool of candidates.

4. Referrals

You can ask your current employees or other connections to recommend qualified candidates for the position.

Salary comparison

The salary of a systems administrator may vary depending on experience level and location. 

According to Indeed, a systems admin from the United States makes an average of $83,381 a year. To compare, Talent.com reports that a systems admin from the Philippines makes around ₱480,000/year.

The table below shows a rough breakdown of the annual salary of systems administrators according to experience level.

Philippines₱ 300,000₱ 480,000₱ 774,000

On-site vs. Remote setup for a systems administrator

System administrators can work either on-site in a physical office or remotely from home, depending on what is required.

On-site sysadmins have easier access to physical hardware and other equipment needed for the job, which is beneficial for hands-on maintenance and troubleshooting. This also allows them to respond immediately to issues and tackle them in person.

Meanwhile, remote sysadmins have more flexibility and can still manage IT tasks thanks to advancements in remote access technologies, collaboration tools, and monitoring software.

Systems administrator job description template

You may edit this systems administrator job description template according to your specific hiring needs. 

Furthermore, this list of interview questions may serve as a guide to finding the best candidate.

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