Thursday, Feb 20 2014

IT Administrator Salaries: Where Do You Stand?

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Just as with every field, not all IT administrator salaries are the same. Your earnings—both your potential and actual income—can be affected by a number of factors. Figuring it out can be tricky, but it’s good to know what you should be worth while you’re on the job search path. You can use your estimated salary as a negotiating point with potential employers, as well as a tool to discount lowball offers.

Types of IT administrators

One of the major factors in calculating IT administrator salary is the type of job you’re qualified to work. There are dozens of possibilities here, from broad administrator roles to specialized niches. Three of the most common general categories are:

Network and computer systems administrator: This is the broadest type of IT administrator. The role may be described as both network and systems admin, especially for smaller companies—but in larger companies, there may be separate positions for network administrators and systems administrators.

Duties and responsibilities for these positions tend to overlap, which is why they’re often combined. However, when they’re available as separate roles, the systems administrator is usually the more skilled—and therefore the higher paid—of the two.

According to, the average salary for:

  • Systems administrators is $77,000
  • Network administrators is $70,000
  • Network and systems administrators is $76,000

Database administrator: This highly sought-after position is becoming increasingly important to organizations in the age of Big Data. Database admins can find work on a variety of levels, from database integration to creation, development, and maintenance. They may work in-house for companies, or as external consultants. reports that the average salary for a database administrator is $74,000.

Web administrator: Specialists in maintaining websites, the web administrator approves content, monitors speed, analyzes data on traffic patterns, and implements user suggestions for improvements on websites. In today’s business culture, this role is often blended with other IT responsibilities—so the average salary for web administration alone is $61,000, according to

Factors that affect IT administrator salaries

Outside the type of IT admin role, there are many things that affect your salary potential. These can include:

  • Education. Both the degree earned and the quality of the institution can impact your salary. Having the right degree for the job, obtained at a well-regarded college or university, will give you the best chance at a higher salary.
  • Skills. This factor is high on the list for determining salary. The more relevant skills you have, the better you can expect to be paid—as long as you’re able to demonstrate that you can use those skills.
  • Experience. Although IT is a relatively young industry, experience still counts for a lot. IT administrators with 5 or more years of experience can command double, or even triple, the salary of entry-level professionals.
  • Certifications. Many companies require their IT staff to have certain certifications. If you already have them, you’ll be worth more in terms of salary than a potential employee who has to be certified on the company dime. Optional certifications that are considered a plus can also increase your salary potential.
  • Company size and location. This is one salary factor that you won’t have much control over. Salaries vary from company to company, and region to region, in the United States. Generally, you can expect larger companies to pay more than small businesses, and companies in major urban areas to pay more than rurally located companies.

A working knowledge of your anticipated salary can help you ensure that you’ll be paid what you’re worth as an IT administrator. Take the time to calculate your potential salary before your next interview, and you’ll be able to negotiate with confidence. If you are looking for IT administrator jobs in San Francisco CA, contact our team today.