Network and Computer Systems Administrators
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Overview
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Install, configure, and maintain an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), data communications network, operating systems, and physical and virtual servers. Perform system monitoring and verify the integrity and availability of hardware, network, and server resources and systems. Review system and application logs and verify completion of scheduled jobs, including system backups. Analyze network and server resource consumption and control user access. Install and upgrade software and maintain software licenses. May assist in network modeling, analysis, planning, and coordination between network and data communications hardware and software.
Titles for this career often contain these words
AdministratorSystemsNetworkSpecialistInformationTechnicalManagerSupportAreaCertifiedCoordinatorTechnologyITCiscoLANLocalComputerSecuritySystemAnalystISLinuxUnixWideWANApplicationNovellCNAInternetworkExpertCCIEAssociateCCNAProfessionalCCNPOperationsServicesHeadMailEnterpriseHardwareInstallationInternetMainframeMISManagementTechnicianNetworkingServerSharePointOperatorTelecommunicationsWindowWindows
Education
About 54% of network and computer systems administrators have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by network and computer systems administrators
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More network and computer systems administrators have bachelor's degrees than 70% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Network and computer systems administrators, with 383,900 workers, form a larger workforce than 87% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for network and computer systems administrators are expected to grow by 5%, and should have about 29,300 job openings a year.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for network and computer systems administrators compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most network and computer systems administrators earn.
$84K$0$50K$100K$150K
Gender
Women account for 18% of network and computer systems administrators -- that's a smaller percentage than 69% of other jobs.
Gender of network and computer systems administrators
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For network and computer systems administrators, the median men's salary was 12% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 22% of network and computer systems administrators are minority, and 15% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of network and computer systems administrators
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (15%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Network and Computer Systems Administrators per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of network and computer systems administrators who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (57%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (38%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do network and computer systems administrators earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for network and computer systems administrators (BLS Salary Data)
$84K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$84K$0$50K$100K$150K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for network and computer systems administrators (ACS Salary Data)
$73K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$73K$0$50K$100K$150K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire network and computer systems administrators.
Employers of Network and Computer Systems Administrators (ACS)
Private for-profit (68.8%)
Private not-for-profit (9.8%)
Local government (5.9%)
State government (6.7%)
Federal government (7.4%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.6%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.8%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of network and computer systems administrators by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$73K$71K$74K$75K$68K$67K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of network and computer systems administrators by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$84K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for network and computer systems administrators

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$80K$83K$84K$73K$63K$84K$55K$82K$39K$0$50K$100K$150K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
010K20K30K40K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Network and computer systems administrators and gender

With 18% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 69% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
18%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Network and computer systems administrators
Men (82%)
Women (18%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for network and computer systems administrators, with the median salary for men 12% higher than the median salary for women.

$66K$74K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Network and computer systems administrators have one of the smaller inequity calculations, with the increase for men's median salary over women's median salary in this job lower than that for 62% of other jobs.

12%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of network and computer systems administrators

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. The percentage of minority network and computer systems administrators falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of network and computer systems administrators
White (76% )
Asian (10% )
Black (9% )
Multiracial (2% )
Other (2% )
American Indian (0% )
Hispanic (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
22%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
15%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for network and computer systems administrators by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$54K$68K$69K$70K$72K$85K$85K$0$50K$100K$150KAmerican IndianOtherBlackMultiracialWhiteAsianHispanic
Distribution: Salaries for network and computer systems administrators by nativity
$71K$82K$0$50K$100K$150KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Network and computer systems administrators and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 4% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 83% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
4%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time network and computer systems administrators is shown following.

$21K$73K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by network and computer systems administrators

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network and computer systems administrators typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as network and computer systems administrators as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for network and computer systems administrators

Although some employers require only a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree, most require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. There are degree programs that focus on computer network and system administration. However, because administrators work with computer hardware and equipment, a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering usually is acceptable as well. Programs in these fields frequently include classes in computer programming, networking, or systems design.

Because network technology is constantly changing, administrators need to keep up with the latest developments. Many continue to take courses throughout their careers and attend information technology (IT) conferences to keep up with the latest technology. Some businesses require that administrators have a master’s degree.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for network and computer systems administrators

Companies generally require their network and computer systems administrators to be certified in the products they use. Certification programs usually are offered directly from vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates the knowledge and the use of best practices that are required of network and computer systems administrators. Microsoft and Cisco offer some of the most common certifications.

Education attained by network and computer systems administrators
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for network and computer systems administrators? Below we see the distribution of network and computer systems administrators salaries based on the education attained.

$60K$60K$69K$69K$74K$84K$84K$83K$0$50K$100K$150KNone (1%)High School (7%)Some College (23%)Associate's/Cert. (15%)Bachelor's Degree (41%)Master's Degree (12%)Professional Degree (1%)Doctorate (1%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
College majors held by network and computer systems administrators

This table shows the college majors held by people working as network and computer systems administrators.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Percentage of Network and computer systems administrators with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as network and computer systems administrators, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

Software DevelopersComputer ProgrammersComputer and Information ...Specialized ManagersSpecialized Computer Occu...Computer Systems AnalystsComputer User Support Spe...Software Quality Assuranc...Management AnalystsNetwork and Computer Syst...Information Security Anal...Accountants and AuditorsFinancial ManagersFirst-Line Supervisors of...Wholesale and Manufacturi...Chief executives and legi...Labor Relations Specialis...First-Line Supervisors of...Customer Service Represen...Elementary and Middle Sch...Electrical and electronic...Specialized EngineersArchitectural and Enginee...Civil EngineersAerospace EngineersRetail SalespersonsComputer Network Architec...Computer Hardware Enginee...Specialized Social Worker...Educational, Guidance, an...Specialized PsychologistsLawyers, and judges, magi...Postsecondary TeachersRegistered NursesEducation and childcare a...Computer ScienceGeneral Computer andInformation SystemsBusiness Management andAdministrationElectrical EngineeringManagement InformationSystems and StatisticsGeneral BusinessComputer AdministrationManagement and SecurityInformation SciencesComputer EngineeringPsychologyAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majorsEach major's top ten jobs
What college major is your best entry?

About 54% of people working as network and computer systems administrators have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%2.0%4.0%6.0%8.0%10.0%12.0%14.0%16.0%Percentage with this major$40,000$50,000$60,000$70,000$80,000$90,000$100,000$110,000$120,000Median salary with this major
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most network and computer systems administrators? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as network and computer systems administrators. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Network and Computer Systems Administrators per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.02.04.06.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where network and computer systems administrators earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for network and computer systems administrators compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for network and computer systems administrators.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Network and Computer Systems Administrators (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which network and computer systems administrators earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
Jobs that are similar by Interests with
All education levels
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