Featured Schools

    Boston University
    Regis University
    Friends University

Signup for email updates!

Email signup

Computer Systems Administrator Career

Career Description

A Computer Systems Administrator designs, installs, and supports an organization’s computer systems. They are responsible for local-area networks (LAN), wide-area networks (WAN), network segments, and Internet and intranet systems.

Common Work Tasks

  • Maintain network hardware and software, analyze problems, and monitor networks to ensure their availability to system users
  • Gather data to identify customer needs and then use the information to identify, interpret, and evaluate system and network requirements
  • Plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures
  • Maintain network efficiency
  • Ensure that the design of an organization’s computer system allows all of the components, including computers, the network,  and software, to work properly together
  • Monitor and adjust the performance of existing networks and continually survey the current computer site to determine future network needs
  • Troubleshoot problems reported by users and by automated network monitoring systems and make recommendations for future system upgrades
  • Test and evaluate hardware and software to determine efficiency, reliability, and compatibility with existing system, and make purchase recommendations
  • Read technical manuals and brochures to determine which equipment meets establishment requirements

Other Job Titles

Computer Systems Administrators are also known by other titles, including:

  • Network Administrators
  • Network Architects        
  • Computer Scientists
  • Telecommunications Specialists
  • Systems Programmers
  • Internet Developers

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
For computer systems administrator jobs, many employers seek applicants with bachelor’s degrees, although not necessarily in a computer-related field.

A number of companies are becoming more flexible about requiring a college degree for support positions.  In the absence of a degree, however, certification and practical experience are essential. Certification training programs, offered by a variety of vendors and product makers, may help some people to qualify for entry-level positions.

  People interested in becoming a computer systems administrator must have strong problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills because troubleshooting and helping others are vital parts of the job. The constant interaction with other computer personnel, customers, and employees requires computer systems administrators to communicate effectively on paper, via e-mail, over the phone,  or in person. Strong writing skills are useful in preparing manuals for employees and customers.


The median annual salary for a Computer Systems Administrator is $65,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $101,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $40,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of computer systems administrators are:

  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services - $72,360
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises - $79,060
  • Elementary and Secondary Schools - $57,010
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools - $58,810
  • Wired Telecommunications Carriers - $71,900

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  27%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 83,000
  • Employment 2006 : 309,000
  • Employment 2016:  393,000

Related Articles

  • No Entries Found
Ask An Expert: Real Questions, Expert Answers

Ask your Question