Server Administrator Job Description
Server Administrators are in charge of setting up and maintaining the servers and networks of their employers. This includes connecting workstations to the company network and monitoring the network for any potential issues. Their main goal is to keep their employer’s network operating at maximum efficiency. Many midsize and large organizations have at least one dedicated Server Administrator on their payroll, but it is also possible to gain employment with an agency that focuses on server administration. Server Administrators typically work regular office hours in your standard office environment. Their work involves collaboration, so those who thrive in groups do best in this position.
The role of Server Administrator is partly a supervisory position. While they do have authority over junior IT staff, managing them is not their primary job function. They collaborate with fellow IT staff to diagnose and fix network issues as quickly as possible. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Network and Computer Systems Administrators, which includes Server Administrators, is set to rise 6 percent through 2024.
Server Administrator Duties and Responsibilities
Keeping a company server operating at maximum efficiency involves several duties and responsibilities. We analyzed job descriptions to come up with the following list of most common Server Administrator duties and responsibilities.
Server Administrators are responsible for creating new user accounts for new employees and removing the accounts of ex-employees. They are also responsible for recovering lost passwords and keeping user data secure. Part of this duty requires Server Administrators to help non-IT employees with any technical issues.
Develop and Implement Network Maintenance Standard Operating Procedure
To keep a server operating at its best condition, Server Administrators must create and implement a network maintenance SOP. This involves regularly updating operating systems and databases with the latest updates, as well as checking all hardware within employee workstations for issues.
Diagnose and Repair Hardware and Network Malfunctions
When employees have an issue with their workstation, they call the Server Administrator to find and fix the problem. This involves running diagnostic tests to determine whether the issue is hardware or software. Sometimes it is as simple as a loose wire, and other times the machine is fried completely. It is the Server Administrator’s responsibility to determine the severity of the issue and respond accordingly.
Develop and Implement Network Security Strategy
In today’s digital age, network security is crucial. It is the responsibility of the Server Administrator to ensure security firewalls are updated regularly and remain fully functional.
Keep Upper Management Informed With Regular Reports
Upper management doesn’t need to know all of the technical details involved in keeping their network running – that’s what they pay their Server Administrator for. The Server Administrator provides upper management with regular reports outlining pertinent information.
Server Administrator Skills
The role of Server Administrator is a technical position that requires hard IT skills and knowledge. Server Administrators must have a working knowledge of TCP/IP, DNS, DHCP, LAN and WAN to troubleshoot and address server issues. They must also know about firewalls, proxy and databases to keep the network and user information secure. Server Administrators also have to be good communicators as part of their job involves helping non-IT users with common hardware and software issues. Here are the skills that most employers are looking for in Server Administrator candidates.
- Using knowledge of TCP/IP, DNS, LAN and WAN to maintain server functionality
- Using analytical and reasoning skills to troubleshoot and repair server issues
- Communicating effectively with colleagues across teams as well as company management
Tools of the Trade
Server Administrators use various digital tools to do their job, which you can find listed below.
- Security Software – Server Administrators use their preferred brand of security software to keep their employer’s digital information secure
- Operating Systems – Server Administrators are experts in using the operating system of their employer, which could be Windows, iOS or Linux
- Computers, Printers and Related Hardware – Server Administrators are responsible for installing all of the hardware on a network, which includes monitors, CPUs, routers, printers, copiers and scanners
Server Administrator Education and Training
Server Administrators generally only need an Associate’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology or a related field to find employment. Classes taken during their education include information security, the foundational principles of computer science and the various programming languages and system tools used by Server Administrators. In addition to an Associate’s degree, some employers may require certification from specific vendors. The most common vendors are Redhat, Microsoft, Cisco and CompTIA.
Server Administrator Salary
According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for Network and Computer Systems Administrators, which includes Server Administrators, is $79,700. Those in the top 10 percent make above $127,610, while those in the bottom 10 percent make below $48,870.
Server Administrator Resources
Does becoming a Server Administrator sound like a rewarding career path? If so, check out the following list of resources to get you started.
PASS – PASS is a thriving organization of data professionals who focus on the Microsoft platform. It has over 250,000 members in countries around the world, and it provides members with a ton of resources. PASS hosts webinars and also does many in-person workshops and conferences throughout the year. Another great resource on its website is a directory of industry blogs and Twitter accounts.
WinSysAdminBlog - This blog is updated once a month and covers topics like server administration, network management, scripting and endpoint management. The author interjects real-world experience in every post and also includes graphics to help readers understand the concepts being covered.
4Sysops – 4Sysops is a website geared towards developers and system administrators. It is constantly updated with new content from a variety of bloggers. In addition to the blog, 4Sysops has a wiki filled with IT terms and concepts, as well as forums for networking opportunities.
The Practice of System and Network Administration: DevOps and Other Best Practices for Enterprise IT by Thomas A. Limoncelli et. all - While this book goes into some things that are more for developers than Server Administrators, it still provides great information about managing the servers of a large enterprise. It’s a great read for aspiring Server Administrators.
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