Windows Administrator Job Description

Windows administrators are system administrators who specialize in installing, configuring, and maintaining Windows-based servers. This role encompasses back-end IT support for business-critical and development-related departments and personnel. Windows administrators also configure user access and maintain system stability and data security through deployment and migration.

This role requires extensive familiarity with Windows servers and frequently involves both risk assessment and user support tasks. Windows administrators leverage their expertise with the Windows operating system and server administration to develop and deploy servers, support day-to-day system performance, and prevent data loss and unauthorized access.


Windows Administrator Duties and Responsibilities

While the specific duties of a Windows administrator can vary based on their business and industry, the general responsibilities of this role include:

Install and Configure Windows Servers

A Windows administrator’s main responsibility is to install and set up Windows systems and servers. They develop servers and provide support to individual users to ensure that the system works reliably and quickly. They may also answer user questions throughout the setup and installation process. In this role, Windows administrators also build the server’s back-end architecture, including databases and scripts for specific applications and user needs.

Provide Technical Support and Guidance

Windows administrators also provide technical support and guidance to users and other administrators. In many cases, the Windows administrator works closely with IT departments and professionals to answer technical questions or resolve issues with server performance and access. They may directly install and maintain Windows-based programs for end users and help debug these applications so that they work with Windows servers.

Perform System Maintenance

Windows administrators also conduct system maintenance activities, usually on the server back end. This aspect of the role requires the Windows administrator to review error logs and user-reported errors and identify stable and reliable solutions. Frequently, Windows administrators need to work directly with the system’s code base to make necessary changes and then deploy those changes throughout the server.

Monitor System Performance

In addition to maintaining Windows systems and servers, Windows administrators also monitor performance to reduce interruptions and server crashes. This can involve monitoring daily traffic logs and reports or working directly with end users. If the Windows administrator identifies potential issues or bugs affecting server performance, they develop and deploy proactive solutions to ensure system usability across the organization.

Create System Backups

Windows administrators also perform system backups according to company or industry standards. They may back up systems weekly, daily, or more frequently depending on server space and a particular business’ needs. This helps to ensure that the system can be quickly recovered after a crash or other outage and supports data integrity by ensuring that vital information is not lost during an outage.

Maintain System Security

Windows administrators also maintain system security by noticing faults and vulnerabilities within the server’s architecture. This part of the job requires extensive knowledge of viruses and other sources of server vulnerability and requires the Windows administrator to develop and deploy protection measures, particularly when pushing out system-wide changes that can open up new vulnerabilities.


Windows Administrator Skills and Qualifications

Windows administrators have a high level of technical skill specifically focused on working within the Windows operating system environment. Generally, Windows administrators have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, several years’ experience in a server-side administrative role, and the following skills:

  • Server administration – Windows administrators need a high level of technical knowledge regarding Windows server setup, deployment, and maintenance
  • Programming and coding – expertise in coding and writing programs is vital in this role. Windows administrators frequently need to work directly with server code to improve performance
  • Information security – because they oversee server security, Windows administrators should also understand best practices and techniques to maintain and enhance information security
  • Analytical skills – this is a highly analytical role, requiring Windows administrators to interpret error logs, monitor system performance data, and assess user information to ensure server reliability
  • Communication skills – because they frequently work with both IT professionals and end users, Windows administrators need effective written and verbal communication skills
  • Problem-solving– Windows administrators often need to employ creative and technical problem-solving techniques while installing, configuring, and maintaining Windows systems and servers


Tools of the Trade

Windows administrators generally work in an office setting and use standard office equipment and software, in addition to these specialized programs:

  • Windows Server software (2008 R2, 2012 R2, 2016)
  • Enterprise management tools (Remedy, Bladelogic)


Windows Administrator Education and Training

While Windows administrators can find positions with an associate’s degree in a field such as information systems, job prospects are much better for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a technical field like computer science.

Additionally, Windows administrators can receive certification through Microsoft, which can help them secure jobs in the field. Most Windows administrators also have several years of experience working with server-side technologies, often under the supervision of a senior Windows administrator.


Windows Administrator Salary and Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for network and computer system administrators is $79,700. However, this estimate is significantly higher than salaries reported by Glassdoor and PayScale for Windows administrators. Glassdoor estimates an average annual salary of $68,978, while PayScale reports a median salary of $63,984 per year.

The BLS expects employment for network and computer system administrators to grow 6 percent through 2026.


Helpful Resources

We searched the web and found many resources if you’re interested in learning more about a career as a Windows administrator:

Microsoft Certifications – Windows administrators can receive certification from Microsoft focused on Windows Server 2012 and 2016

Windows Server 2016 Administration Fundamentals – author Bekim Dauti provides information on deploying and setting up Windows servers and provides study help for Microsoft certification exams

A Windows System Admin’s Blog – this blog provides an excellent look at the day-to-day life of a Windows administrator, in addition to technical information to solve common and uncommon issues that may arise

Microsoft Windows Server Administration Essentials – expert Tom Carpenter explores the core concepts of Windows administration and how server performance impacts organizations


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