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What Are Some Entry-Level Systems Administrator Jobs?

Systems administrators install, troubleshoot and update network and computer systems within organizations. Read on to learn more about some entry-level positions in this field.

Entry-Level Job Options for Aspiring Systems Administrators

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many systems administrators first start out as computer support specialists with job titles such as help-desk technician and technical support specialist (www.bls.gov). Junior systems administrator positions are also available, with some companies providing employee training for these entry-level jobs.

In general, you can find work as a computer support specialist after earning an undergraduate certificate or associate's degree in information technology, computer science or a similar field. The BLS does note, however, that employers may prefer specialists who hold a bachelor's degree. Most computer systems administrators hold a bachelor's degree though some may find work with only a certificate or an associate's degree.

Important Facts About Entry-Level Systems Administration Jobs

Key Skills Computer competency, customer focused, attention to detail, problem-solving, critical thinking, clear written and spoken communication
Work Environment Computer systems design and related services; educational services; administrative and support services
Similar Occupations Computer and information systems managers; computer network architects; computer programmers; web developers; database administrators
Median Salary (2018) $82,050 (for all network and computer systems administrators); $53,470 (for all computer support specialists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% growth (for all network and computer systems administrators); 11% growth (for all computer support specialists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Help-Desk Technician

A job en route to becoming a systems administrator might include a stint as a help-desk technician. This entry-level position is heavily customer service-oriented, and duties include answering phone calls and e-mail help requests from desktop users regarding technical problems with computer hardware and software. As a help-desk technician, you'll also provide your employer with feedback on frequent issues that come up in your customer and client interactions.

Technical Support Specialist

As a technical support specialist, you're required to have a strong command of company network systems. You need to know how to monitor network activity while in the office or from remote locations. You might also be asked to perform system upgrades and resolve network connection issues. Additionally, you may assist in the training of others in your organization on newer software and hardware, which might involve writing a training guide.

Junior Systems Administrator

Some of your day as a junior systems administrator might be spent answering escalated help-desk questions from your company's desktop users and resolving their technical problems. You'll also be responsible for higher-level network issues that may include conducting system analyses, managing storage for company systems, monitoring and optimizing server activity, ensuring system security and diagnosing system problems. While you might work during normal business hours, your position as a junior systems administrator may also require you to be on call.