Are you interested in system analysis and possess good analytical, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills? Then, a system administrator career can be a good choice for you.
System Administrators configure, manage, update and maintain business technology networks. They repair faulty networks, train system users, and manage downtimes to ensure optimum system integrity, backup, security, and performance.
This blog will help you learn how to become a systems administrator in Australia. It takes you step-by-step through each aspect of the profession, including job responsibilities, learning paths, requisite skills, courses, qualifications, job outlook, and average salary.
1. Who Is A System Administrator?
Systems Administrators are versatile tech professionals who install and manage computer networks and systems in an organisation.
They oversee the configuration and continued management of networks of desktop PCs, server systems, wireless networks, and other networks.
Systems Administrators also operate and maintain system databases, computer networks, and IT security systems.
They deal with varying technical aspects of a computer server, including system design, system analysis, network commands, system troubleshooting, and disaster recovery.
2. Reasons To Become System Administrator In Australia
Here are the key reasons that make becoming a system admin an excellent career choice for now and in the future:
Working to make computer systems safer, more efficient, and more reliable gives job satisfaction.
This is a varied and evolving role where you keep learning about emerging systems and networks throughout your job.
While working, you gain transferrable soft skills such as organisation, administration, problem-solving, and communication skills that can benefit you in numerous other careers. You develop technical skills such as software installation, automation, and server security that can lead to many in-demand career opportunities in IT and other industries.
An attractive salary is another important reason that makes it a highly sought-after profession in Australia. Systems admin draws competitive salary packages, perks, and bonuses that increase with experience.
Due to the increased reliance of businesses on computers, this profession is future-proof and stable. There are ample job opportunities available across several industries. The Australian Government projects steady and robust growth for systems administrators in the coming years.
3. Duties Of A System Administrator
System Administrators ensure the efficient, secure, and reliable performance of an organisation’s computer network systems, including LANs, WANs, wireless networks, intranets, and associated hardware and software.
Their day-to-day responsibilities include:
Develop, implement and maintain the network, database, and system security procedures and plans
Develop criteria and processes to use and procure software and database management systems properly.
Perform routine performance assessments, update obsolete software apps, and maintenance of IT systems
Configure data backup operations and execute disaster recovery plans
Administer internet and intranet traffic to protect the organisation’s IT systems from unauthorised access and cyber threats
Deliver a quick, professional response in critical situations
Perform help desk duties, either on-site or at remote locations
Ensure proper data storage on an organisation’s systems
Ensure the system is processing data as per relevant data protection and security standards
Analyse hardware and software to detect the cause of an issue and restore the whole system functionality asap
Inform staff about changes and updates in system security
Train system users on using new hardware devices and software and security measures.
Install new RAM modules and replace defective hard disks
Connect computers to intranet networks, configure new workstations and accounts and install software applications
Set up backup and recovery strategies to prevent loss of sensitive information.
Monitor computer network and security systems, and troubleshoot server-related hardware and software issues.
Offer assistance in the diagnosis, resolution, and repair of software and server-related hardware
4. Relevant Skills for Systems Administrator
A successful systems administrator has the right combination of communication and technical skills.
Below are the requisite professional skills to succeed in the role of a systems administrator:
Knowledge of the software and hardware IT system components
Sound understanding of IT systems and network security concepts
Familiarity with crucial Operating Systems such as Linux, Unix, Android, Windows, and Apple
Knowledge of computer network types and protocols such as WAN, WI-FI, LAN, etc.
Knowledge of VoIP, ATM, and IP networks
Knowledge of Cloud technologies
Knowledge of firewalls, remote access systems, security systems, IPS, and IDS
Able to understand complex issues and devise impactful solutions
Willingness to update IT knowledge
Knowledge of firewalls, access control systems, cyber security tools, and techniques
Knowledge of system administration environments and practices, including computer servers, server-side technologies, and administrator tools
Able to design precise and affordable solutions efficiently
Good Organisational and Planning skills
Able to remain calm under pressure
Strong Problem-solving skills
Time Management skills
Customer service skills
Able to communicate clearly
Excellent verbal communication
Able to work independently
Able to work under tight deadlines
Able to multitask and prioritise tasks
Able to explain complex tech concepts in an understandable manner
5. Required Qualifications For a Systems Administrator
To be a Systems Administrator, you don’t need formal qualifications. However, employers prefer candidates with relevant industry certifications or qualifications in Information Technology.
Here are the steps to qualify for a Systems Administrator role:
Gain Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in English and mathematics
Complete a Bachelor’s degree in IT, computer engineering, or electronic engineerings, such as a Bachelor of Information Technology, Bachelor of Computer Science, or Bachelor of Business Information Systems.
Alternatively, complete a Certificate IV in Information Technology (Systems Administration Support) or a Diploma of Information Technology.
Earn additional industry-recognised certifications such as A+, Network+, and Server from leading learning platforms, including Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco. These certifications will improve your job prospects both within Australia and abroad.
Consider getting on-the-job training to gain work experience as a help desk technician or technical support specialist.
Gain membership in the Australian Computer Society, and attain ACS certification as ACS Certified Professional and ACS Certified Technologist.
6. Steps To Become A Systems Administrator In Australia
The section below discusses the several career paths you can choose to become a systems administrator.
Step 1: Study System Administration Education
The first step to learning how to become a junior system administrator is to gain relevant education. One of the ways is to study bachelor’s degree in computer science, electronic engineering, or a related discipline. Recommended degree options include a Bachelor of Information Technology or a Bachelor of Computer Science.
This 4-to-5-year degree course will give you adequate knowledge of programming languages, operating systems, computer networks, and networking services. You will also learn about database management and system analysis.
The second way to become a Systems Administrator is to relevant, complete certification and diploma programs such as:
Diploma of Information Technology
Certificate IV in Information Technology (Systems Administration Support)
Advanced Diploma of Information Technology
The third way to pursue this career is to study online IT courses or cyber security boot camps.
Step 2: Become A Certified System Administrator
Gaining industry-recognised certificates in system administration helps improve your credentials. It also helps gain mastery in designing and developing solutions to manage computer systems and enhance job success chances.
These courses focus on the latest technologies for cloud platforms, business applications, analytics, scripting, data server management, hybrid environments, troubleshooting, installations, mobility, and productivity.
You can complete these courses during college or after completing your graduation. Some of the highly recommended certifications include:
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification
MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate)
MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate)
MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert)
LPIC-1 Certified Linux Administrator certification
CompTIA Server+ certification
Red Hat Certified System Administrator certification
ACS Certified Professional and ACS Certified Technologist
Certification is optional if you hold a bachelor’s degree, but it will boost your resume. They are a good way for non-degree holders to prove their competency to potential employers.
Step 3: Look For An Internship
Employers generally look for a minimum of 3 to 5 years of relevant experience.
Internships allow you to gain real-world experience and build a solid professional network. It will make it easier for you to gain a full-time entry role as tech support or desktop helpdesk.
Step 4: Apply For a Junior Systems Administrator Position
Once you gain the necessary qualification and experience, begin your job search through job portals or directly reach out to a company. Highlight work experience in specific OS and industry certifications to strengthen your resume.
While you search for jobs, focus on self-education to stay updated on the emerging industry trends in Australia and worldwide. Community forums, industry publications, research articles, and membership in professional bodies can all help.
Industry Bodies For System Administrators:
7. How Long Does It Take To Become A Systems Administrator?
The time required to become a systems administrator depends on your chosen study pathway.
A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science can take 4 to 5 years.
Some candidates even enrol in a coding boot camp that takes 3 to 9 months of training. During this time, students gain extensive hands-on experience that prepares them for the sysadmin role.
Thus, becoming a qualified systems administrator can range from some months to 5 years.
8. How To Become A Systems Administrator Without A Degree?
You can work as a professional systems administrator without qualification. However, you should complete online coding boot camps, IT certification, or system admin courses to showcase your competency to the employer.
The good thing is that you can study these courses from the comfort of your home. As different employers may have additional job requirements, exploring the eligibility criteria of your desired employer will give you the best idea.
9. Career Opportunities For Systems Administrator In Australia
As almost every business depends heavily on stable IT operations, professional systems administrators will be in constant demand to manage and maintain computer networks.
Qualified systems administrators can work across various sectors, including the military, tech, data centres, education, business, finance, healthcare, and government organisations.
System administrators can start as junior system administrators or help desk technicians. With experience and skill, they can progress to take on senior roles and advance to the IT Manager position.
Those choosing to work on a self-employed basis can set up their business to offer consulting services in IT, information security, or network design.
Areas of Specialisation
Systems administrator can advance their learning and specialise in the following areas such as:
Networking System Administrator
VoIP system administrator
Information Technology Administrator
A network administrator can specialise in pursuing higher roles in the IT industry. The common areas of specialisation are Network Security, Messaging and communications, and Telecommunications.
10. Work Conditions For Systems Administrators in Australia
Systems Administrators generally work in corporate IT offices in Australia. With 91% of workers working full-time, the profession offers few part-time opportunities.
With the required IT expertise and experience, sysadmins also have opportunities to start a business or work as self-employed professionals.
Full-time workers work 41 hours per week, less than the industry’s average of 44 hours. They may need to work irregular hours to perform system backup and update operations during low-traffic periods, such as weekends and evenings.
To provide emergency support, system administrators may need to work 24-hour on-call.
The average age of the employed workforce in this profession is 39 years. Only 16% of workers are female, which is very low compared to the industry’s average of 48%.
11. Job Prospects For Systems Administrator In Australia
All types of Australian businesses have an increasing need to develop and maintain secure and efficient IT infrastructures. Thus, systems administrators enjoy excellent employment prospects in Australia and worldwide.
The Government’s Job Outlook website projects “Very Strong” future growth for Systems Administrators in Australia.
Systems Administrators work in almost all regions of Australia. Top recruiting industries for Systems Administrators include Education and Training, Finance, Healthcare, Public Administration and Safety, and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services.
12. How Much Is A System Administrator Salary in Australia?
The system administrator’s salary varies based on their qualification, years of experience, job location, and employer.
According to PayScale, the average salary in Australia is AU$ 70,656.
Average IT Systems Sdministrator Based on Experience
Entry-level systems Administrator (<1-year experience) earns AU$57,324
Early career Systems Administrator (1 to 4 years of experience) earns AU$63,851
Mid-career Systems Administrator (5 to 9 years of experience) earns AU$75,130
Experienced Systems Administrator (10 to 19 years of experience) earns AU$81,050
Average salary Based on Work Location
Sydney NSW: $101,432 per year
Canberra ACT: $100,974 per year
Brisbane QLD: $98,668 per year
Melbourne VIC: $96,148 per year
Perth WA: $94,393 per year
Newcastle NSW: $94,041 per year
Hobart TAS: $85,877 per year
Adelaide SA: $85,615 per year
System administration is a rewarding and responsible role that offers good career growth opportunities. You learn in-demand transferable skills that open the door to several high-paid job opportunities in IT and other industries.
Studying System Admin courses are the ideal route for technology enthusiasts to get started in this role and assist businesses in managing their IT systems.
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