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Your Next Move: Linux Administrator

Your Next Move: Get the Inside Scoop on IT Job RolesThis article is part of an IT Career News series called Your Next Move. These articles take an inside look at the roles related to CompTIA certifications. Each article will include the responsibilities, qualifications, related job titles and salary range for the role. As you consider the next move in your IT career, check back with CompTIA to learn more about your job prospects and how to get there.

More technology runs on Linux than you probably realize. It’s very likely that everything from the car you drive to the video games you play at home runs on Linux, even your favorite online shopping destination. It’s incorporated everywhere, so it’s no surprise that people who know this operating system backward and forward are of great value to many organizations. If you have these skills, a role as a Linux administrator could be your next move.

What Is a Linux Administrator?

A Linux administrator is a back-end IT specialist who installs, configures and maintains Linux operating systems in the following ways:

  • Installs and configures Linux systems including back-end databases and scripts
  • Performs system maintenance by reviewing error logs
  • Creates system backups
  • Monitors system performance to prevent slowdowns and crashes
  • Provides technical support
  • Maintains system security

A Linux administrator is an important member of the IT team at any organization but is generally found at medium to large organizations. They are responsible for completing routine security audits and administrative scripting with computer languages such as Perl, Python and Shell. The Linux administrator is often the point person between the organization and the end user and is tasked with coordinating internal teams to drive projects and improvements.

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How to Become a Linux Administrator

Most companies looking for a Linux administrator are looking for a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. Many organizations also want to see a relevant Linux certification to validate a candidate’s training and knowledge of Linux operating systems.

But understanding Linux is not the only skill needed for this position. Qualified Linux administrators will also have skills in application development, systems hardware, web services, Python, Windows and SQL.

Also, you can’t forget about troubleshooting and communication skills. Since the role of a Linux administrator is part technical guru and part people manager, these skills are just as important.

Certifications like CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Linux+ can set you on the right path to becoming a Linux administrator.

CompTIA Network+ helps develop a career in IT infrastructure covering troubleshooting, configuring and managing networks. The new CompTIA Network+ N10-008 exam was released in September 2021. It’s recommended that you become CompTIA Network+ certified or have equivalent knowledge and experience before pursuing CompTIA Linux+.

CompTIA Linux+ validates the skills of IT pros with hands-on experience configuring, monitoring and supporting servers running on the Linux operating system.

The exam focuses on the following skills:

  • Security
  • Kernel modules
  • Storage and virtualization
  • Device management at the enterprise level
  • Git and automation
  • Networking and firewalls
  • Server side and command line
  • Sever coverage
  • Troubleshooting
  • SELinux

In addition to certifications, CompTIA offers a full suite of training products to help you learn the technical and professional skills necessary to become a Linux administrator. Check out the CompTIA Career Roadmap to see what other certifications can help you land this role.

The Details

Linux Administrator Salary Range

The median salary for network and computer systems administrators, which includes Linux administrators, is $84,810 a year (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)).

Linux Administrator Job Outlook

From 2020 to 2030, the BLS projects an increase of 5% for the category of network and computer systems administrators with 18,800 net new jobs expected during that 10-year period.

Job Titles Related to Linux Administrator

Read about more IT jobs featured in Your Next Move.

Will your next move be Linux administrator? If so, download the exam objectives for CompTIA Linux+ to learn more.

About the Author

With more than 2,000 members, 3,000 academic and training partners and tens of thousands of registered users spanning the entire information communications and technology (ICT) industry, CompTIA has become a leading voice for the technology ecosystem.

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