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2022 State of System Administration

Meredith Kreisa headshot
Meredith Kreisa|January 24, 2022
2022 State of Sysadmin
2022 State of Sysadmin

We may not write you the love songs you deserve, but we’ve done the next best thing. The 2022 State of System Administration is here! Buckle your seatbelts, and prepare for a thrilling adventure into the current state of system administration. We’ll try to keep the off-pitch but heartfelt crooning to a minimum.  

PDQ partnered with SimpleMDM to survey over 400 sysadmins with varying experience levels in diverse industries. Their insights helped us uncover salary information, popular tools, cybersecurity trends, and more. You can download the full report here, but here are some of our key takeaways to whet your appetites!

Sysadmin salaries

Want to know how much your sysadmin peers are raking in? We’ve got the answers to help you understand how Gary affords all those sweet polos. Average salary is closely linked to years of experience, though industry also plays a role. 

  • Three-quarters of sysadmins with at least ten years of experience earned over $75,000.

  • Professionals working in financial services, professional services, and public service industries took home the highest average salaries.

Industry and Years of Sysadmin

The sysadmin toolbox

The right tools can make a sysadmin’s job easier and reduce the need for dangerous levels of caffeine. But with so many options available, which are most common? We’ve got your answers. 

  • PDQ Inventory is one of the most popular asset management solutions, and PDQ Deploy tops the list of software deployment tools. Aw, shucks. You’re making us blush.

  • Other popular asset management tools include Lansweeper and ManageEngine, while SCCM and Microsoft Endpoint Manager are also common software deployment solutions.

  • Almost 40% of sysadmins manage and configure systems without the help of software. The remaining 61% favor MDT, SmartDeploy, and Clonezilla.

Top install and configure software
  • Sysadmins trust TeamViewer, AnyDesk, Splashtop, and Dameware for end-user assistance.

  • 62% of sysadmins report using a mobile device management software, with Microsoft Intune, Jamf, and SimpleMDM topping the list. 

Top Mobile Device Management

Sysadmin work environment

For most sysadmins, no two days are alike. However, we spotted some trends that may help paint a clearer picture of what day-to-day environment looks like for the average sysadmin. Cue David Attenborough narration. 

  • 28% of sysadmin work for companies with less than 100 employees, 39% of sysadmin are employed by companies of 101-500 employees, and 33% of sysadmin work for companies greater than 500 employees.

Total employees in each sysadmin's company 2022
  • Over 80% of sysadmins manage at least 101 devices.

  • Three-quarters of sysadmins report that at least 25% of their workforce was remote in 2021.

  • Over 70% of sysadmins say software deployment and patch management are somewhat or very time consuming. 

  • 97% of sysadmins manage Windows devices, 63% manage iOS devices, and 48% manage Linux devices.

Cybersecurity threats lurk around every corner, and sysadmins are on the front lines of protecting their organizations. Fight on, brave warriors!

  • 66% of respondents experienced a cybersecurity event in the last five years.

  • The healthcare industry is a prime target.

  • 60% of sysadmins report high stress levels. 

So what does it all mean?

Let’s not get too existentialist, but the 2022 State of System Administration highlights tactical lessons you can use on the job. Here are some of our favorite tidbits: 

  • Get comfortable talking about pay and asking for what you deserve. Our salary data can give you a jumping-off point. 

  • If you handle hundreds of computers alone, talk to your boss about hiring additional support. Putting together a strong team can decrease risks to the organization and make your job less stressful. 

  • Remote work is here to stay. Official work-from-home policies are critical to protecting the company and saving your time. 

  • Ever-growing cybersecurity threats require constant vigilance from sysadmins. Take proactive measures to protect your organization. 

  • The sysadmin toolbox is massive. Communities like r/sysadmin are essential forums for understanding solutions and pricing. 

Download the full 2022 State of System Administration report for more edge-of-your-seat information on the latest trends in system administration. While you’re at it, subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog to stay on top of the industry insights.

Meredith Kreisa headshot
Meredith Kreisa

Meredith gets her kicks diving into the depths of IT lore and checking her internet speed incessantly. When she's not spending quality time behind a computer screen, she's probably curled up under a blanket, silently contemplating the efficacy of napping.

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