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Average CompTIA Linux+ salary [2022 update]

Daniel Brecht
October 27, 2022 by
Daniel Brecht

With open-source talent increasingly difficult to find, it’s an excellent time to be in this field. According to The Linux Foundation’s 10th Annual Open-Source Jobs Report, “93% of hiring managers find it challenging to recruit all the open-source professionals [OSPs] they need.”

The need for OSPs is rising across all disciplines (Sysadmins, Developers and DevOps). Companies are recruiting and retaining those with adequate training or certification by offering higher salaries. The report shows how 58% of hiring managers give open-source talents higher salary increases than other business areas, and 67% of surveyed OPSs believe a salary increase would deter them from changing jobs; 41% of them see becoming certified as a means to command a higher salary.

As for the skills most important in influencing a hiring decision, the Linux Foundation’s report shows that the most in-demand competencies among hiring managers are “the ability to architect solutions based on open source software (67%); followed by the ability to deploy open source software (44%); experience with software development (42%) and knowledge of new tools (33%).”

Proficiency in container, cloud and orchestration concepts; familiarity with adopting Infrastructure as Code (IaC) technologies; knowledge of various Linux distributions and awareness of cybersecurity as it applies to the Linux threat landscape are all desirable skillsets, and OSPs can easily show employers they are well versed in all subjects by earning a CompTIA’s Linux+ certification. This credential suits entry-level professionals in many IT roles, including security analysts, penetration testers, threat hunters and cloud security administrators.

Why is Linux+ so popular?

Suppose you’re seeking a role as a Linux administrator, junior cloud engineer, DevOps support engineer, technical support specialist, systems or network administrator, web developer or cybersecurity engineer. In that case, CompTIA Linux+ can help you demonstrate you have the necessary skill set to install, configure and administer Linux systems. 

You can attend a Linux Fundamentals course, but adding a certification to your arsenal can greatly improve your chances when applying for a position or looking for a promotion. According to Linux Foundation’s Report, 69% of hiring managers are more likely to hire someone with a certification.

Another key area that has made the CompTIA Linux+ popular is the exam pattern, which is in domains:  

  • System Management
  • Security
  • Scripting, Containers and Automation
  • Troubleshooting

This method of focusing on key areas has helped many candidates prepare for the exam.

For specifics and subdomain topics, see the CompTIA Linux+ Certification Exam Objectives for XK0-005.

Average pay after Linux+ certification

The average salary for those who have earned the Linux+ certification is as follows, per PayScale:

  • Avg. Base Yearly Salary for CompTIA Linux+ Certification: $79,000
  • Avg. Base Hourly Rate for CompTIA Linux+ Certification: $27.07 

The Certification Magazine 2022 Salary Survey reports instead that the average base salary of a Linux+ certified professional is $105,140 in the U.S. and $101,080 worldwide.

CompTIA reports findings from Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass) show a median salary for Linux-related jobs of $97,000, which is more than double the national median wage.

Several factors influence salary, including location, job title, years of experience, organization size etc.

Job titles for Linux+ certified professionals

CompTIA Linux+ is an entry-level certification; you’ll probably be starting at the bottom of the ladder, but the credential can kickstart your career as a systems administrator or Linux administrator. As you gather experience, you can look towards higher-salary positions, like Senior Linux Administrator.

Below is the salary range for IT professionals who have CompTIA Linux+ according to PayScale (as of Aug 23, 2022):

  • Linux Systems Administrator: $47,000 - $147,000 per year
  • Systems Administrator: $49,000 - $91,000 per year
  • Senior Systems Administrator: $68,000 - $117,000 per year
  • System Engineer: $65,000 - $102,000 per year
  • Senior System Engineer: $46,000 - $121,000 per year
  • Network Administrator: $45,000 - $84,000 per year
  • Software Engineer: $66,000 - $102,000 per year 

According to Salary.com key findings in August 2022, the salary range for a Junior Linux Administrator job is from $43,429 to $56,763 per year in the United States. The range typically falls between $79,204 and $112,193 for a Linux Administrator, whereas the salary range is between $81,019 and $113,333 for a Senior Linux Administrator.

Different skillsets can also affect your salary. Here are some popular skills for Linux System Administrators and the associated salaries per year (as per PayScale):

  • Shell Scripting - $79,227
  • System Administration - $80,925
  • VMware ESX- $82,105
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)- $80,875
  • Puppet - $82,122
  • Python - $ 84,964

What sets Linux+ certification apart from other similar certifications?

CompTIA Linux+ is a top entry-level program in the IT industry today. Other options that professionals have include Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), which are more advanced and vendor-specific credentials.

The Linux+ certification was designed to better reflect skills needed by OSPs, in a junior Linux support engineer or junior cloud/DevOps support engineer job role. Companies are competing to find the right candidate to hire with a range of skills across networking, containers, continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), Git and fundamental scripting knowledge. A Linux+ certification can help you stand out from the crowd.

The Linux+ exam objectives cover the abilities and knowledge that hiring managers seek in professionals:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Kernel modules
  • Storage and visualization
  • Device management at an enterprise level
  • Git and automation
  • Networking and firewalls
  • Server side and command line
  • Server (vs. client-based) coverage
  • Troubleshooting
  • SELinux
  • Automation and scripting

Whether you want to work in cloud computing, development of IoT or AI, engineer embedded Linux systems or design large-scale data centers that manage virtual machines or container-based applications, a certification like CompTIA Linux+ can help you get there. The primary aim of this vendor-neutral Linux+ certification program is to enable candidates with a wide range of skills that organizations need to better their performance in complex IT environments working with open-source operating systems. Securing this credential can give you access to vacancies worth exploring and help your career growth. 

Sources:

Daniel Brecht
Daniel Brecht

Daniel Brecht has been writing for the Web since 2007. His interests include computers, mobile devices and cyber security standards. He has enjoyed writing on a variety of topics ranging from cloud computing to application development, web development and e-commerce. Brecht has several years of experience as an Information Technician in the military and as an education counselor. He holds a graduate Certificate in Information Assurance and a Master of Science in Information Technology.