The Web Administrator: Creating Website Magic

SPOILER ALERT: Learning about a web administrator’s job is like peeking behind the Web’s magical curtain. These web wizards are the brains that keep an organization’s online presence going.

Web administrator skills are in such high demand, they are now being shared across multiple roles. “This role has shifted as more companies use a system administrator to manage the servers behind a website, a web developer to develop the code, and a web content coordinator to manage the web pages and content,” acknowledges Ted Hellmuth, Robert Half Technology’s Director of Consulting in the Greater Denver area. Does this mean the web administrator role is pulling a vanishing act? Not necessarily.

Web Administrator salaries on the rise in 2014

Not all organizations have distributed the web administrator’s responsibilities, and many are increasingly reliant on highly skilled professionals to maintain their websites and support internal web-based applications.

A skilled web administrator in the United States can expected a 3.2 percent increase in starting salary this year.* Average starting compensation is projected to range from $63,500 to $95,750. (You can use the Robert Half Technology Salary Calculator to find salary information specific to your city.)

What it takes to be a web administrator

Below are some key qualifications for becoming a web administrator:

  • Thorough understanding of web technology and the Internet
  • Hands-on experience of website-related hardware and software (firewalls, intranets, domain name services, servers, etc.)
  • Familiarity with web services and internet protocols, such as TCP/IP, LDAP, FTP, HTTP and HTTPS
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field (sometimes you can substitute additional experience in a web-related position)

How to become a web administrator

The primary responsibility of the web administrator is the installation, customization, updating and maintenance of an organization’s internal and external web solutions. In larger organizations, this role may also include making strategic recommendations for upgrades and improvements to associated hardware and software, as well as monitoring customer feedback, responding to inquiries, evaluating various web performance metrics, and regularly providing reports and analyses.

Web administrators require more than just IT skills, though. Experience is key. Traditionally, those wanting to assume this role must work their way up the IT ladder, obtaining practical experience before they migrate to this position. However, showing initiative can go a long way. “Create a website or a mobile app that you can showcase to potential employers,” Hellmuth suggests. Doing so demonstrates you have the technical knowhow, initiative and business acumen to benefit an organization.

As a bonus, refining your development skills can add up to13 percent to the expected starting salary if you’re applying for a web administrator role. All things considered, to become a web administrator you must know how to satisfy users and support online growth, while preserving web security and connectivity.

Look to Robert Half Technology’s latest Salary Guide for a web administrator job description, as well as descriptions and starting compensation trends for a wide range of other IT jobs.

*Web administrator starting salaries in Canada are projected to increase 3.5 percent in 2014, with a starting salary ranging from $64,500 to $84,500.