The demand for Linux professionals has been high for some time. The Linux Foundation found that Linux skills are the second most sought-after. That makes a Linux career worth it, and it has the potential to be very lucrative and secure in the face of economic downturns.
Note that Linux’s prominence in the tech industry is rising, and it is predicted to continue in the future. So if you’re an IT professional or a career shifter looking for promising work in 2023, the trends show that Linux is where it’s at.
Let’s dive deep into the Linux job market to help you decide on this path.
Linux Salary Trends
In May 2021, US computer and IT professionals, including those specializing in Linux, earned around $97,430, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s well above the $45,760 average salary for all occupations.
Education, certifications, additional skills, and years of experience are just some variables that can impact Linux professionals’ salaries. It can also vary depending on where they work. To give you an idea, here are the median incomes in the United States and Germany:
- The average Linux systems administrator salary in the US is $108,601 (Salary.com) or $100,522 (Glassdoor) per year.
- The average Linux systems administrator salary in Germany is €59,543 (Salary.com) or €60,763 (Glassdoor) per year.
Compared to salaries reported by other US-based tech professionals, these numbers are on par. For comparison, here are other tech job salaries according to Glassdoor as of April 2023.
- Systems administrator: $77,695
- Cloud computing analyst: $83,492
- Information systems security manager: $111,108
- Systems engineer: $112,841
- DevOps Engineer: $134,366
- Cloud engineer: $152,909
- Network architect: $179,973
- Cloud architect: $200,521
In-Demand Linux Skills
Any aspiring Linux professional should deeply understand the Linux operating system. Nonetheless, the following are also highly sought-after abilities of Linux professionals:
- Linux system administration: skills in administering Linux systems, such as setting them up and fixing problems if they arise.
- Cloud computing: familiarity with major cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
- DevOps: The ability to use DevOps tools and techniques, including containerization, automation, and continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD).
- Cybersecurity: expertise in Linux system security protocols and best practices
- Networking: experience with basic networking concepts such as packet capture, network routers and firewalls, hardware installation, and troubleshooting
- Scripting: Proficiency in scripting languages, such as Bash, Python, and Perl, to automate tasks and improve system efficiency
- Virtualization: creating and administering virtual machines using virtualization technologies like VMware and KVM
You will also have a leg up on the competition with these skills, as well as the following skills that employers also seek:
- Analytical skills: aptitude for dissecting complex issues and developing workable solutions
- Interpersonal skills: working well under pressure, collaborating on projects, and communicating effectively with team members and stakeholders.
Top Linux Certifications
Linux certifications would be highly beneficial because they would broaden your expertise, let you gain credibility in this field, and give you more career options and higher salaries.
Regardless of the state of the economy, certified professionals can always find work. The 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report found that 69% of hiring managers would be more inclined to hire a certified open-source professional in light of current labor market conditions.
So strive to gain the following certifications that employees seek:
- CompTIA Linux+: ideal for entry-level professionals and covers basic Linux skills, including installation, configuration, and maintenance
- Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA): designed for professionals who want to demonstrate their skills in managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems
- Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS): best for professionals who want to demonstrate their skills in managing Linux systems
- Oracle Linux OCP: best for professionals who want to demonstrate their skills in managing Oracle Linux systems
- Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE): ideal for professionals who want to demonstrate their skills in managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems at an advanced level
- Linux Professional Institute (LPI) Certification Programs: designed for professionals who want to demonstrate their skills in managing Linux systems at different levels
Emerging Linux Technologies
To be competitive in the Linux job market, you must know the ins and outs of emerging technologies. One of the most significant is the rise of open cloud platforms, fueling an increase in demand for Linux specialists with the necessary expertise, including cloud computing, containerization, and automation.
It’s also worth noting that:
- Machine learning and data science are two more growing technologies producing new work prospects for Linux professionals.
- Linux is also used in space rockets, supercomputers, servers, submarines, and smartphones, among other things.
- Linux containers are another developing technology gaining traction due to their open nature and community-powered innovation.
Update your skills with courses in Linux system administration, Kubernetes, and other related areas through various certification and training programs. Expertise in these emerging technologies is a massive plus for Linux specialists looking to advance their careers.
Linux Career Opportunities
The BLS expects 682,800 IT jobs to rise 15% between 2021 and 2031, much faster than most occupations. Economic growth and employee turnover create these new jobs, and the growth and replacement will bring annual openings to 418,500.
Here are some jobs for Linux professionals:
- Linux Administrator: a manager of people and information technology; also responsible for administrating and maintaining all Linux-based servers and infrastructure. The average salary is $98,061 annually.
- Systems Administrator: administers and monitors digital infrastructures; is also in charge of setting up the necessary gear and software. The typical annual compensation is $72,223 on average.
- Linux Engineer: tasked with developing, deploying, and supporting Linux-based infrastructure; must also be able to diagnose and fix problems with Linux-based computers. The average salary is $99,804 per year.
- DevOps Engineer: responsible for building and sustaining the framework for software systems; also involves automating the software’s deployment and ensuring its proper functioning. Earn $104,866 a year on average.
Strategies for Success in the Linux Job Market
The Linux job market is highly competitive, and if a Linux job is what you’re after, take note of these suggestions.
- Acquire Linux skills: This may seem like a catch-22 for career changers or newcomers. How do you obtain experience before your first job? Lnx For Jobs from Yellow Tail Tech is your best bet. This prepares you for work after the program.
- Build a strong portfolio: A strong portfolio showcasing your Linux skills and experience can help you stand out in the job market.
- Contribute to open-source projects: This helps you gain experience and recognition in the Linux community.
- Attend Linux conferences and events: Such events help you network with other professionals in the Linux community and learn about the latest trends and technologies.
- Highlight relevant experiences: An example experience to highlight is developing in a key area of the Linux kernel. This helps you stand out in the job market.
- Show code for open-source projects: This lets you demonstrate your skills and experience to potential employers.
- Accentuating outside-the-workplace experience: Contributing to open-source projects or participating in Linux-related forums, for example, would be a great help.
Future Outlook and Predictions for the Linux Job Market
As mentioned earlier, the BLS expects IT professions to grow rapidly in the next decade. The Linux Foundation backs this report with its 10-year open-source job data showing cloud and DevOps talent being in high demand. The research emphasizes open-source talent’s role in IT’s future, giving Linux professionals a bright commercial future.
The report indicates:
- Over 93% of hiring managers value open-source experience highly, indicating that Linux experts who have worked with open-source software have an advantage over their counterparts who do not.
- Organizations will continue to rely heavily on open-source talent to hasten their digital transition, so the need for Linux experts will only increase in the future.
- The best way for businesses to succeed is to hire people with open-source expertise and encourage their current staff to do the same. So Linux experts who work for businesses that value open source will have many chances to advance in their careers.
- To help people from traditionally underrepresented groups succeed in tech, it is critical to cultivate welcoming and diverse workplaces. That means more opportunities for Linux experts of all genders, ages, and nationalities.
Linux professionals with open-source knowledge can capitalize on this trend, and organizations that invest in open-source personnel may be more competitive.
Ultimately, Linux’s growing popularity in the workplace bodes well for IT pros and those looking to make a career change. Experts in Linux are in high demand, and Linux knowledge is among the most valuable in the IT sector.
Yellow Tail Tech is here to support you in your professional development as a Linux System Administrator. Book a 10-minute intro call with our Enrollment Advisor to explore your options.