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UNIX/Linux System Administrator

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab

Job Description


Are you a UNIX/Linux System Administrator with a passion for building mission-critical systems using proven technologies?


Are you an energetic team player who wants to launch an impactful career contributing to the development, integration & test, and launch of innovative spaceflight systems?


If so, we invite you to join our team in the Civil Space Mission Area (CSMA) in the Space Exploration Sector (SES) at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) onsite at our Laurel, Maryland campus as a UNIX/Linux System Administrator (SA).


In this position, you will administer and support ground systems and related information technology infrastructure used by leading scientists and engineers to realize scientific and commercial objectives for unmanned space missions.


As a SA, your duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Administering UNIX/Linux systems connected via a large-scale, high-availability network that supports systems engineering and mission operations activities for critical, high-visibility sponsor programs.
  • Specifying, procuring, building configuring, deploying, maintaining, administering and supporting UNIX/Linux workstations, servers, clusters, network infrastructure, and related equipment (storage, printers, media, etc.)
  • Performing regular maintenance tasks to ensure the security and uninterrupted functioning of scientific, engineering, and mission-based software.
  • Determining technical requirements and constraints and providing technical guidance, troubleshooting, support, and assistance to a diverse workforce including scientists, engineers, technical leads, project and program managers, subcontractors, and sponsors.
  • Proactively identifying, recommending, and deploying new approaches and technologies to solve technical issues.


You will meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you...

  • Hold a Bachelor's Degree in Information Systems, Computer Engineering, or a related Information Technology field.
  • Have three (3) years of hands-on experience administering UNIX/Linux servers, workstations, and associated peripherals. (Particularly Red Hat Enterprise Linux.)
  • Can discuss/demonstrate IT systems administration experience managing complex, large-scale, mission critical systems to include build, configuration, file and account management, software installation, automation/scripting, patching, and security management.
  • Are a practical, results-oriented performer and continuous learner.
  • Can provide examples of your ability to interact and communicate across all organizational staffing levels and stakeholders including external sponsors and third-party collaborators and to clearly present and convey complex technical information through both oral and written means.
  • Show evidence of independent thought and analysis in identifying cost-effective solutions that can be implemented to solve recurring problems across computing infrastructure and systems with a solid track record of making sound decisions.
  • Can obtain and maintain a DoD Secret security clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship. Job continuance dependent upon obtaining a DoD Final Secret clearance. 
  • Can demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To ensure the safety and well-being of the community, APL has established a policy requiring that all staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. All staff members must provide proof of full vaccination or have an approved medical or religious accommodation by their start date.

You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you...

  • Hold a Master’s Degree in Information Systems, Computer Engineering, or a related Information Technology field.
  • Have five (5) or more years of hands-on experience administering UNIX/Linux servers, workstations, and associated peripherals. (Particularly Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE, CentOS, and/or Solaris. Certifications a plus.)
  • Possess skills administering software on Windows systems and integrating them into a UNIX/Linux environment.
  • Administer or manage virtual environments (especially VMware) and related Storage Area Networks (SAN) technologies (especially Dell EMC).
  • Have experience writing shell scripts or light programming in Korn Shell, Bourne Shell, Perl, or Python environments and/or compiling complex source code.
  • Have experience managing web systems running Apache, PHP, and MySQL and analyzing the security of internally developed web applications.
  • Have experience with Splunk, Nagios and/or Puppet.
  • Administer or support a Mission Operations Center (MOC) and/or associated ground systems networks and associated technologies.
  • Support and/or manage IT systems, networks and related infrastructure within a NASA or DoD program. (Familiarity with NASA IONet a plus.)
  • Develop thin/zero client solutions for advanced workstation management/deployment
  • Possess current DoD 8570 certification (Security+, CISSP, etc.) and/or familiarity with NIST and/or FISMA security standards.
  • Hold an active DoD Secret or higher security clearance.

Note: The above describes the position and captures the essential duties and responsibilities at time of posting. You should expect these to change over time.


Physical Onsite Presence: Some aspects of this position will require the selected applicant to be physically present on-site at our Laurel, Maryland campus on a semi-regular basis with limited opportunity to work from home.


Special Working Conditions: Monitor and respond to e-mail, voicemail, and business communications via enterprise-issued portable communications devices. Flexibility to work non-standard business hours and to be on-call to support planned, mission critical operations. Occasional intercampus driving of department service vehicle. Occasional business travel to field offices and test sites.


Why work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation’s most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.


At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL’s campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at www.jhuapl.edu/careers.

About Us

APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, occupation, marital or familial status, political opinion, personal appearance, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


APL is committed to promoting an innovative environment that embraces diversity, encourages creativity, and supports inclusion of new ideas. In doing so, we are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals of all abilities, including those with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in any part of the hiring process, please contact Accommodations@jhuapl.edu. Only by ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard are we empowered to be bold, do great things, and make the world a better place.

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