How To Become A Database Administrator

A database administrator stores data and keeps it secure for companies of all types. Troubleshooting, performance monitoring, database security, backup and recovery, installation and configuration are all part of the daily tasks for a database administrator.

This is a great position for somebody who enjoys working with computers and technology, has an analytical mind, and enjoys problem solving. In order to become a database administrator, a person needs at least a bachelor’s degree, as well as several years of experience in the industry.

Why Become A Database Administrator

Industries in every sector of the economy rely on data in order to make useful decisions. School districts look at data such as how many children are in attendance and what funds they will put towards what parts of their budget. Retail companies need to know what items customers have purchased and keep track of shipments. Businesses keep track of how customers are interacting with their website, and use data to inform the kinds of products and services they will develop.

A database administrator is able to work in virtually any industry. They use specialized software to organize company data and store it safely. The data that companies collect is personal – names, passwords, credit card information – so keeping this information secure is important.

Database administrators frequently back up databases. They may create databases as needed, or merge old databases into new ones. They attend to any issues that might occur. There has been a growing trend for database administrators to work from home and freelance. This is a great opportunity for people who enjoy working independently.

Database Administrators should possess the following qualities and skills:

Database Administrator Work Environment

A database administrator spends time overseeing the performance of databases. This involves a lot of time monitoring computers, servers and hardware systems. When a problem happens and the server crashes, a database administrator must work quickly to solve the issue. Many clients will quickly complain if their website goes down, and companies whose websites crash can mean loss of revenue.

An issue can happen at any time of day, which means database administrators often work during the night and on weekends. The recent trend has been for database administrators to work from home and freelance. More and more people in this position are able to telecommute instead of working in an actual office.

Database Administrator Salary

The median annual salary for a database administrator was $84,950 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau for Labor Statistics.

Salary may vary depending on what type of industry a database administrator works in. Database administrators can find positions in all types of fields. For example, those who choose to work in computers, technology, and IT may find themselves earning median salaries of $95,000. On the other end of the spectrum, those who work for colleges, universities, and other educational services earned a median salary of $70,000 in 2016.

A database administrator could work in virtually any kind of industry, from business, to education, to manufacturing, to healthcare. It is important to think about what kind of setting you would like to work in.

Average Database Administrator Annual Salary


The average annual salary for database administrators is $89,050 a year. Salaries start at $48,480 a year and go up to $132,420 a year.

Average Database Administrator Hourly Wage


The average hourly wage for a database administrator is $42.81. Hourly wages are between $23.31 and $63.66 an hour.

Stats were based out of 113,690 employed database administrators in the United States.

Highest Paying States For Database Administrators

Top Paying Cities For Database Administrators

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Database Administrator Career Outlook

Employment for database administrators is expected to grow by 11 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is faster growth than other jobs within the United States. Those looking for a job in this field should be able to receive one.

Technology is growing at a pace that many companies are unable to catch up with. Database administrators collect data and keep it secure. Companies use this information in order to understand their business needs and help them make decisions regarding future products and marketing.

Cloud computing has recently become very popular, allowing a business to share their information over a network of servers, rather than on a physical site. Cloud computing firms are increasing employment of database administrators to help with data processing, hosting, cyber security, and other services that are offered by their firm.

Database Administrator Degree

To learn more about becoming a database administrator, read more below.

Step 1: Undergraduate education. Database administrators are required to have a bachelor’s degree. Programs such as computer science, information technology, computer information systems and other similar programs will help teach students about this field. Students will take courses such as database systems, data structure, communications, web page applications, programming and more. It takes four years to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Step 2: Begin at the entry-level. Start with an entry-level position such as a data analyst or a database developer. Many database administrators start off in these types of positions, and gradually work up to higher roles. It is a great way to learn more about the field and build your skills. Companies may promote you if they like your work. After several years of work experience, people generally get promoted to become a database administrator.

Step 3: Graduate education. A master’s degree is not required to become a database administrator. However, many firms consider those with master’s degrees in their field to be more desirable. Database management, computer science, and information technology programs are examples of graduate degrees available.

Additionally, database administrators are required to have knowledge of programming languages such as SQL.

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