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Database administrators (DBAs) usually have a bachelor’s degree in an information- or computer-related subject such as computer science. Before becoming an administrator, these workers typically get work experience in a related field.Education
Most database administrators have a bachelor’s degree in management information systems (MIS) or a computer-related field. Firms with large databases may prefer applicants who have a master’s degree focusing on data or database management, typically either in computer science, information systems, or information technology.
Database administrators need an understanding of database languages, the most common of which is Structured Query Language, commonly called SQL. Most database systems use some variation of SQL, and a DBA will need to become familiar with whichever programming language the firm uses.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Certification is generally offered directly from software vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates the knowledge and best practices required from DBAs. Companies may require their database administrators to be certified in the products they use.Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Most do not begin their careers as database administrators. Many first work as database developers or data analysts. A database developer is a type of software developer who specializes in creating databases. The job of a data analyst is to interpret the information stored in a database in a way the firm can use. Depending on their specialty, data analysts can have different job titles, including financial analyst, market research analyst, and operations research analyst. After mastering one of these fields, they may become a database administrator. For more information, see the profiles on software developers, financial analysts, market research analysts, and operations research analysts.Advancement
Database administrators can advance to become computer and information systems managers.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. DBAs must be able to monitor a database system’s performance to determine when action is needed. They must be able to evaluate complex information that comes from a variety of sources.
Communication skills. Most database administrators work on teams and must be able to communicate effectively with developers, managers, and other workers.
Detail oriented. Working with databases requires an understanding of complex systems, in which a minor error can cause major problems. For example, mixing up customers’ credit card information can cause someone to be charged for a purchase he or she didn’t make.
Logical thinking. Database administrators must make sense of data and organize it in a meaningful pattern so that it is easily retrievable.
Problem-solving skills. When problems with a database arise, administrators must be able to troubleshoot and correct the problems.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Data Administrator
Top Careers After Data Administrator
Hispanic or Latino10.4%
Black or African American0.8%
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University of Phoenix17.3%
University of Iowa4.8%
Michigan State University4.2%
University of Maryland - College Park4.2%
Virginia Commonwealth University4.2%
George Mason University4.2%
College of DuPage4.2%
Western Governors University4.2%
Western Washington University3.6%
University of Maryland - University College3.6%
American InterContinental University3.6%
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor3.6%
Northern Illinois University3.6%
Florida State University3.6%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Data Base Administrator||Software Management Consultants, Inc.||El Segundo, CA||Sep 30, 2016||$160,699|
|Data Base Administrator||Software Management Consultants, Inc.||El Segundo, CA||Sep 30, 2015||$152,351|
|Senior Data Warehouse Administrator||Western Union LLC||San Francisco, CA||Jun 25, 2015||$134,638 -
|Senior Data Warehouse Administrator||Western Union LLC||San Francisco, CA||Nov 01, 2016||$134,638 -
|SR. Data Analytics Administrator||Bank of The West||San Ramon, CA||Sep 21, 2016||$130,000|
|Data Warehouse Administrator||Autodesk, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Apr 24, 2016||$127,386|
|Big Data Administrator||Intersys Consulting, Inc.||Austin, TX||Oct 20, 2015||$120,000|
|Senior Data Administrator||AIG PC Global Services, Inc.||New York, NY||Jul 16, 2015||$120,000|
|Data Administrator||Prosper Marketplace, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Mar 11, 2015||$118,082 -
|Data Base Administrator||American Tire Distributors, Inc.||Huntersville, NC||Feb 18, 2016||$115,573|
|Advisory Data Warehouse Administrator||Louisiana Health Service and Indemnity Co.||Baton Rouge, LA||Mar 21, 2016||$115,000|
|Data Base Administrator Lead||Cashedge Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||May 11, 2015||$110,515 -
|Oracle Data Integration Administrator||Express, LLC||Columbus, OH||Jan 12, 2015||$110,000|
|Epic Data Courier Administrator||Providence Health & Services||Renton, WA||Oct 21, 2016||$109,450|
|Oracle Data Base Administrator||SIRI Infosolutions Inc.||Alpharetta, GA||Dec 15, 2016||$91,000|
|Storage and Data Protection Administrator||Standav Corp.||Rockville, MD||Apr 20, 2016||$90,917|
|Data Base Administrator||KPC Healthcare, Inc.||Santa Ana, CA||Jul 01, 2015||$90,000|
|Data Administrator||Idatalytics, LLC||Overland Park, KS||Jul 15, 2015||$90,000|
|Big Data Administrator||Orzota, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Sep 20, 2016||$90,000|
|Data Base Administrator||Integrated Healthcare Holdings, Inc.||Santa Ana, CA||Mar 25, 2015||$90,000|
|Senior Data Base Administrator||UST Global Inc.||Malvern, PA||May 24, 2016||$90,000|
|Data Power Administrator||Real Soft, Inc.||Monmouth Junction, NJ||Nov 21, 2016||$74,000|
|Data Power Administrator||Anjus LLC||Plymouth, MN||Aug 27, 2016||$73,671|
|Data Base Administrator||Yeskay Systems Inc.||Bethesda, MD||Sep 23, 2016||$73,000|
|Data Base Administrator||Wizardtech Solutions, Inc.||Glendale, WI||Sep 10, 2015||$73,000|
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A day in a DBA's life (Oracle / SQLServer / Greenplum...)