What is a Database Administrator

If you're looking for a career that's growing with more and more opportunities presented every day, becoming a database administrator is a great place to start. Bonus points are awarded if you already have a bachelor's degree in an information- or computer-related subject.

Database Administrators focus their time on using specialized software to store and organize data. Every industry that has a large database is going to hire for this position. But typically these employees can be found working for educational institutions and insurance companies.

What Does a Database Administrator Do

Database administrators use specialized software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data are available to users and are secure from unauthorized access.

Learn more about what a Database Administrator does

How To Become a Database Administrator

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.

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Average Salary
$74,168
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
9%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
50,626
Job Openings
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Database Administrator Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Database Administrator

Database Administrators in America make an average salary of $74,168 per year or $36 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $95,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $57,000 per year.
Average Salary
$74,168
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Database Administrator Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Database Administrator. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Database Administrator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Database Administrator resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Database Administrator Demographics

Database Administrator Gender Statistics

male

58.4 %

female

37.2 %

unknown

4.4 %

Database Administrator Ethnicity Statistics

White

65.0 %

Asian

16.5 %

Black or African American

8.8 %

Database Administrator Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

52.4 %

French

8.5 %

Chinese

4.2 %
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Database Administrator Education

Database Administrator Majors

23.8 %

Database Administrator Degrees

Bachelors

61.4 %

Associate

15.3 %

Masters

12.5 %

Top Colleges for Database Administrators

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

5. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

6. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

7. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

10. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,530
Enrollment
4,571
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Top Skills For a Database Administrator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.3% of database administrators listed database on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

12 Database Administrator RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For a Database Administrator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a database administrator. The best states for people in this position are Washington, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Database administrators make the most in Washington with an average salary of $89,149. Whereas in New Jersey and Massachusetts, they would average $85,031 and $82,249, respectively. While database administrators would only make an average of $81,653 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Database Administrator Jobs:
771
Highest 10% Earn:
$119,000
Location Quotient:
1.14
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Massachusetts

Total Database Administrator Jobs:
1,019
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
Location Quotient:
1.2
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Hampshire

Total Database Administrator Jobs:
181
Highest 10% Earn:
$108,000
Location Quotient:
1.12
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Database Administrators

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Top Database Administrator Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ database administrators and discovered their number of database administrator opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Tata Consultancy Services was the best, especially with an average salary of $73,364. Wipro follows up with an average salary of $76,215, and then comes Tech Mahindra with an average of $77,963. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a database administrator. The employers include Allscripts, Vista Outdoor, and Vista Equity Partners

Database Administrator Videos

Updated August 18, 2021