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Working As A Database Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $77,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Database Specialist 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.

Duties

Database administrators typically do the following:

  • Ensure that organizational data is secure
  • Back up and restore data to prevent data loss
  • Identify user needs to create and administer databases
  • Ensure that the database operates efficiently and without error
  • Make and test modifications to the database structure when needed
  • Maintain the database and update permissions
  • Merge old databases into new ones

Database administrators, often called DBAs, make sure that data analysts can easily use the database to find the information they need and that the system performs as it should. DBAs sometimes work with an organization’s management to understand the company’s data needs and to plan the goals of the database. They also may work with computer and information systems managers to provide database solutions. Database administrators are responsible for backing up systems to prevent data loss in case of a power outage or other disaster. They also ensure the integrity of the database, guaranteeing that the data stored in it come from reliable sources.

Some DBAs oversee the development of new databases. They have to determine what the needs of the database are and who will be using it. They often monitor database performance and conduct performance-tuning support. Database administrators often plan security measures, making sure that data are secure from unauthorized access. Many databases contain personal or financial information, making security important.

Many database administrators are general-purpose DBAs and have all these duties. However, some DBAs specialize in certain tasks that vary with an organization and its needs. Two common specialties are as follows:

System DBAs are responsible for the physical and technical aspects of a database, such as installing upgrades and patches to fix program bugs. They typically have a background in system architecture and ensure that the firm’s database management systems work properly.

Application DBAs support a database that has been designed for a specific application or a set of applications, such as customer-service software. Using complex programming languages, they may write or debug programs and must be able to manage the applications that work with the database. They also do all the tasks of a general DBA, but only for their particular application.

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How To Become A Database Specialist

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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Database Specialist Career Paths

Database Specialist
Database Administrator Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Database Administrator Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Database Administrator Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Analytics
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Controller Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Director Information Technology Director
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Database Administrator Principal Consultant Senior Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Oracle Database Administrator Data Architect Senior Data Analyst-
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Oracle Database Administrator Senior Programmer Analyst Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Analyst Finance Analyst Marketing Analyst
Database Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Administrator Finance Analyst Marketing Analyst
Customer Relationship Management Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Administrator Officer Intelligence Officer
Director Of Intelligence
12 Yearsyrs
Analyst Senior Business Analyst Implementation Manager
Integration Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Business Systems Senior Analyst Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
13 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Database Manager 3.0 years
Data Administrator 3.0 years
Database Engineer 2.8 years
Database Analyst 2.5 years
Database Designer 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Database Specialist
Consultant 5.6%
Internship 5.0%
Specialist 3.8%
Programmer 3.8%
Cashier 3.1%
Top Careers After Database Specialist
Data Analyst 10.0%
Consultant 6.6%
Analyst 4.0%
Specialist 3.1%

Do you work as a Database Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$77,000
Show Salaries
$55,000
Min 10%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$108,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Barclays Capital
Highest Paying City
Santa Clara, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a Database Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Database Specialist in the United States is $77,930 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $55,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $108,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Database Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Specialist Database Sapient Corporation Jun 01, 2012 $147,805
Technical Database Specialist Thomson Reuters (Markets) LLC Jan 20, 2014 $134,633
Database Specialist 1 IMS Health, Inc. Feb 07, 2016 $134,550
Database Specialist Journeyman Five 9 Group, Inc. Sep 04, 2015 $117,000
Database Specialist Trusted Mission Solutions Inc. Oct 15, 2014 $115,000
Database Specialist Journeyman Five 9 Group, Inc. Mar 11, 2016 $114,296 -
$119,000
Analytics Database Specialist Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Oct 17, 2016 $110,000
Specialist, Database Sapient Corporation Oct 01, 2012 $110,000
Lead Database Specialist The TJX Companies, Inc. May 23, 2011 $105,000
Lead Database Specialist The TJX Companies, Inc. May 19, 2013 $104,601
SR. Database Specialist Ing North America Insurance Corporation Jul 28, 2014 $104,480
Csis Database Specialist Kern County Superintendent of Schools Apr 15, 2016 $102,648 -
$117,568
Database Specialist American Girl Brands LLC Oct 06, 2014 $101,694
Database Specialist Oracle IBM India Private Limited Sep 05, 2016 $89,901
Database Specialist IBM India Private Limited Jan 06, 2016 $89,901
Database Warehousing Specialist ITC Infotech USA Inc. Apr 30, 2015 $86,500
Database Specialist Amdocs, Inc. Sep 02, 2015 $86,445
Specialist 4, Database Administration Comcast Cable Communications, LLC Aug 27, 2015 $85,885 -
$92,000
Oracle Database Performance Specialist (SR. System Administr Samurai Infotech LLC Jan 09, 2016 $85,000
Senior Database Specialist Justice Systems, Inc. Feb 22, 2016 $84,240 -
$99,000
Database Specialist ELAN Technologies, Inc. Aug 30, 2016 $82,000
Csis Database Specialist Kern County Superintendent of Schools Apr 15, 2016 $71,386 -
$102,648
Database & BI Specialist Red Cedar Consultancy, LLC Apr 23, 2015 $70,000
Database & BI Specialist Red Cedar Consultancy, LLC Aug 11, 2015 $70,000
Database Specialist Tekdynamics, Inc. Feb 10, 2015 $70,000
Database Specialist ELAN Technologies, Inc. Jul 14, 2015 $70,000
Database Specialist Consultant CSC Consulting, Inc. Oct 01, 2012 $68,640
Database Specialist Tekdynamics, Inc. Sep 10, 2015 $66,000

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Top Skills for A Database Specialist

  1. Database
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. SQL
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Identified and evaluated all data requirements and utilized knowledge of resources to locate and appropriately disseminate data to the consultant databases.
  • Designed and implemented a package to concatenate TRITON texts into manageable formats using PL/SQL.
  • Managed financial databases and created customized sector research and analysis reports -Tested and migrated legacy Access database system to SQL Server.
  • Assisted in all aspects of information management and data entry for the Community United Way Campaigns and financial/internal operations.
  • Provide quality customer service to both internal and external customers while handling provider-related requests and inquiries.

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Top 10 Best States for Database Specialists

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New Jersey
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Delaware
  5. Virginia
  6. California
  7. Connecticut
  8. Washington
  9. North Carolina
  10. Oregon
  • (455 jobs)
  • (420 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (864 jobs)
  • (1,549 jobs)
  • (157 jobs)
  • (321 jobs)
  • (597 jobs)
  • (171 jobs)

Database Specialist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,305 Database Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Database Specialist Resume

View Resume Examples

Database Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

50.0%

Male

44.8%

Unknown

5.2%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.1%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

9.6%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.0%

Italian

6.9%

Russian

5.7%

French

4.6%

Portuguese

4.6%

German

4.6%

Japanese

4.6%

Arabic

3.4%

Swahili

2.3%

Hindi

2.3%

Chinese

2.3%

Hebrew

2.3%

Urdu

2.3%

Hmong

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Aramaic

1.1%

Norwegian

1.1%

Bengali

1.1%

Kurdish

1.1%

Finnish

1.1%
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Database Specialist Education

Schools

Strayer University

12.4%

University of Maryland - University College

10.6%

University of North Texas

5.3%

Ashford University

5.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.3%

George Washington University

4.4%

Troy University

4.4%

Pennsylvania State University

4.4%

University of Iowa

4.4%

George Mason University

4.4%

University of Houston

4.4%

Liberty University

4.4%

Kaplan University

4.4%

Saint Leo University

4.4%

Villanova University

3.5%

Ohio State University

3.5%

Webster University

3.5%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.5%

DePaul University

3.5%

University of Delaware

3.5%
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Majors

Business

24.8%

Computer Science

13.6%

Computer Systems Security

6.9%

Management Information Systems

6.7%

Information Technology

6.2%

Accounting

5.3%

Computer Information Systems

4.2%

Marketing

3.6%

Health Care Administration

3.3%

Psychology

3.0%

Computer Applications

3.0%

Electrical Engineering

2.5%

Management

2.5%

Communication

2.3%

Finance

2.3%

Education

2.2%

English

2.2%

Computer Engineering

1.9%

Mathematics

1.9%

Biology

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.1%

Masters

18.7%

Associate

14.0%

Certificate

8.7%

High School Diploma

5.7%

Diploma

1.9%

Doctorate

1.7%

License

0.2%
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Updated May 18, 2020