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Become A Database Specialist

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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

  • $77,896

    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 jobs

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Database Specialist Career Paths

Database Specialist
Oracle Database Administrator Senior Technician Specialist Program Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Business Analyst/Project Manager Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Database Administrator Data Architect Enterprise Architect
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Database Administrator Principal Consultant Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Database Developer Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Manager
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Database Analyst Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
13 Yearsyrs
Oracle Database Administrator Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Database Manager Database Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Database Analyst Database Administrator Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst Product Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Database Administrator Senior Software Engineer Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Database Administrator Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Program Manager Business Developer
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Database Manager Data Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Specialist 4.2 years
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
MIS Specialist 3.3 years
Data Administrator 2.9 years
Database Manager 2.9 years
Database Engineer 2.8 years
Database Architect 2.7 years
Database Analyst 2.5 years
Data Specialist 2.5 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Database Developer 2.1 years
Database Designer 1.9 years
Database Assistant 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 6.2%
Internship 5.3%
Specialist 4.3%
Programmer 4.0%
Manager 3.1%
Top Employers After
Data Analyst 10.2%
Consultant 8.8%
Analyst 3.0%

Database Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

52.0%

Male

45.8%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

75.9%

Hispanic or Latino

10.5%

Asian

10.0%

Unknown

2.5%

Black or African American

1.1%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.0%

Italian

8.7%

Russian

5.8%

French

5.8%

German

4.3%

Swahili

2.9%

Portuguese

2.9%

Hindi

2.9%

Chinese

2.9%

Hebrew

2.9%

Japanese

2.9%

Urdu

2.9%

Arabic

2.9%

Finnish

1.4%

Norwegian

1.4%

Greek

1.4%

Carrier

1.4%

Bengali

1.4%

Hmong

1.4%

Yiddish

1.4%
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Database Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.9%

University of Maryland - University College

8.5%

George Washington University

6.4%

University of Houston

5.7%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.7%

University of South Florida

5.0%

Michigan State University

5.0%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.3%

George Mason University

4.3%

Strayer University

4.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.3%

University of North Texas

3.5%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.5%

Purdue University

3.5%

University of Georgia

3.5%

Northern Illinois University

3.5%

Auburn University-Montgomery

3.5%

Johns Hopkins University

3.5%

Towson University

3.5%

Northeastern University

3.5%
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Majors

Business

29.3%

Computer Science

14.6%

Computer Information Systems

9.9%

Information Technology

5.1%

Management Information Systems

4.3%

Accounting

3.8%

Psychology

3.3%

Information Systems

3.1%

Marketing

3.1%

Communication

2.7%

Management

2.4%

Computer Applications

2.4%

Mathematics

2.4%

Health Care Administration

2.3%

Education

2.1%

Electrical Engineering

2.0%

Computer Engineering

2.0%

English

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Finance

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.3%

Masters

21.4%

Other

17.1%

Associate

8.7%

Certificate

5.9%

Doctorate

1.7%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.1%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Database Specialist Salaries

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

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Top Skills for A Database Specialist

AccessDatabasePl/SqlProceduresMicrosoftSQLServerDataEntryWebBackupDatabaseSystemCustomerServiceWindowsTechnicalSupportDatabaseManagementTroubleshootDBAManagementSystemSetupUnixDatabaseDesignInternetERP

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Top Database Specialist Skills

  1. Access Database
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted in setting up Access Databases and maintained the data.
  • Provided mentoring to team members on PL/SQL coding.
  • Train college work-study students and volunteers to do office procedures.
  • Used Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Access to query NTR information for monthly and yearly metric reports that management needed.
  • Performed Supervision of data entry technicians; Established LAN and WAN connectivity to TAS.

Top Database Specialist Employers

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Database Specialist Videos

New Oracle DBA Career: 1. Introduction

A day in a DBA's life (Oracle / SQLServer...)

A day in a DBA's life (Oracle / SQLServer / Greenplum...)

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