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Become A Database Systems Administrator

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Working As A Database Systems Administrator

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

  • Repetitive

  • $78,600

    Average Salary

What Does A Database Systems 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.

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 Systems 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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Database Systems Administrator Jobs

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Database Systems Administrator Career Paths

Database Systems Administrator
Software Engineer Senior Programmer Analyst Application Manager
Application Services Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Technical Consultant Customer Relationship Management Consultant
Customer Relationship Management Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Business Analyst Business Systems Senior Analyst
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Database Administrator Data Architect Enterprise Architect
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Oracle Database Administrator Senior Database Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Oracle Database Administrator Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Database Administrator Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
SQL Database Administrator Senior Database Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director, Technical Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Information Technology Administrator Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Oracle Database Administrator Senior Technician Specialist Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Oracle Database Administrator Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Management Consultant Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
SQL Database Administrator Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Database Administrator Principal Consultant Senior Information Technology Manager
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Database Administrator Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Database Administrator Data Architect Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Engineer Sales Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Instructor Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Database Systems Administrator?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Employers Before
Programmer 4.8%
Consultant 4.4%
Top Employers After
Consultant 6.3%

Do you work as a Database Systems Administrator?

Database Systems Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

75.6%

Female

20.4%

Unknown

3.9%
Ethnicity

White

55.9%

Asian

14.9%

Hispanic or Latino

12.0%

Black or African American

11.6%

Unknown

5.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.6%

French

10.5%

Mandarin

10.5%

Telugu

5.3%

Chinese

5.3%

German

5.3%

Japanese

5.3%

Cheyenne

5.3%

Tagalog

5.3%

Cantonese

5.3%

Russian

5.3%

Arabic

5.3%
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Database Systems Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.1%

University of Maryland - University College

9.7%

University of Arizona

6.0%

American InterContinental University

5.2%

Pennsylvania State University

4.5%

Strayer University

4.5%

New York University

3.7%

George Washington University

3.7%

Michigan State University

3.7%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.7%

University of Iowa

3.7%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.7%

Kaplan University

3.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.0%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.0%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.0%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3.0%

George Mason University

3.0%

Southern Methodist University

3.0%

University of Delaware

3.0%
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Majors

Computer Science

29.3%

Business

12.7%

Information Technology

9.6%

Computer Information Systems

9.1%

Management Information Systems

5.0%

Electrical Engineering

4.9%

Information Systems

4.2%

Management

2.8%

Computer Engineering

2.8%

Computer Applications

2.8%

Computer Networking

2.8%

Mathematics

2.4%

Computer Programming

1.6%

Education

1.6%

Mechanical Engineering

1.6%

Project Management

1.5%

Finance

1.5%

Accounting

1.5%

Computer Technical Support

1.3%

General Studies

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.1%

Masters

26.4%

Other

16.0%

Associate

8.1%

Certificate

3.9%

Doctorate

1.8%

Diploma

0.8%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Database Systems Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
System Database Administrator, Principal Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Feb 18, 2013 $138,000
Enterprise Applications/Database Systems & Solution Architec Lands' End, Inc. Dodgeville, WI Aug 17, 2015 $135,000
Systems Database Administrator, Principal Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Nov 25, 2013 $128,000
Systems/Database Administrator, Principal Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Feb 27, 2015 $128,000
System/Database Administrator, Principal Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Mar 23, 2016 $125,000
System Database Administrator, Principal Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Mar 17, 2014 $125,000
Database Migration Lead, System Admin Accenture LLP Seattle, WA Jun 22, 2015 $123,000
Database Administrator, Information Systems Ricoh Americas Corporation Malvern, PA Feb 07, 2016 $116,388
Oracle Applications Dba/Systems Administrator Salesforce.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 28, 2011 $115,000
Systems/Database Administrator Sysmex America, Inc. Lincolnshire, IL May 10, 2016 $110,000
Database Administrator, Information Systems Ricoh Americas Corporation Norristown, PA Feb 07, 2013 $108,608
Lead Database Systems Administrator Hospira, Inc. Lake Forest, IL Nov 07, 2014 $103,000
System DBA IBM India Private Limited Westfield Center, OH Aug 21, 2016 $77,997
Database Administrator, Information Systems IKON Office Solutions, Inc. Norristown, PA Jan 30, 2011 $77,834
Database & System Administrator The Colorado College Colorado Springs, CO Aug 31, 2015 $77,000
Database Systems Administrator Harvest Software Solutions, LLC Jacksonville, FL Sep 18, 2015 $76,000
Database Administrator, Teradata Systems C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. Keene, NH Oct 01, 2010 $75,000
Database and Systems Administrator (Database and I SIFY Technologies Limited Santa Clara, CA Sep 29, 2010 $74,547
Systems/Database Administrator DTI Services, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jan 20, 2010 $72,982
SQL Server Database and System Administrator Tata Consultancy Services Limited Schaumburg, IL Apr 25, 2013 $66,100
SQL Server Database and System Administrator Tata Consultancy Services Limited Schaumburg, IL Oct 01, 2011 $65,500
System and Database Administrator Vortalsoft, Inc. Somerset, NJ Sep 20, 2014 $65,208
Database Systems Administrator Elan Technologies, Inc. Irving, TX Aug 27, 2013 $65,000
Systems and Database Administrator Sam Analytic Solutions, LLC Raleigh, NC Sep 23, 2014 $65,000
Database Admin/Systems Admin Edge It Corp Sterling, VA Sep 13, 2016 $64,000

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Top Skills for A Database Systems Administrator

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  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Database
  3. Windows XP
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created PL/SQL procedure to read data from SQL Server via the OTG and load into ORACLE temporary tables for report processing.
  • Participated in establishing and enforcing optimized methods of transferring data between various database management systems.
  • Offered clients general support for Windows, Windows XP, Windows NT, OS/2, Novel and Mac systems.
  • Maintain and verify backup and recovery procedures accordingly.
  • Maintained VAX mainframe system including performing/testing backup/restoration procedures, software updates, hardware maintenance, network appliances and maintenance contract.

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Top 10 Best States for Database Systems Administrators

  1. New Jersey
  2. Washington
  3. Virginia
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Connecticut
  6. Utah
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Texas
  9. Rhode Island
  10. North Carolina
  • (692 jobs)
  • (646 jobs)
  • (2,938 jobs)
  • (833 jobs)
  • (268 jobs)
  • (216 jobs)
  • (127 jobs)
  • (2,004 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)
  • (755 jobs)

Top Database Systems Administrator Employers

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Jobs From Top Database Systems Administrator Employers

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