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Working As a SQL Database Administrator

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

  • Repetitive

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A SQL 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.

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 SQL 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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SQL Database Administrator Career Paths

SQL Database Administrator
Senior Oracle Database Administrator Senior Database Administrator
Database Administration Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Team Leader Manager
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Team Leader Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Developer Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Developer Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Developer Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
BI Developer Business Intelligence Developer
Business Intelligence Senior Developer
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Database Administrator Principal Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Database Administrator Principal Consultant Information Technology Director
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Technical Manager Technical Support Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
BI Developer BI Architect Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
BI Developer Business Intelligence Developer Data Warehouse Developer
Senior Database Developer
8 Yearsyrs
ETL Developer Data Warehouse Developer Senior Database Developer
Senior Database Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
ETL Developer Data Specialist Data Manager
Data Management Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Intelligence Developer Data Warehouse Developer Senior Database Developer
Senior Database Consultant
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Database Engineer 2.8 years
Database Analyst 2.5 years
Top Careers Before SQL Database Administrator
Consultant 2.6%
Programmer 1.9%
Developer 1.7%
Top Careers After SQL Database Administrator
Consultant 3.2%
Developer 2.7%

Do you work as a SQL Database Administrator?

Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
Show Salaries
$61,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$104,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
CoStar Group
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.0 years
How much does an SQL Database Administrator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a SQL Database Administrator in the United States is $80,521 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $61,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $105,000.

Real SQL Database Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SQL Server Database Administrator Novus Partners, Inc. New York, NY Jun 21, 2015 $150,000
Senior SQL Server Database Administrator Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 09, 2016 $138,362
SQL Database Administrator Sagarsoft, Inc. Chesapeake, VA May 05, 2016 $136,699
SQL Database Administrator Sagarsoft, Inc. Chesapeake, VA Mar 11, 2016 $136,699
SQL Database Administrator Populus Group LLC San Jose, CA Jul 26, 2016 $135,655
SQL DBA Populus Group LLC Burlington, NC Nov 14, 2016 $135,655
Senior MS SQL Database Administrator/Engineer Barclays Services Corp. Piscataway, NJ May 16, 2016 $135,000 -
$161,000
SQL Server Database Administrator Draftkings, Inc. Boston, MA Dec 27, 2016 $135,000
SR. SQL Server DBA Brown and Caldwell Walnut Creek, CA Oct 23, 2016 $132,600
SQL Database Administrator Iheartmedia Management Services, Inc. White Plains, NY May 29, 2016 $130,000
Lead SQL Server Database Administrator Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Services, Inc. Princeton, NJ Nov 14, 2016 $130,000
Senior SQL Server Database Administrator Bank of The West San Francisco, CA Apr 28, 2016 $128,939
SQL Database Administrator Sagarsoft, Inc. Chesapeake, VA Aug 31, 2015 $127,307
SQL Database Administrator Hedgeserv Corporation New York, NY Jun 27, 2016 $127,000
SQL DBA Engineer Scottrade, Inc. Saint Louis, MO Dec 10, 2015 $89,610
SQL Server Database Administrator III Rackspace Us, Inc. San Antonio, TX May 31, 2016 $89,295
SQL Database Administrator System Soft Technologies, LLC. King of Prussia, PA Apr 15, 2015 $88,704
SQL Database Administrator System Soft Technologies LLC Malvern, PA Aug 18, 2015 $88,704
SQL Database Administrator System Soft Technologies LLC King of Prussia, PA Aug 21, 2015 $88,704
SR SQL Server Database Administrator Koch Business Solutions LP Wichita, KS Jan 17, 2015 $88,587 -
$115,000
SQL Database Administrator Donegal Mutual Insurance Company Marietta, PA Mar 22, 2016 $88,067 -
$115,000
SQL Server Database Aministrator Datavail Corporation Broomfield, CO Aug 16, 2016 $87,500
SQL DBA Yeskay Systems Inc. Bethesda, MD Jan 03, 2016 $72,500
SQL Server Database Administrator Software Merchant, Inc. Wayne, PA May 14, 2016 $72,500
SQL DBA TEK Signature LLC Berkeley Lake, GA Sep 23, 2016 $72,000
SQL Database Administrator and Developer TEK Services, LLC Sacramento, CA Aug 25, 2016 $72,000
SQL Database Administrator Waynsys, Inc. Edison, NJ Nov 18, 2016 $72,000
SQL Server Database Administrator Decision Ready Solutions Irvine, CA Dec 27, 2016 $72,000
SQL DBA Waynsys Inc. Farmington, CT Jun 09, 2015 $72,000
SQL DBA TEK Signature LLC Berkeley Lake, GA Mar 09, 2016 $72,000

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Top Skills for A SQL Database Administrator

  1. Database
  2. SQL
  3. Production Servers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created and successfully implemented server scanning program to monitor all servers and databases for baseline measurements and changes implemented without approval.
  • Created, tested and maintained extensive documentation to facilitate data backups and restores to achieve a SQL Server disaster recovery strategy.
  • Configured and Managed the High Availability and Disaster recovery Solutions Always On, Replication, Clustering on Critical Production Servers.
  • Enhanced computer skills using Microsoft Office Suite 2007 and Windows XP.
  • Created demographic and Comparative Reports using SSRS

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for SQL Database Administrators

  1. New Jersey
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Washington
  4. Texas
  5. Colorado
  6. Virginia
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Connecticut
  9. Arizona
  10. California
  • (331 jobs)
  • (299 jobs)
  • (241 jobs)
  • (780 jobs)
  • (211 jobs)
  • (619 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (111 jobs)
  • (177 jobs)
  • (1,078 jobs)

SQL Database Administrator 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 12,419 SQL Database Administrator 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 SQL Database Administrator Resume

View Resume Examples

SQL Database Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

64.8%

Female

20.7%

Unknown

14.5%
Ethnicity

White

44.7%

Asian

25.5%

Hispanic or Latino

11.6%

Black or African American

10.9%

Unknown

7.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

19.2%

French

15.4%

Serer

11.5%

Hindi

7.7%

Russian

3.8%

Portuguese

3.8%

Nepali

3.8%

Chinese

3.8%

Braille

3.8%

Cantonese

3.8%

Mandarin

3.8%

Carrier

3.8%

Urdu

3.8%

Arabic

3.8%

Italian

3.8%

Bengali

3.8%
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SQL Database Administrator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.1%

Strayer University

7.8%

More Tech Institute

7.3%

Texas A&M University

6.7%

National University

6.2%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

5.9%

University of Maryland - University College

5.1%

University of Houston

4.8%

University of Washington

4.6%

Georgia State University

4.3%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.3%

George Mason University

4.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.0%

Oklahoma State University

4.0%

Arizona State University

3.5%

Northeastern University

3.2%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.0%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.0%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.0%

Stevens Institute of Technology

3.0%
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Majors

Computer Science

32.6%

Business

8.8%

Information Technology

7.9%

Computer Applications

6.7%

Electrical Engineering

6.5%

Computer Information Systems

6.3%

Computer Engineering

5.8%

Engineering

5.1%

Information Systems

3.9%

Management Information Systems

3.1%

Management

1.6%

Finance

1.6%

Mathematics

1.6%

Mechanical Engineering

1.5%

Accounting

1.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.4%

Computer Programming

1.3%

Information Sciences

1.0%

Economics

1.0%

Project Management

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.1%

Masters

30.8%

Other

10.0%

Associate

4.3%

Diploma

1.8%

Certificate

1.7%

Doctorate

1.2%

License

0.1%
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Updated May 19, 2020