How to Become a Database Administrator

Database Administrator Key Stats
Education 4+ Years
Job Outlook 9%

Database Administrators (DBAs) are professionals who are experienced in managing, organizing and presenting a variety of electronic data.

An example of this professional hard at work is a DBA who is specialized in working for the health care industry organizing and managing a variety of electronic patient records.

Education Requirements to Become a Database Administrator

Individuals preparing to become a Database Administrator will need to work on a variety of things in order to enter this profession.

Individuals will need to complete a four year bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree, seek a certification to show capability and to remain competitive and also gain some on the job experience in the field before they can become a Database Administrator.

Individuals pursuing to become a Database Administrator will need to focus their undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems (MIS) or a computer related field.

Employers with large databases typically prefer candidates who have a Master’s degree.

Individuals seeking advanced opportunities as a Database Administrator for a larger organization will benefit from securing a Master’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems or Information Technology with a focus in data or database management.

In addition, Database Administrators need to fully understand a database language, such as the Structured Query Language (SQL).

The database language a Database Administrator will need to know will ultimately depend on the organization they are seeking employment from.

Database languages can be learned through experience in the field or by referring to their undergraduate or graduate curriculum.

Individuals who want to become a Database Administer will need to begin their career in an entry level position to gain hands on experience.

Individuals interested in this career path will benefit from seeking an entry level position as a Database Developer or a Data Analyst.

Database Administrators will also need to seek certification in order to apply for specific jobs.

Certification can be sought in a database language, which is typically provided by individual software firms.

Individuals will need to inquire which certification to pursue from their potential employer.

Database Administrator Job Description

Database Administrators are responsible for storing and organizing a variety of electronic data.

The information being stored will depend on the company an individual works for.

For example, some Database Administrators work in the health care industry, retail stores or financial institutions.

Database Administrators will use specialized software to document and store information such as a patient’s health care record, a client’s shipping records or an individual’s financial information.

In addition to storing and organizing information, Database Administrators will assure that the information being stored is not available to unauthorized outside entities and that it is available to individuals who rely on it within the organization to perform their jobs.

In addition, some Database Administrators will be responsible for the development of new databases.

Database Administrator Salary and Career Path

In 2012, the median wage for Database Administrators was approximately $77,080 per year.

Exact wages will depend on the level of experience and the industry in which a Database Administrator works in.

For example, professionals working in the Finance and insurance sector can expect to earn a median annual salary of $85,880, while those working for state, local or private educational services can expect to earn a median salary of $63,620 per year.

The outlook for this profession is expected to undergo a 15 percent job growth through the year 2022.

This rate is considered faster than average when compared to other professions.

This growth is attributed to the importance of data collection and the need to organize and present information to specific publics.

For example, the health care industry benefits greatly from this profession because of the importance of maintaining electronic medical records.

This will make it possible to keep track of patient health care information.

Individuals who are interested in beginning a career as a Database Administrator will have a lot of opportunities in this profession, not only because of the job outlook, but also because this individual may have the ability to work in a variety of sectors.

Individuals who are interested in database management, computers and database languages will find this profession a natural fit.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Database Administrators and Architects, OCC Code 15-1245, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a database administrator do?

Database administrators store and organize data using specialized software.

As a database administrator, you have to ensure that certain data is available to users but you also have to secure the database from unauthorized access.

Database administrators oversee the development of a new database after determining who will have access to that database and what type of data will be organized.

Database administrators may also conduct performance support and evaluate the performance of an existing database.

Some database administrators specialize even further in system database administration (system DBAs) or application database administration (application DBAs).

System DBAs ensure that a company’s database is working properly by installing upgrades and fixing bugs.

Application DBAs offer support for databases that have been designed and created for an application.

All database administrators need solid knowledge of database languages, the most common of them being SQL (Structured Query Language).

How much does a database administrator make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for database administrators was $90,070 as of May 2018.

Salaries in this field vary by industry and are influenced by many other factors.

For example, those who offer support for databases designed for educational services earned a median annual wage of $74,720, while those who work for insurance carriers earned a median wage of $96,440, as of May 2018.

As a database administrator, you can make anywhere between less than $50,000 and more than $130,000 a year.

How much does it cost to become a database administrator?

Database administrators typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject.

Holding a master’s degree in the field may help you find a better paying job at a larger firm.

A bachelor’s degree program in computer science will cost you, on average, around $42,000-$43,000 a year and can be earned after four years of post-secondary studies.

Master’s degree programs in this field can cost you anywhere between $30,000-$120,000.

Tuition costs vary widely depending on the school and the program you choose.

What is the demand for database administrators?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for database administrators is projected to grow 9 percent from 2018 to 2028.

They will be needed by companies who use databases to organize and present data.

Database administrators will increasingly be hired by cloud computing firms that offer data processing, hosting or other similar services.

How long does it take to become a database administrator?

You will typically need to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree program before being ready to find entry-level employment as a database administrator.

A 2-year graduate program can improve your employment perspectives and earning a certification offered by a software vendor may help prove your skills to potential employers.

In conclusion, you will need at least 4 years of training beyond high school before being ready to work as a database administrator.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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