Database Administrator: Job Description, Salary, and Skills

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Are you considering a career as a database administrator? Here's information to help you explore a job as a database administrator (DBA), including a job description, education requirements, employment outlook, and salary information. 

Database Administrator: Job Description

Database administrators (DBAs) are responsible for the evaluation of database software purchases and supervise the modification of any existing database software to meet the needs of their employer.

DBAs are responsible for maintaining the integrity and performance of company databases and guarantee that data is stored securely and optimally. DBAs inform end users of changes in databases and train them to utilize systems.

Through control access, DBAs ensure the security of company data. Their skills and technical expertise are desirable to many organizations, with the highest demand being in data-intensive organizations like insurance, finance, and content providers.

Education and Training Requirements

A bachelor's degree in information technology or computer science, along with advanced education and certifications are required to work as a database administrator. Many employers require three to five years of database experience, in addition to educational requirements.

Obtaining a certification specializing in various database management systems is also helpful.

Database Administrator Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, database administrators earned an average of $84,950 in 2016. 

The bottom 10% of Database Administrators earned a mean salary of $47,300 and the top 10% earned at least $129,930.

Median annual salaries for database administrators were the highest in industries focused on computer system design and related services, $95,580 and the management of companies and enterprises, $92,410. The industry with the lowest salaries was educational services at the state and local level, $70,470.

Job Outlook for Database Administrators

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for database administrators are expected to grow by 11% from 2016 - 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand has been driven by the trend for decision making in most organizations to become progressively more data-driven.

The expansion of cloud computing as a storage option for organizations has also supported increased demand for database experts. Demand is projected to increase by 20% in the computer systems design and related services industry from 2016 - 2026.

Database Administrator (DBA) Skills 

Here's a list of database administrator skills that employers seek in candidates for employment. Skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, so also review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill.

A - G

  • Advise Management on Long-Term Capacity Plans and Growth
  • Assign Passwords and Maintain Database Access
  • Analyze and Recommend Database Improvements
  • Analyze Impact of Database Changes to the Business
  • Audit Database Access and Requests
  • Backup and Restore Data 
  • Communicate Requirements to System Administrator
  • Comfortable Working With Production Servers 
  • Configure Database Software
  • Continually Review Processes for Improvement 
  • Debug Database Issues on Live Data
  • Deploy System Updates
  • Design and Build Database Management System
  • Develop and Test Methods to Synchronize Data 
  • Develop and Secure Network Structures
  • Ensure Data is Secure 
  • Ensure Databases Run Efficiently
  • Ensure Platform Availability
  • Extract Live Data 
  • Guarantee Database Setup Meets Industry Requirements

H - M

  • Identify User Needs to Create and Administer Databases
  • Implement Backup and Recovery Plan 
  • Install Database Software
  • Install Updates
  • Maintain Database
  • Merge Databases 
  • Mine Data
  • Modify Databases to Specific User Requirements
  • Monitor Available Disk Space 

N - S

  • Oversee Development of New Databases
  • Optimize Queries on Live Data
  • Plan Disk Storage Requirements
  • Proactively Tune Database in Production 
  • Prevent Data Loss
  • Quickly Assess a Situation and Develop/Implement a Solution 
  • Recover Lost Data
  • Repair Program Bugs
  • Research Emerging Technology
  • Review Existing Solutions
  • Set Security Permissions for Database
  • Setup Safety Measures to Recover Data
  • Solid Project Management Capabilities 
  • Solid Understanding of Company’s Data Needs 
  • Strong Technical and Interpersonal Communication 

    T - Z

    • Test Database to Ensure Everything Operates Efficiently Without Error 
    • Test Recovery Plans
    • Thorough Knowledge of SQL 
    • Troubleshoot Database Errors
    • Understanding of Popular Database Management Software (SQL and MySQL)
    • Update Database Permissions
    • Work Closely with Development Teams with Regards to Database Updates and Design