Database Administrators: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
Most database administrators have a bachelors degree in an information- or computer-related subject such as computer science. Firms with large databases may prefer applicants who have a masters degree focusing on data or database management, typically either in computer science, information systems, or information technology.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 11% (Faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Database administrators can advance to become computer and information systems managers.
Certification is generally offered directly from software vendors or 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.
Median pay: How much do Database Administrators make?
$84,950 Annual Salary
$40.84 per hour

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 secure from unauthorized access.

What do Database Administrators do?

Database administrators typically do the following:

  • Ensure that organizational data are secure
  • Back up and restore data to prevent data loss
  • Identify user needs to create and administer databases
  • Ensure that databases operate efficiently and without error
  • Make and test modifications to database structure when needed
  • Maintain databases and update permissions
  • Merge old databases into new ones

Database administrators, often called DBAs, make sure that data analysts and other users can easily use databases to find the information they need and that systems perform as they should. Some DBAs oversee the development of new databases. They have to determine the needs of the database and who will be using it. They often monitor database performance and conduct performance-tuning support.

Many databases contain personal or financial information, making security important. Database administrators often plan security measures, making sure that data are secure from unauthorized access.

Many database administrators are general-purpose DBAs and have all of these duties. However, some DBAs specialize in certain tasks that vary with an organization and its needs. Two common specialties are as follows:

Careers for Database Administrators

  • Application DBAs
  • Application database administrators
  • Automatic data processing planners
  • DBAs
  • DBMS specialists
  • Database administration managers
  • Database coordinators
  • Database management system specialists
  • Database security administrators
  • System DBAs
  • System database administrators

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