How do I become a Database Administrator?

How do I become a Database Administration

Database Administrators (DBA) — or those who work in database administration — are often jacks of all trades, jumping into the creation, implementation, securing, and optimization of database technologies. DBA opportunities abound, and are found in almost every organization of a certain scale, whether public, private, or non-profit. As digital record keeping has accelerated — and become an industry unto itself — organizations as far ranging as your local doctor’s office, an entire hospital, online media corporations, and every hard industry have massive needs in the field of establishing, maintaining, and optimizing databases.

Salary of Database Administrators:
The avarage salary of Database Administrator positions can vary pretty widely, in accordance with location, experience level, and exact job descriptions. The lowest salary reported on PayScale was $43,900, while the highest was $104,758, leading to an average salary of $71,370. This variance is largely due to seniority and skillset, with those with a job description of database administrator III or IV garnering between $100-$120,000. Those with Oracle Database Administrator or Database Administrator Manager in their titles also made well over $100,000 a year on average.

Common Skills Needed of a Junior DBA

  • Advanced knowledge of SQL
  • Scripting Knowledge, such as Powershell, Linux Terminal, or BASH
  • Relationship between third parties and databases, in particular stored responses and triggers
  • A certification in database technologies that match the stack of the employing organization
  • Object Oriented Programming Experience
  • Knowledge of the operating system in which databases are integrated
  • Knowledge of access, permissions, and basic security concepts

Database Administrator Job Description:
Database administrators often work with a variety of teams and individually to design, develop, test, and improve databases in whatever technology their employing organization works. DBAs will often lead software updates, implement secure access procedures for developers and other team members, implement improvements and security audits at the server level. DBA positions often require the ability to troubleshoot and come up with solutions to complex technical issues alone, as well as the ability to communicate and collaborate with business analysts and project managers on issues within their purview. While many DBAs are generalists tasked with learning more in-depth knowledge in areas their organization needs aid in, many larger organizations will have a variety of DBAs on staff fulfilling the following roles and others:

  • DBAs tasked with designing logical databases
  • DBAs tasked with maintaining and fine tuning existing databases
  • DBAs focused on physical design problems related to databases
  • DBAs focused on building systems from scratch
  • DBAs tasked with security matters

What Education and Experience does a Database Administrator Need?

Database administrators can come from a variety of technical academic backgrounds, or in some cases be self taught. Common requirements include bachelors-level work in Database Administration, Computer Information Systems, Management Information Systems, or Computer Science. As with many technical skills, a portfolio of projects, or on-the-job experience can often be substituted for many openings. A common alternative prerequisite for junior to mid-level database administrators is that experience may be taken instead of schooling at the rate of one year of experience per year of schooling not received. There are also specific database administration degrees, such as this listed in our ranking of the best masters in database administration. On top of schooling or experience, many employers will prefer certification in a given technology set. The most in-demand DBA certifications of 2017 include the following:

  • OCP: Oracle Certified Professional
  • SAP HANA: SAP Certified Technology Associate – SAP HANA (Edition 2016)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Database Certifications
  • IBM Certified Database Administrator for DB2
  • Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.6 Database Administrator

Resources for Becoming a Database Administrator:

Check out our ranking of the best onlineinformation technology bachelors degree programs.

Check out our ranking of the best online information systems bachelors degree programs.

Check ou our ranking of the best online Database Administration masters degree programs.