Certified Database Administrator Certification and Career Facts

As a company's database administrator, you store and protect important data the organization couldn't function without. If this sounds like your ideal job, read on to find out how to enter the profession and what credentials you could earn to advance your career. Schools offering Database Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Database administrators are specialists in the IT field, and are required to hold a degree and experience in the industry. Certifications are highly recommended and additional coursework can offer opportunity for advancement. Demand in this field is expected to increase, and salaries can vary depending upon the certification obtained.

Certification IBM, Oracle, Microsoft database certifications, CompTIA Security+
Career Outlook 11% increase (faster than average for all occupations)*
Salary $87,020 (Median annual wage as of May 2017)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do I Need to Become a Database Administrator?

Database administrators (DBAs) are computer and information technology (IT) specialists who possess a high level of competence in data access, management and security. Most employers expect you to have significant knowledge and experience in database administration, which can be obtained by earning a bachelor's degree in an IT-related field, such as computer science, network architecture or computer engineering. Many of these IT majors give you basic and specialized training in how to create, manipulate, populate and troubleshoot databases.

If your degree is in another field or you're already an employed DBA looking for advancement, earning a graduate degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems, could make your skills more attractive to companies. An MBA program also includes business management training necessary to prepare you for the role of a supervisor and manager. However, the most important qualification for this position is experience.

How Can I Get Experience?

If you have no experience in database administration, you can receive quite a bit of training in an academic program through hands-on classroom practice and internship opportunities. Additionally, you can take specialized, intensive training courses through software manufacturers, such as Microsoft, IBM or Oracle, to gain practical experience for a particular database system. You can learn online or through instructor-led, face-to-face sessions. These programs typically prepare you to earn certification in database administration.

What Certifications Are Available?

Although certification is voluntary, many industry standards organizations and software vendors offer credentials that can help you land a job or get promoted. IBM, Oracle and Microsoft offer certifications in their own database software and server platforms. CompTIA also offers generalized options that demonstrate your overall competency in the field. Some certifications don't expire, but you'll usually want to update a credential with the release of a new version of a database technology.

You don't need to complete training courses or have experience, though some credentials are designed for experienced professionals, and manufacturers recommend you take at least a simulated practice test before sitting for an exam. Some certifications require more than one test to earn the credential. The following options are applicable to database administrators:

  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist in SQL technologies
  • IBM Certified Database Administrator for DB2
  • IBM Lotus Domino System Administrator
  • Oracle Database Administrator
  • CompTIA Security+

What Opportunities Are Available?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected to see an 11% growth in demand for database administrators between 2016 and 2026 due to the increased amount of data that companies make publicly available through the Internet. According to salary statistics provided by PayScale.com in mid 2018, some certifications made a significant difference in wages. The site indicated that over 4,000 database administrators claimed to earn approximately $40,192 - $110,088 per year. However, database administrators with Microsoft certification only made about $42,282 - $116,278, while Oracle DBAs averaged from $59,712-$133,026.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Strayer University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Georgetown University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Ashford University

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