Database Administrator Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for database administrators. Get the facts about degree requirements, salary, job outlook and job duties to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Database Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Database Administrator?

Database administrators manage information in computer databases. They are needed in virtually every type of organization, from private businesses and non-profits to government agencies and universities. As a database administrator, your job duties will include preventing data loss, maintaining and merging databases, and ensuring data security. You may also be responsible for installing upgrades or writing programs. Some database administrators specialize in systems, troubleshooting company-wide databases and system architecture. A few specialize in applications, creating and managing specific types of software, such as customer-service databases. Most handle all of these duties. Additional details about this career can be found within the table below.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Management information systems, computer science, information technology
Key Responsibilities Manage the efficiency of computer database systems, update software and hardware, troubleshoot all technical errors
Job Growth (2014-2024) 11%*
Median Salary (2015) $81,710*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need for a Career as a Database Administrator?

Database administrators typically have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology or another computer-related field. In addition to courses in computer programming, machine architecture, operating systems and databases, you must also take a number of electrical engineering and mathematics courses as a computer-science major.

In addition to completing a 4-year undergraduate program, earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis on information systems could increase your career opportunities. In order to attain an MBA, you have to complete courses in finance, marketing, management and statistics. Additionally, you should expect to take more specialized courses, such as database management and systems analysis, which are required for the information-systems specialization.

Get Certified

Being certified for a specific type of database-administration software could also improve your career outlook. For example, both Microsoft and Oracle offer certification opportunities for database administrators who choose to use their respective database-management software.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

As a database administrator, you are expected to create and maintain your organization's computer databases. You might also be responsible for adding new database users, backing up database information, managing database security and optimizing database performance. Depending on the needs of your employer, you may need to upgrade existing databases and conduct data mining in order to obtain useful information.

What Salary Could I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), database administrators in the bottom ten percent $45,460 or less, whereas those in the top-ten percent earned more than $127,080, as of May 2015. The BLS expects employment of database administrators to increase 11% from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average growth expected during that period among all occupations.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer and information systems managers, information security analysts and computer systems analysts are three other careers that also require a bachelor's degree. Computer and information systems managers are responsible for managing and directing an organization's computer activities. Information security analysts protect an organization's networks and systems from cyberattacks. Computer systems analysts help organizations increase their effectiveness and efficiency by analyzing data.

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:

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