Database Architect Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for database architects. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements and salary 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 Architect?

As a database architect, you oversee the process of developing and implementing databases within an organization's computer system. This involves knowing how to create databases to solve company problems and finding solutions to problems in databases. You would be responsible for ensuring that the data in a database is backed up, and running tests to ensure the database operates as it should. This job requires cooperation with other IT professionals, which may include training other database developers. The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as a database architect.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree, master's degree for advanced skills
Education Field of Study Computer science or related field
Key Responsibilities -Design user interfaces, global temporary tables and data transfer components;
-Maintain records of important aspects of a company's database architecture;
-Evaluate and report system consumption speeds
Certification Certification recommended to improve job prospects
Job Growth (2014-2024) 12% (for all database administrators)*
Median Salary (2015) $81,710 (for all database administrators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Database Architect Do?

Database architecture refers to the way in which an organization's computer systems are set up to store, access and manage information stored in databases. Databases could house a company's order-processing, inventory, bookkeeping and human resources functions. Database architecture also establishes protocols for how to manage, predict and evaluate the flow of data. The quality of database architecture can affect a system's dependability, performance, integrity and scalability.

Database architects oversee the development and implementation of databases. They develop the overall strategy. This often requires a thorough understanding of a business' needs and operations, which could put you in work environments with software engineers, executives, design analysts and industry experts. Your responsibilities could include designing user interfaces, global temporary tables, data transfer components, data partitions or data indexes. You may also be in charge of maintaining records of procedural codes, queries for applications, plans for upgrades or documentation of the database's architecture. Additionally, database architects evaluate and report on the speed at which a system consumes resources.

What Skills and Training Do I Need?

Because databases are so crucial, database architects are typically highly skilled professionals with a lot of work experience. This experience could be built by working as a database administrator or in a related position. Additionally, if you want to pursue this profession, you should be proficient in industry-standard database technologies, implementation strategies and architecture models.

You typically must have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field to be eligible for a database architect job. You could also earn a more specialized master's degree, such as a master's degree in database technologies. In these kinds of programs, you could learn about data structures and algorithms, database design, applications development, networking and computer architecture. Other areas of study could include enterprise architecture, Oracle database administration, data warehouse design, database backup and structured query language (SQL) programming.

Do I Need to be Certified?

While you can secure employment as a data architect without being certified, getting one or more relevant certifications may improve your chances of getting a job. You could pursue certifications such as the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) directly from Microsoft or the Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) from the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP). There may be preparation courses available for certification as well.

What Is the Pay?

According to 2015 data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all database administrators in the United States had a median annual salary of $81,710. The top 25% of earners in this field made in excess of $106,390, while those in the lower 25% made $60,100 or less.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Information technology (IT) project managers are the managers that coordinate the activities of IT projects. They set IT goals and direct activities and resources to meet those goals. Computer network architects design and install local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and intranet connections. Computer systems analysts are hired to come into a company, assess its current computer technology and make suggestions regarding what they could do to improve or fix computer systems. All of these careers require professionals to have a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field.

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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