Database Developer: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for database developers. Get the facts about training and education requirements, job duties, career opportunities 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 Developer?

Database developers create computer systems that organize information and files in easily accessible and manageable ways. It is their responsibility to ensure that databases run efficiently and fix problems that arise. They set user permissions, create backups and ensure the security of data. In some cases, they may merge databases. Explore the table below to find the general requirements for a career as a database developer.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree, master's degree may be required by some employers
Education Field of Study Computer science, information technology or database administration (bachelor's degree), business or management (master's degree)
Key Responsibilities Construct database systems that protect business information, integrate components of old systems into the design of new databases, regularly test and improve database, answer user questions and troubleshoot problems
Job Growth (2014-2024) 11% (for all database administrators)*
Median Salary (2015) $81,710 (for all database administrators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Database Development Training Will I Need?

To prepare for a career as a database developer, you will likely need to complete a bachelor's degree program concentrated in computer science, information technology, database administration or a related field. You'll benefit from classes covering database design, systems management, networking, wireless technology, systems security and technical writing. You may also want to consider a technical certification program, which can accelerate your understanding of database design and provide advanced experience with databases such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle.

Additionally, a master's degree in a business or management field may also be necessary depending on the position you desire. An understanding of business procedures, marketing and accounting will help you better design databases that meet the specific demands of users and their interests.

What Job Duties Will I Complete?

As a database developer, you must use your knowledge of computer hardware, programming and systems design to construct database systems that meet the needs of businesses and protect their information. In the process, you will likely need to integrate components of old systems into the design of new databases. Once a database is functional, you must continue to test and improve it while interacting with users to answer questions and troubleshoot any problems. Strong communication skills are necessary to consult with both computer workers, as well as those who have a limited understanding of computer and database functionality.

In addition, you may be required to develop user manuals, training guides and help features. Throughout the process, you should remain aware of the requirements of users and strive to keep them well informed and engaged in the architecture of the project.

Where Will I Work?

As a database developer, you'll typically work a full-time schedule in a traditional office environment or computer laboratory with sufficient computer systems and peripherals at your disposal. Depending on the layout of your workplace, you may often visit production and warehouse areas to monitor network and equipment setup and repair. Working overtime also may sometimes be necessary in order to address database support issues.

Additionally, you may be obligated to remain 'on call' outside regular hours to find solutions for system failures or other technical issues. If you work on multiple databases or a database that includes multiple physical locations, some travel could be necessary.

How Much Can I Expect to Earn?

The job prospects for database developers should be excellent since companies continue to elevate their information technology (IT) capabilities and integrate new technology. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that in May 2015, the annual median wage was $81,710 for database administrators; however, most earned between $45,460 and $127,080 (www.bls.gov). In order to have the best likelihood of landing a job and the greatest potential income, you should strive to master as many organizational, problem-solving and analytical skills as possible while staying up-to-date on current IT trends and database capabilities.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer network architects are hired to design and install secure networks that will meet an organization's needs. In some cases, they may not install entire systems, but rather upgrade components to make existing networks more effective. Computer programmers write the instructional code computers use to run programs. This may include application software such as that used in databases. Both of these careers require 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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