How Can I Become an Oracle Database Administrator?

Research what it takes to become an Oracle database administrator. Learn about licensure requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Database Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Oracle Database Administrator?

Oracle database administrators implement and manage Oracle systems at private companies and government agencies. They are responsible for creating database storage structures, planning for future storage needs, and ensuring that the database operates efficiently. Working with the management of their company or organization, they identify user needs and work to update the database to meet those needs. They protect the information stored in the database by backing up and restoring data, as well as ensuring that sensitive or private information is secure. They must also be familiar and comply with the Oracle license agreement. Depending on the size of the database, they may work alone or with other database administrators. Learn more about this career field in the table below.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Training Required Oracle architecture, network integration, structured query language
Key Skills Managerial skills, data organization
Licensure/Certification Voluntary Oracle certification
Job Growth (2014-2024) 11% for all database administrators*
Median Salary (2017) $91,839 for Oracle database administrators**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,**PayScale.com

What Types of Programs Are Available?

A number of schools offer certificate programs that provide the training you need to gain certification as an Oracle database administrator. Course content covers such topics as backup and recovery, performance monitoring and optimization, the use of structured query language, Oracle architecture and network integration. Certificate programs can be completed in one year or less.

To obtain certification, you need to pass one or more certification exams depending on what level and which areas of administration you want credentials in. Oracle has 42 separate exams for its 12c, 11g, SQL, and MySQL product families. Passing scores range from a low of 33% on section 3 of the 12c RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administration exam to 75% on the Oracle Database Performance and Tuning Essentials exam. Most specify scores of 60%-70%.

Where Do Professionals Work?

Financial firms, insurance providers, schools, telecommunications companies and government agencies are among the organizations that have implemented Oracle database systems and employ administrators. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that 113,770 database administrators were employed in the U.S. as of 2015. The BLS predicted 11% growth in employment of database administrators as an umbrella category from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov).

What Will My Job Duties Be?

Your role as an Oracle database administrator (DBA) is likely to encompass routine, mid-level and advanced tasks. Routine tasks include installing, patching and tuning each instance of a database implementation, installing backup systems and adding new users. Mid-level tasks include migrating data from an old system, troubleshooting problems and coordinating data security with network administrators. Advanced responsibilities include managing development projects as well as storing, organizing and presenting data in a way that meets the needs of users.

What Can I Expect to Earn?

According to PayScale.com in 2017, your salary as an Oracle database administrator should fall into the overall range of $59,432-$133,099. By contrast, database administrators as a general group earned salaries in the overall range of $45,460-$127,080 in 2015, according to the BLS.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

A related career requiring a bachelor's degree is that of computer and information systems management. These IT managers or IT project managers, as they are sometimes called, oversee all computer use and are in charge of establishing computer systems that best meet the needs of the company or organization. Network and computer system administrators also need a bachelor's degree and are chiefly responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the networks that link computers together within an organization. For those interested in earning an associate's degree in a similar field, another option is to become a web developer. They build websites, including both technical and visual elements, are responsible for monitoring the site's performance, and sometimes provide site content.

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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