What Does a Database Programming Professional Do?

A database programming professional or database programmer is responsible for maintaining a database, which includes preserving data integrity. A database programming professional may actually design, create, and implement a database from scratch, but most companies use commercially marketed databases from Oracle, IBM, or Microsoft. Schools offering Database Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Industry Tools

A database (DB) stores information in a manner that makes the information easily accessible by a computer program or query. There are various DB models: flat-file, hierarchical, network, relational, and object-oriented. The most often used is the relational model. Relational databases are marketed most notably by Oracle (Oracle 11g), IBM (DB2 and Informix), and Microsoft (MSSQL). Depending on the position, a database programming professional may or may not be responsible for designing and implementing a database from scratch. Generally, most database programming professionals work with commercially bought DBs.

Important Facts About Database Programming Professionals

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Critical and analytical thinking, attention to detail, clear verbal and written communication, computer competency
Work Environment Computer systems design and related services; information industries; educational services; management of companies and enterprises; insurance carriers and related services
Similar Occupations Computer and information systems managers; computer network architects; computer programmers; computer support specialists; network and computer systems administrators; software developers; web developers

Job Duties

Database programming professionals, also referred to as database programmers or database administrators, protect the information stored in a database. Daily responsibilities typically fall into one of three categories: database maintenance, data processing, or programming.


Database programming professionals spend most of their time providing technical support and working on maintaining the DB. They maintain existing applications and develop new ones. They perform data maintenance and troubleshoot and fix problems. They may be responsible for data recovery after a disaster, backups, upgrades, and job scheduling. Database programmers' duties can include support for clients, end users, and other team members.

Data Processing

A database programmer imports data files provided by the client into the database. Data may have to be validated, edited, and formatted. They write scripts, procedures, or queries in SQL (structured query language). They are responsible for updating the database on a regular basis to guarantee data integrity and for performing checks for quality assurance.


A company may be in the business of creating applications or programs i.e. games, which use databases. In this instance, a database programmer would be responsible for creating and implementing a customized database to be used by the application. They would also write the code that allows the application to interact with the database.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, the majority of database analysts and programmers earn between $38,819 and $96,872 a year, as of September 2015. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) projects that the employment of database administrators will likely grow by about 11% between 2014 and 2024, a rate that's faster than the average predicted for all occupations.

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