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What is a Database Administrator?

Database AdministratorA database administrator is an information technology professional who is charged with the development and maintenance of software that is used to store and organize data. This is a high paying, fast growing job, ideal for someone who is interested in exploring a career working with computers and information. Read on to learn more about the job description, salary, education, and growth outlook for database administrators.

The Daily Life of a Database Administrator

Database administrators perform a variety of tasks, including granting and restricting user access to the data using specialized software, making sure the software works correctly and making modifications to it when needed, backing up and restoring data, ensuring that information is secure, and adding information and features. Some database administrators focus on overall systems and architecture of information, while others focus on specific software programs and applications. The ideal candidate for a job as a database administrator is someone who is analytical, with good communication, problem solving, and logical thinking skills. According to U.S. News and World Report, this career has above average upward mobility and average flexibility, but an above average stress level, making it a good choice for someone who is ambitious and can perform under pressure.

Becoming a Database Administrator

Most database administrators have a bachelor’s degree in a computer related field, such as computer science, managing information systems, or information technology. This includes learning the necessary program languages to become fluent in managing databases, such as SQL. In addition, work experience is usually necessary before becoming an administrator, such as in a role as a database developer or database analyst. While licensure is not necessary for database administrators, professionals can choose to earn certification in a specific software program, competency, or computer language. In addition, much of the work of building and managing databases is learned on the job rather than in a classroom, making internship opportunities a good way to maximize your education and opportunities in this field.

Salary and Job Outlook for Database Administrators

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, database administrators earn an average annual salary of $77,080, or $37.06 per hour. Most people in this role work around 40 hours per week. The highest paid jobs within this realm are in finance and insurance, followed by systems management, private industry, and education. This is a fast growing career, with 17 percent growth projected by 2022. This means there will be approximately 18,000 new jobs for aspiring database administrators.

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Information technology is one of the most lucrative and fast growing career fields in the current job market and for years to come. In fact, database administration is ranked as one of the top 100 best jobs and top 10 information technology jobs, by U.S. News and World Report. If you like working with computers and enjoy manipulating systems and information, you may want to consider a career as a database administrator.