How to Become A Database Administrator

Database Administrators, commonly known as DBAs, utilize special software to organize and store various types of data like, financial records or customer information etc. Their duty is to ensure that a certain data set is easily accessible for targeted users only and cannot be accessed by unauthorized users.

Should I Become a Database Administrator?

Since main databases often contain customers’ personal information or may be even financial information, the security of a database becomes crucial. Therefore, Database Administrators’ job is to ensure that the information cannot accessed by unauthorized users. They oversee the systems and ensure that there are no glitches. DBAs also supervise the development of new databases by keeping the users in mind. They carry out various tests to evaluate the overall performance of a database and fine tune it, if required.

Education Required

Bachelor’s degree

Major Requirement

Management Information Systems, Computer Science or related field




1 to 5 years

Key Skills

Analytical, Communicational, Problem-solving skills, detail-oriented, teamwork etc.

Annual Mean Salary


Job Outlook

9% (Faster than average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018)

According to the data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018, the Database Administrators earned an annual mean salary of $92,030 which approx. amounts to $44.25 per hour. Furthermore, the BLS listed Nonresidential Building Construction as the highest paying industry for this occupation with an annual mean salary of $111,880. Apart from that, BLS reported the state of Texas with the highest level of employment (11,020) whereas, the state of New Jersey was named as the top paying state with an annual mean salary of $110,160.

Career Requirements

DBAs often use complex programming languages therefore, employers look for candidates who are apt in computer programming languages. DBAs also write new programs and debug already in-use programs as well as perform troubleshoot for various issues. They are also required to manage the applications associated with a certain database. Apart from these qualities, employers prefer hiring candidates who possess analytical skills and are detail-oriented since this line of work requires you to quickly pin point the issue and resolve it. Candidates with excellent communication skills who can work alone and with a team are looked upon favorably.

Steps to Becoming a Database Administrator

Step-1: Education

Database Administrators must acquire at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Management Information Systems or a related field with some work experience to begin working at entry-level positions. However, most graduates opt for a master’s degree to advance their career and work in big companies with large databases. To work well in this field, DBAs, must have knowledge of a few computer languages such as, Structured Query Language (SQL), Data Definition Language (DDL), Data Manipulation Language (DML), Data Control Language (DCL) and so on.

Step-2: Work Experience  

Database Administrator who already have at least 1 year of field experience are often preferred by employers. However, advanced level positions may require extensive work experience of up to 5 years. DBAs can gain field experience through internships by working as assistants to senior DBAs.

Step-3: Certification

DBAs are usually not required to obtain any certifications but majority of the employers hire candidates who possess 1 or more certifications. Possessing a certification depicts your commitment to the career as well as your professionalism and knowledge of this field. Microsoft also offers a certification called ‘Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert.’ Interested candidates can pursue this certification in the area of ‘Data Platform’ which is related to Database Administration.

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