How to Become a

Database Administrator DBA

The complete career guide to be a Database Administrator DBA: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $84,250
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 11.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Database Administrators, or DBAs, are responsible for the performance, integrity and security of a database.  They are involved in the planning, and development of the database, as well as troubleshooting any problems with the database.

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What is a Database Administrator DBA?

The following responsibilities are common for Database Administrators:

  • Identifies the database requirements through interviewing clients
  • Analyzes, department applications, programming and operations while also evaluating existing systems
  • Recommends and necessary solutions for database security, back-up and recovery solutions
  • Installs new or revised database systems
  • Maintains and supports the database functions and performance by designing, coding and implementing proper computer operating systems software and hardware

A Day In The Life

Database Administrators are responsible for applying, maintaining, evaluating and developing computerized databases within both public and private sectors.   They are responsible for maintaining the integrity and performance of the database and guarantee that the information and data stored is secure and accurate.

They need to establish what the database is used for, and who will be using and working with these systems.  They must determine the ideal user-friendly structure for organizing the data.  Then build a test system to establish any issues or problems within the system.  They then complete the database by entering all the necessary information and sets up sufficient storage and ensures the database has an adequate amount of storage.  Different individuals and businesses have different storage systems, that require individual care and maintenance.

Typical Work Schedule

Database administrators usually work following regular working schedule of 37 – 40 hours per week. They occasionally need to work for extended hours in some situations as major upgrades to the system database or when the system is subject to a cyberattack for example. Major upgrades to databases are usually scheduled overnight or on weekends at low usage times. However, depending on the industry they work for and the specialty of the database administrators they may have more tasks to take care of which could increase the working hours beyond the standard schedule. However, this is a rare case as most of their tasks can be done within the standard working hours.

Projected Job Growth

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for database administrators is expected to increase by at least 10 % from 2019 to 2029 which is much faster than the average of all other jobs. Many factors lead to this increase including the high demand of companies and stake holders for user-friendly data presentation. Additionally, the massive growth of data available presented a financial treasure chances to companies as Amazon, Google, Netflix and Facebook. Smaller companies started also paying attention to the importance to the databases and started hiring dedicated database administrators.

Typical Employers

Database administrators are needed in many fields to process the increasing amount of data available and therefore have a wider range of employers. Employers include corporations working in computer systems design and other related fields which ranges from the huge corporations like Google, Facebook, etc. to smaller companies and other software publishers. They can also work for data processing firms and hosting. They are also needed in education where a considerable amount of data is recorded for students and teachers’ evaluation. The importance of databases was hugely emphasized in the healthcare business with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was essential to track the patterns of the disease spread and the relation between comorbidities and disease prognosis. Database administrators currently play a vital role in marketing agencies where is keep records for marketing leads and purchasing trends.

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How To Become a Database Administrator DBA

To become a Database Administrator, an individual generally needs at least at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, database management or computer information systems.  However, only a degree is not sufficient in most cases.  These individuals must possess a balance of technical skills and business and communication skills.  In addition, these individuals must possess knowledge of a variety of coding systems, including SQL , Microsoft and Cisco.  Acquiring and having extensive knowledge in SQL is a necessary requirement.  An individual should begin by first learning the SQL programming language.  They must become certified in at least one or two of the most popular coding systems which are oracle database administrator, IBM administrator and MS or Microsoft SQL.  Its is a good idea for an individual to choose the field that they desire to go into and then learn the companies specific database software.

The majority of the administrators begin their careers as database developers or database analysts.  Then, after completing anywhere for 1 to 4 years experience, an individual may then be qualified to assume a position as a database manager. To become a proficient DBA, an individual should pursue database administrator training and certifications. These managers ensure that databases operate correctly and are user friendly and are accessible for data analysts so that they can perform their duties.  Their roles, the software and the platforms are constantly changing and growing and these individuals are always learning something new.

Database Administrator DBA Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Database Administrator DBA salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Database Administrator DBA's can make an average annual salary of $84,250, or $41 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $60,100 or $29 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #124 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Database Administrator DBA. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Database Administrator DBAs

  • 2.4%   Doctorate
  • 21.5%   Masters
  • 47.3%   Bachelors
  • 8.8%   Associates
  • 13.8%   College
  • 5.3%   High School
  • 1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Database Administrator DBA job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 13,400 jobs for a total of 133,400 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 11.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #157 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Database Administrator DBAs

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Computer systems design and related services 18,300 4,700 5%
Management of companies and enterprises 8,600 400 0%
Data processing, hosting and related services 4,000 1,000 1%

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