Database Administrators

This is a sub-career of Database Administrator or Architect
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Job Outlook:
Faster than average
Education: Bachelor's degree
Salary
High: $153,870.00
Average: $102,530.00
Hourly
Average: $49.29

What they do:

Administer, test, and implement computer databases, applying knowledge of database management systems. Coordinate changes to computer databases. Identify, investigate, and resolve database performance issues, database capacity, and database scalability. May plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard computer databases.

On the job, you would:

  • Modify existing databases and database management systems or direct programmers and analysts to make changes.
  • Plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard information in computer files against accidental or unauthorized damage, modification or disclosure.
  • Plan and install upgrades of database management system software to enhance database performance.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. DBAs monitor a database system’s performance to determine when action is needed. They must evaluate information from a variety of sources to decide on an approach.

Communication skills. Most database administrators and architects work on teams and need to convey information effectively to developers, managers, and other workers.

Detail oriented. Working with databases requires an understanding of complex systems, in which a minor error can cause major problems.

Problem-solving skills. When database problems arise, administrators and architects must troubleshoot and correct the problems.

Personality

A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

78% Integrity  -  Job requires being honest and ethical.
78% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
75% Persistence  -  Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
75% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
75% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
72% Initiative  -  Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
72% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
71% Adaptability/Flexibility  -  Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
68% Stress Tolerance  -  Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
68% Achievement/Effort  -  Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
67% Self-Control  -  Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Strengths

100% Conventional  -  Work involves following procedures and regulations to organize information or data, typically in a business setting. Conventional occupations are often associated with office work, accounting, mathematics/statistics, information technology, finance, or human resources.
72% Investigative  -  Work involves studying and researching non-living objects, living organisms, disease or other forms of impairment, or human behavior. Investigative occupations are often associated with physical, life, medical, or social sciences, and can be found in the fields of humanities, mathematics/statistics, information technology, or health care service.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

67% Working Conditions  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
67% Support  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
61% Achievement  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Aptitude

A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

75% Deductive Reasoning  -  The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
72% Written Comprehension  -  The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
72% Problem Sensitivity  -  The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
72% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
72% Inductive Reasoning  -  The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
72% Information Ordering  -  The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
66% Near Vision  -  The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Job Details

Responsibilities
Develop performance metrics or standards related to information technology.
Create databases to store electronic data.
Update computer database information.
Assess database performance.
Modify software programs to improve performance.
Develop computer or information security policies or procedures.
Implement security measures for computer or information systems.
Develop detailed project plans.
Coordinate software or hardware installation.
Train others in computer interface or software use.
Implement security measures for computer or information systems.
Develop models of information or communications systems.
Read documents to gather technical information.
Update computer database information.
Analyze market or customer related data.
Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.
Develop database parameters or specifications.
Write computer programming code.
Read documents to gather technical information.
Develop database parameters or specifications.
Evaluate utility of software or hardware technologies.
Provide recommendations to others about computer hardware.
Create databases to store electronic data.
Install computer software.
Provide technical support for software maintenance or use.
Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning.
Assess database performance.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

98% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
94% Indoors, Environmentally Controlled  -  How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
90% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
90% Telephone  -  How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
87% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
84% Importance of Being Exact or Accurate  -  How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
83% Spend Time Sitting  -  How much does this job require sitting?
81% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
78% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
73% Frequency of Decision Making  -  How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
72% Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions  -  How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
72% Consequence of Error  -  How serious would the result usually be if the worker made a mistake that was not readily correctable?
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

96% Working with Computers  -  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
80% Making Decisions and Solving Problems  -  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
78% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
78% Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events  -  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
75% Analyzing Data or Information  -  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
73% Processing Information  -  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
72% Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships  -  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
71% Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates  -  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
69% Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards  -  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
68% Thinking Creatively  -  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
67% Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge  -  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
66% Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work  -  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
65% Documenting/Recording Information  -  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

What Database Administrators and Architects Do

Database administrators
Database administrators ensure databases run efficiently.

Database administrators and architects create or organize systems to store and secure a variety of data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They also make sure that the data are available to authorized users.

Duties

Database administrators and architects typically do the following:

  • Identify user needs to create and administer databases
  • Design and build new databases
  • Ensure that organizational data are secure
  • Back up and restore data to prevent data loss
  • Ensure that databases operate efficiently and without error
  • Make and test modifications to database structure when needed
  • Maintain databases and update permissions

Database administrators, often called DBAs, make sure that data analysts and other users can easily use databases to find the information they need. They also ensure that systems perform as they should by monitoring database operation and providing support.

Many databases contain personal, proprietary, or financial information. Database administrators often are responsible for planning security measures to protect this important information.

Database architects design and build new databases for systems and applications. They research the technical requirements of an organization during the design phase and then create models for building the database. Finally, they code new data architecture, integrating existing databases or infrastructure, and check for errors or inefficiencies.

The duties of database administrators and database architects may overlap. For example, administrators and architects may be generalists who work on both systems and applications. However, some DBAs specialize in certain tasks, such as maintenance, that vary with an organization and its needs. Two common specialties are as follows:

System DBAs are responsible for the physical and technical aspects of a database, such as installing upgrades and patches to fix program bugs. They ensure that the firm’s database management systems work properly.

Application DBAs do all the tasks of a general DBA focusing solely on a database for a specific application or set of applications, such as customer-service software. They may write or debug programs and must be able to manage the applications that work with the database.

Work Environment

Database administrators held about 85,200 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of database administrators were as follows:

Computer systems design and related services 14%
Finance and insurance 13
Information 10
Educational services; state, local, and private 9
Management of companies and enterprises 8

Database architects held about 64,000 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of database architects were as follows:

Computer systems design and related services 36%
Finance and insurance 13
Management of companies and enterprises 7
Administrative and support services 6
Computing infrastructure providers, data processing, web hosting, and related services 6

Database administrators and architects work in nearly all industries. For example, in retail they may design databases that track buyers’ shipping information; in healthcare, they may manage databases that secure patients’ medical records.

Work Schedules

Most database administrators and architects work full time.

Getting Started

Education:
89%
Bachelor's Degree
4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.

How to Become a Database Administrator or Architect

Database administrators
Database administrators usually have a bachelor’s degree in an information- or computer-related subject such as computer science.

Database administrators (DBAs) and architects typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field.

Education

Database administrators and architects typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field, such as engineering; some DBAs study business. Employers may prefer to hire applicants who have a master’s degree focusing on data or database management, typically either in computer science, information systems, or information technology.

Database administrators and architects need an understanding of database languages, such as Structured Query Language, or SQL. DBAs will need to become familiar with whichever programming language their firm uses.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is typically offered directly from software vendors or vendor-neutral certification providers. Employers may require their database administrators and architects to be certified in the products they use.

Advancement

Database administrators and architects may advance to become computer and information systems managers. Experienced database administrators may advance to become database architects.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of database administrators and architects is projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 10,200 openings for database administrators and architects are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Employment growth will be driven by the continued data needs of companies in nearly all sectors of the economy. Database administrators and database architects will be needed to organize and present information to stakeholders in a user-friendly format. As organizations continue to migrate to cloud environments, these administrators and architects will be critical to ensuring proper database design, transition, backup, and security and to ensuring that connections to legacy systems remain intact.

Contacts for More Information

For more information about database administrators and architects, visit

Association for Computing Machinery

Computing Research Association

IEEE Computer Society

For more information about opportunities for women pursuing information technology careers, visit

National Center for Women & Information Technology

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Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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