Database Administrator or Architect
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Salary Range: $80,000 or more
Average Hourly: $47.53
Education: Bachelor's degree
Number of Jobs: 168,000
Jobs Added to 2029: 13,200
Growth: As fast as average
Go here to see salary and job data specific to the United Kingdom.
Work From Home
This career often has an option to work from home. Modern technology allows a Database Administrator to remotely access work computers and databases.
What Database Administrators and Architects Do
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.
|Computer systems design and related services||13%|
|Educational services; state, local, and private||6|
|Management of companies and enterprises||6|
|Insurance carriers and related activities||6|
|Data processing, hosting, and related services||3|
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.
Most database administrators and architects work full time.
Employment of database administrators and architects is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
About 13,900 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.
How to Become a Database Administrator or Architect
Database administrators and architects typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field. Some employers 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. Administrators and architects 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.
Database administrators and architects may advance to become computer and information systems managers. Experienced database administrators may advance to become database architects.
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.