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What Is a Database Administrator and How to Become One

Database Administrator

What Is a Database Administrator?

A database administrator manages, stores, and organizes data using specialized software. In this career, your responsibilities include making sure that the data is accessible to customers or users while remaining secure from attack by unauthorized persons. Your specific job duties include developing ways to organize the data for easy access, monitoring data usage, backing up data to prevent data loss during an emergency or system failure, and merging older databases into newer ones, integrating old information into the new structures.

How Can I Get a Job as a Database Administrator?

Typically, a database admin has a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a closely related field, such as statistics. If you want to work for a large company that controls large amounts of data, you may need to have a master’s degree or significant work experience in addition to your undergraduate qualifications. There are no required licenses or certifications. However, many software vendors and independent organizations offer a number of voluntary certifications, which may improve your career opportunities. These certifications can help you demonstrate your skills and experience with databases to potential employers.

Are Database Administrator Jobs in Demand?

There is high demand for database administrators at the moment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, database admin jobs are projected to increase by 11% in the next decade. This growth is due to more companies needing to collect and store data properly. If you have training in cloud-based technologies and databases, there is even more projected growth, with job demand increasing up to 17%, according to the BLS. Database administrators who design computer systems are also in high demand.

What Is the Difference Between a Database Administrator and a Database Developer?

The difference between a database administrator and developer is very specific to individual companies. Some companies use the titles interchangeably, while others have different definitions for each. However, generally speaking, a developer works more closely with a development team to create a database system or use a database system in a new way, while an admin designs databases and database servers and oversees their installation. Database administrators also monitor the day-to-day operations of the system and troubleshoot user and security issues.

Database Administrator Job Description Sample

With this Database Administrator job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Database Administrator role.

Job Summary

We are seeking a skilled, experienced database administrator to join our growing organization. In this position, you will manage and test computer databases. An organized, detail-oriented work ethic is a must.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Monitor databases for proper performance
  • Install upgrades and maintain systems
  • Manage storage for all applications
  • Manage security and report incidents
  • Maintain server configuration, migration, and other implementations
  • Monitor root cause analysis and resolutions
  • Install and maintain servers and environments
  • Manage back-ups and recovery procedures
  • Create custom monitoring and maintenance plans
  • Configure SQL servers
  • Administer and test new upgrades and databases
  • Troubleshoot and resolve database problems
  • Ensure audit trails are maintained and documented

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, computer science, engineering, or related field
  • Three to four years of SQL server database experience or database administration experience in a commercial environment or equivalent work experience
  • Experience with any of the following: Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, or Teradata; Microsoft Transact-SQL, PL/SQL, or Teradata SQL; Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio, Oracle OEM, or Teradata Studio; Microsoft Windows Server 2003/2008/2012, UNIX, or AIX; SQL Server Database Administration 2000/2005/2008 R2 and/or 2012
  • Experience with database migration, performance tuning, and optimization, and setting up and managing database connections
  • Familiar with SQL reporting services including creating, modifying, and managing custom reports
  • Able to multitask, prioritize, and manage time efficiently
  • Accurate and precise attention to detail
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent analytical, quantitative, and organizational skills
  • Up-to-date on the latest industry trends; able to articulate trends and potential clearly and confidently
  • Good interpersonal skills and communication with all levels of management