Data is the lifeblood of modern business. Today’s companies need database administrators who can help them organize and utilize the data to maintain a competitive edge.
Database administrators (sometimes called DBAs) create and organize systems that store data in logical, easily usable ways so data analysts and other users can access the information they need.
Database administrators keep the company’s data safe, accessible and understandable. They also frequently work with management to understand the business’ data needs and plan goals for the database.
The specific tasks assigned to a database administrator vary depending on the company you’re working for, but in general, you can expect to perform a wide variety of duties. Some of the most common include:
- Evaluating database software
- Identifying user needs and permissions
- Making and testing modifications to the database structure
- Maintaining database integrity and performance
- Merging old databases into new ones
- Backing up and restoring data to prevent data loss
- Testing and evaluating the database regularly to ensure data privacy and security
- Providing data management support and training to users
These duties are typical for most database administrators. Some DBAs specialize in certain tasks. Two common specialties are:
- System DBA: Has responsibility for the physical and technical parts of a database. Often installs upgrades and patches to fix bugs.
- Application DBA: Supports a database that has been created for a specific application, such as recordkeeping software. These DBAs often use complex programming languages to write or debug programs.
Database administrators are in high demand across most industries. In healthcare, for example, DBAs work in clinics, hospital systems, and related organizations. DBAs work in every industry from financial to education to retail companies and beyond.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for database administrators and architects is expected to rise 8% from 2020 to 2030. That’s a growth rate of 8%, which is slightly higher than the average for most occupations.
According to PayScale, the average database administrator salary was $73,407 in 2020. BLS notes that the highest-paid 10% of DBAs earned more than $150,000 while the lowest 10% earned about $54,000.
DBA positions typically require a Bachelor’s degree in an information technology-related field. You should have an understanding of database languages such as SQL.
Additional certifications are also very helpful. For example, candidates can separate themselves by getting certified in CompTIA A+ Hardware and Software and/or CompTIA Information Technology Fundamentals (ITF+).
Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology offers a Bachelor of Science in Data Management and Analytics. During your studies you will learn everything you need to prepare for DBA positions and certification exams.