Database Administrator

Database administrators use software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data are available to users and are secure from unauthorized access.

 

Sample of Reported Job Titles

Database Administrator (DBA), Database Analyst, Database Administration Manager, Database Coordinator, Database Programmer, Information Systems Manager, Management Information Systems Director (MIS Director), Programmer Analyst, Systems Manager

 

Summary

Databases provide the backbone of many software applications. And behind those databases are people with a talent for storing, organizing, and managing data. Database administrators—DBAs, for short—set up databases according to a company’s needs, and make sure they operate efficiently, fine-tuning, upgrading, and testing modifications as needed. They are also responsible for implementing security measures to safeguard the company's most sensitive data. The job involves resolving complex issues, so attention to detail is an essential trait in this profession, as is a passion for problem-solving. Communication skills are also important, as DBAs often work as part of a team with computer programmers and managers. Ongoing maintenance of a database frequently requires being on call, and a quarter of DBAs work more than 40 hours a week. These professionals are employed in a wide range of settings in the public and private sectors, and sometimes work as consultants.

Many database administrators are general-purpose DBAs and have all these duties. However, some DBAs specialize in certain tasks that vary with the 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 typically have a background in system architecture and ensure that the database in a firm’s computer systems works properly.
  • Application DBAs support a database that has been designed for a specific application or a set of applications, such as customer service software. Using complex programming languages, they may write or debug programs and must be able to manage the aspects of the applications that work with the database. They also do all the tasks of a general DBA, but only for their particular application.

Educational Requirements

Employers generally require a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field such as computer science or management information systems, although some favor applicants with a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in information systems.

 

Median Salary 2012

$77,080

 

Want to know more?

Bureau of Labor Statistics-Database Administrators

O*NET-Database Administrators

 

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Database Administrator Professionals

Linked DBA Group

Association for Computing Machinery

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Information retrieved from http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/database-administrator, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/database-administrators.htm#tab-1, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1141.00

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