PROS / Database administrators have the potential to earn a high wage.
CONS / Some database administrators are required to be on-call 24 hours a day.
VERDICT / Pursue this field if you have great attention to detail and enjoy organizing.
A database administrator builds and maintains custom databases to meet the specific data needs of a company or organization. The job requires certification in one or more kinds of platforms, such as Oracle or Juniper, as well as good communication skills to determine the multiple purposes that a system will be used for within an office. Increase in demand is expected in computer careers such as this over the next 10 years, although there are fewer database administrator jobs anticipated than in other similar fields, such as a network security specialist or a telecommunications specialist.
Databases streamline the data-entry process by making data in like fields similar in format, which is essential in accessing and sorting data more efficiently. Common types of systems are those that maintain inventory at a retail store, data on a shopping cart website or a data warehouse that stores accounts payable and accounts receivable information.
If you are employed in these types of IT jobs, you transfer data from one system to another during an upgrade. In addition, you provide maintenance to databases such as when one malfunctions or when additional functions need to be added, including a different kind of report or a new field on a form. You also manage access to the system. Because databases usually contain confidential or sensitive data, different kinds of access are established for employees with different security levels.
Starting salaries for database administrators average $42,930 annually, and you can expect to earn up to $118,720 depending on your region in the United States. If you are employed in a full-time, permanent position, you are often eligible for health insurance and other benefits.
Presently, 118,700 database administrators are employed throughout the United States, and 17,900 job openings are expected to be created by 2022. A range of companies and organizations that need to store data may hire you, or you may work for a consulting firm, which builds databases for business clients. You are most likely to be hired by a college or university, an insurance carrier or a merchant wholesaler. The states with the highest concentration of database administrators include the District of Columbia, Delaware, Colorado and Virginia.
Individuals in these types of computer jobs often receive a bachelor's degree in information technology at an accredited university, or you can enroll in a more specialized program for database administrators at a vocational school. Certification is also needed in one or more platforms such as Oracle and Juniper. An understanding of internet programming languages is also helpful for managing online systems, which are becoming more and more prevalent.
Database administrators who are employed in a permanent position by a company to maintain an internal database often work full-time. Depending on the size of the company and whether the company is international, you may be required to work swing or graveyard shifts. For those who maintain online systems which are accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, individuals are often required to be on-call when they are not in the office. If a database malfunctions, you may work over a weekend or holiday to get it functioning properly again.
A database administrator plays an important role in a company or organization that uses a database to keep track of information. Computer careers such as this have additional opportunities now that many systems are housed online. Database administration is a growing field that should stay relevant for a long time.