Is Database Administrator A Good Career Choice? (Pay, Growth & Skills)

Is Database Administrator A Good Career Choice? (Pay, Growth & Skills)

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If you love technology and possess strong problem-solving and analytical skills, then a career as a database administrator might be good for you. Even though it might be a challenging career, it comes with a high earning potential.

It is one of the best careers for those who want to work in the technology field. Other careers you might consider include software development, network administration, data science, and data visualization, among others.

We will focus on database administration in this article. Even though it is a good career choice, it is not ideal for everyone. You need to understand things like responsibilities and roles as well as qualification requirements before pursuing a career as a database administrator.

Who Is A Database Administrator?

Also known as a DBA, a database administrator can be described as a computer systems administrator tasked with different activities that are all related to the maintenance of the database of an organization and making sure that the data is secure.

One of the major responsibilities of DBAs is to ensure that there is no unauthorized access to data, that the data is available to authorized users, and that there is data integrity. They are also supposed to understand and manage the entire database.

In addition, DBAs are supposed to continuously test changes made to the database, upgrade, and fine-tune it to make sure that it meets the requirements of their organizations. This is a complex job, and you must be good at problem-solving to be a competent DBA.

Database Administrator Salary

A bigger percentage of database administrators work in full-time positions, meaning that they are salaried employees. The average salary for DBAs varies depending on things like the industry they are working in, geographic location, and experience.

That notwithstanding, the average salary for a database administrator in the United States is $91,159 annually. In addition to this and depending on the company they are working for, database administrators can get other benefits raising their salaries even higher.

In the United States, some of the highest-paying cities for database administrators include New York ($105.726), Washington ($104,366), Chicago ($99,033), Denver($97,302), and Atlanta ($95,845).

As you can see, salaries vary from one city to another. Similarly, they vary from one country to another. However, you can be guaranteed of getting a high salary working as a database administrator compared to most other careers.

Database Administrator Growth

This is one of the careers with a lot of growth potential. You can start as the most junior person in the technology team of an organization and then grow through the ranks to be among the most senior employees. Some organizations empower their DBAs in a bid to power up their businesses.

There are different certifications you can take throughout your career. These certifications, in addition to your experience and skills, play a vital role when it comes to your career growth. You can even specialize depending on your career requirements or the requirements of the organization you are working for. 

The most common types of DBAs include;

  • Application DBAs

These are DBAs who specialize in the management of databases that support specific applications. This might include applications such as service software among others. They are required to use programming languages when solving issues with their databases.

  • System DBAs

These are DBAs who specialize in the physical and technical areas of databases. They are required to be good at system architecture. System DBAs are responsible for things such as fixing issues in databases by installing patches or upgrades.

Database Administrator Skills

This is one of the most important things for a successful career as a database administrator. Different organizations might require different skills, but some of the most important skills for all DBAs include;

Ability To Use Different Tools

As discussed above, database administration involves complex processes. These processes cannot be handled manually, meaning that DBAs are required to use different tools when solving problems.

For instance, they might be required to implement real-time monitoring for Oracle DB using certain monitoring tools. They need to understand the best tools to use for this task and how to use them effectively.

Problem-Solving Skills

Database administrators are supposed to monitor and evaluate different database systems. They are also required to understand complex details and information that they might come through during their work. They, therefore, need the right problem-solving skills to help them come up with creative solutions for their organizations.

Other important skills include critical thinking, communication skills, hardware installation, desktop and server OS management, database language skills, and backup skills, among others.

So, is database administrator a good career choice? Yes, it is. It offers a relatively high salary compared to other careers and growth opportunities.