Database administrators are involved helping organizations manage, organize store, and protect data.

A database administrator analyzes, stores and organizes data using database management applications. They maintain databases in order to fit the needs of businesses, organizations and users. Often, they need to combine data from different systems into one. Part of their work involves testing and coordinating enhancements to a system and troubleshooting database issues.

Database administrators working within an organization work to ensure that databases are performing correctly and therefore need to have an understanding of the various platforms on which they operate. Databases that are linked to the Internet need to be monitored for security related issues, therefore collaboration with network administrators is often required. Database administrators may also be involved in designing new databases, but this responsibility is usually carried out by database analysts and designers.

Database Administrators Job Summary

Most employers prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree or higher in a computer-related field.

Due to advances in computer networking technology, many database administrators are able to work remotely.

Since administrators are responsible for ensuring that an organization’s database is running efficiently, they may be required to be “on call” outside of normal business hours.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in this field is expected to grow much faster than average.

Work Environment for Database Administrators

Database administrators generally work in comfortable, well lit offices for 40 hours per week. According to the BLS, in 2014 only about 20% of them worked more than 40 hours a week. Due to the nature of their work, they may have to be “on call” during nights and weekends in case a database system fails or experiences technical problems. Many database administrators will be able to work remotely as networks continue to expand. Although physical injuries and work-related hazards are not common, they may be at risk for back pain, eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

How to Become a Database Administrator

A bachelor’s degree in a computer-related area is usually necessary to gain entrance into this field. Students are generally required to study computer science, computer engineering, computer programming, mathematics and general education subjects such as English and the humanities. Common majors for this career include management information science (MIS) and computer and information science. Individuals who hold a degree in another area may also be hired by an employer as a database administrator if they have significant work-related experience and have taken computer courses.

Certain employers may also prefer job seekers who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with an information technology concentration. Most MBA degree programs take 2 years to complete include coursework in management, finance, accounting, marketing as well as database and systems management.

Certification allows an individual more opportunities for employment and are available from software vendors and training schools. For many companies, certification is considered an industry standard and may even be required for employees.

Database Administrators Salary Information and Jobs Outlook

According to research published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), database administrators held approximately 120,000 jobs in May 2014 and it is projected to be 133,400 in 2024. Most of these jobs were in computer system design and related services, management of companies and enterprises, colleges, universities and professional schools. Other jobs were for insurance carriers, professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers.

Employment in this field is forecasted by the BLS to grow much faster than the average compared to other occupations. Due to the increasing demand for need of organizations to organize and store large amounts of data and maintain security for databases that are connected to the Internet.

BLS records for May 2015 indicate that the average annual wage for database administrators was $81,710. The middle 50% earned between $60,100 and $106,390. While the lowest 10% had a yearly salary of $45,460 or less, the highest 10% earned upwards of $127,080 annually.