Database Administration

What do Database Administrators do?

Database administrators (DBAs) are highly trained and utilize cutting-edge software to store and organize a company or organization's critical data. Their primary job is to ensure that data is easily accessible as needed and protected from loss and corruption.

Average Wage

Experienced Wage

As a Database Administrator, you will

Create and maintain computer database systems
Use database management systems software to organize files, store information, and retrieve data
Set up computer security systems
Some supervise the computer programmers who write the code and monitor their progress
Write procedures and technical manuals

Training & Educational Opportunities

Database Administrators (DBAs) typically have a bachelor's degree in computer science, management information systems, or a related field, with database coursework.  However, some employers will accept an associate's degree or professional certifications combined with relevant work experience.  DBAs will also need an understanding of Structured Query Language (SQL), the standard language for relational database management systems.  Most database systems use some variation of SQL, and a DBA will need to become familiar with whichever version the employer uses.

Not all database administrators begin their careers in that role. Many will start off as a computer support specialist, data analyst, or database developers. Working in these positions, can help professionals gain valuable experience and related skills, including how to create databases or troubleshoot technical or system issues.

As mentioned above, earning a certification is a way to demonstrate proficiency and can help a jobseeker become more competitive, as some companies may require their database administrators to be certified in the product they use.  A number of widely-recognized certifications for database administrators come from Microsoft or Oracle.

Specialized Skills / Certifications

  • Microsoft SQL Server certifications
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) specialization in Data Management and Analytics
  • Associate, Professional, and Master level certifications offered by Oracle Corporation for Oracle Database Administration and Application Development, as well as MySQL


Training Providers

College of DuPage
Computer Training Source, Inc.
DePaul University
Directions Training Center, Inc.
Harper College
Illinois Institute of Technology
IT Expert System, Inc
MicroTrain Technologies
New Horizons Computer Learning Center

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Types of Employers

  • Computer design service firms
  • Educational institutions
  • Insurance companies

Advancement Opportunities

Database administrators can advance to become computer and information systems managers.