How to Hire a Database Administrator

Does your growing business need a database administrator to add to your team? Database administrators help to safeguard the data your enterprise is collecting, whether it’s customer transactional data or information ingested from sources outside of your enterprise.

Here are some tips to help you find great database administrator candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Database administrators searching for jobs on Indeed*

51,977

Job seekers that clicked database administrator jobs

24,142

Resumes for job seekers with database administrator experience on Indeed

2,933

Database administrator jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring database administrator?

  • Common salary in US: $94,486 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $33,000$187,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, database administrator jobs in the U.S. are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 18 job seekers per data administrator job.

Why hire a database administrator?

Hiring a database administrator can be a great benefit to your team and increase your return on investment (ROI). A highly qualified database administrator will help you to:

• Collect and disseminate accurate data
• Maintain the data integrity, security and privacy
• Apply best practices in data management, including backup and recovery procedures

Deciding between a full time vs freelance database administrator

If you have a complex database environment that needs constant attention, hiring at least one full-time database administrator might be the best solution. This person is routinely available and knows your system to keep it running optimally.

Some businesses don’t have those complex or ongoing needs and only need a part-time or temporary freelance database administrator. You may need help initially, or you may want some advice before handling most of the work on your own. If your ongoing database administration needs are minimal, hiring a freelance database administrator is less costly. That might mean having the freelancer complete work every week for just a few hours or calling the freelancer as needed.

What are the types of database administrators?

Database administrators incorporate a wide range of activities that help a business implement and maintain databases, so the role is often split into different parts of the process. This allows the database administrator to specialize in one area with others working together to optimize the system. Some types of database administrators include:

  • System database administrator: This role focuses on system administration and doesn’t typically handle database applications. They often install, configure, upgrade and patch database software to keep the overall system running well.
  • Application database administrator: This person focuses on integrating databases into applications, often using SQL in the process.
  • Performance database administrator: This type of database administrator optimizes various databases, using physical and virtual hardware in the best way possible to make data access easier.
  • Task-oriented database administrator: Some database administrators focus on one very specific database-related task. Examples include backups for data recovery, compliance and security.

Where to find database administrators

To find the right database administrator for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Get involved with a local college. Look into local colleges that offer a database administrator program. Attend job fairs, serve as a guest speaker in classes or advertise your jobs on campus to reach new graduates.
  • Join technology-related organizations. Being active in organizations for people in the technology field helps you network and meet new database administrators.
  • Attend industry events. Register for database administrator conferences or continuing education opportunities related to database administration. Not only do you learn more about the field, but you also get a chance to meet database administrators in person.
  • Promote from within. If you have a current employee with database administration experience, promote them to the position. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your database administrator job on Indeed to find and attract quality database administrator candidates.

What are the types of database administrators?

Database administrators incorporate a wide range of activities that help a business implement and maintain databases, so the role is often split into different parts of the process. This allows the database administrator to specialize in one area with others working together to optimize the system. Some types of database administrators include:

  • System database administrator: This role focuses on system administration and doesn’t typically handle database applications. They often install, configure, upgrade and patch database software to keep the overall system running well.
  • Application database administrator: This person focuses on integrating databases into applications, often using SQL in the process.
  • Performance database administrator: This type of database administrator optimizes various databases, using physical and virtual hardware in the best way possible to make data access easier.
  • Task-oriented database administrator: Some database administrators focus on one very specific database-related task. Examples include backups for data recovery, compliance and security.

Writing a database administrator job description

A complete job description will help you find the most qualified database administrator candidates. A complete database administrator job description includes a high-level summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your database administrator job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on database administrator jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Database administrator
  • SQL server database administrator
  • Oracle database administrator
  • Oracle DBA
  • SQL database administrator
  • SQL DBA
  • SQL server DBA
  • DBA
  • SQL
  • Database

Interviewing database administrator candidates

Strong candidates for database administrator positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Different types of databases
• How to prevent or manage data loss
• Ingestion of different data types

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of database administrator interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a database administrator

Do I really need a database administrator?

Every business has unique database needs. If your business doesn’t have complex database administration needs, you might be fine with an initial consultation and occasional help from an outside database administrator company. If you rely heavily on databases and don’t have expertise in the area, hiring a full-time database administrator gives you in-house support and expertise to help things run reliably.

How do I keep my database administrator happy?

Trust your database administrator’s expertise, and provide the right tools, training and technology to keep your database administrator current in the field. Take into consideration the feedback you get from your database administrator on the system and what changes need to be made.

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