Database Administrator Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Database Administrator, or DBA, is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and security measures of company databases. Their duties include monitoring and updating malware protection software to combat potential security breaches, creating account data for authorized individuals to access databases and organizing databases so individuals can find important documents in an efficient manner.

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Database Administrator duties and responsibilities

A Database Administrator’s duties and responsibilities vary greatly depending on the employer’s tech requirements. Universally, these professionals help store and manage data, but their duties and responsibilities may extend to several other areas, such as:

  • Extracting and/or loading data
  • Setting up cybersecurity measures
  • Ensuring all hardware and software are updated
  • Authenticating data
  • Monitoring the performance of hardware and software
  • Configuring servers and databases
  • Preserving data integrity
  • Ethically handling private data, including financial and/or healthcare data for certain companies
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What does a Database Administrator do?

Database Administrators typically work for corporations in a variety of industries like health care, information technology, retail or finance to maintain secure databases on behalf of their organization. They work closely with other data professionals and company employees to store, organize and update important company information. Their job is to activate and deactivate database accounts to monitor access to company employees. They may also be responsible for helping Data Analysts by pulling specific data from databases to aid in their research.

Database Administrator skills and qualifications

Important abilities and qualifications for Database Administrators include:

  • Familiarity with database queries
  • Knowledge of database design and theories
  • Ability to work with data architects and other IT specialist to set up, maintain and monitor data networks
  • Knowledge of database structure languages, such as SQL or SQL/PSM
  • Experience with server installation and maintenance
  • Familiarity with database management best practices
  • Knowledge of IT security best practices
  • Experience with a variety of computer information systems
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking
  • Ability to explain complex ideas in simple terms
  • Good multitasking abilities

Database Administrator salary expectations

 A Database Administrator makes an average of $95,456 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.

Database Administrator education and training requirements

Database Administrators need a bachelor’s degree, but the field of study for these candidates can vary. Computer science is a common choice, but they may also come from backgrounds in areas like computer information systems. During a bachelor’s program, students should complete internships to get practical training. Some Database Administrators may complete a master’s in database administration, and technical certifications are available for certain programming languages or software applications.

Database Administrator experience requirements

Database Administrators usually need at least three years of IT experience in roles such as IT Support Specialist or Data Analyst. Database Administrators may come from other IT fields, as well, such as programming or development. Some employers may hire a DBA with little to no experience if they have a master’s degree and volunteer or internship work. Senior-level DBAs or those assuming a leadership role need at least five years of experience, preferably in IT management. 

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Frequently asked questions about Database Administrator

 

What is the difference between a Database Administrator and a Database Developer?

Database Administrators and Database Developers both work to ensure companies have efficient databases to store information. Although some companies use these titles interchangeably, there are a few ways to separate one role from the other. The main difference between a Database Administrator and a Database Developer is their areas of job focus. 

For example, Database Administrators oversee the daily operations of company databases. They provide employees with access to databases, troubleshoot problems and implement software programs to maintain cybersecurity efforts. In contrast, Database Developers have the responsibility to create databases or redesign existing databases in accordance with changing storage needs.

 

What are the daily duties of a Database Administrator?

On a typical day, a Database Administrator monitors one or more company databases to maintain their security. They respond to calls or emails from company employees regarding lost data or other technical defects and troubleshoot problems accordingly. Database Administrators also perform routine updates to enhance a database’s storage capacity or malware detection. 

Throughout the day, they coordinate with the IT department and other data professionals to find ways to enhance company databases. They also send out memos to company employees addressing current technical issues or providing instructions on using databases effectively.

 

What qualities make a good Database Administrator?

A good Database Administrator has excellent interpersonal communication, allowing them to speak with company employees across departments and seniority to maintain secure databases. They have a proactive mindset that enables them to anticipate changes in data storage or cybersecurity needs. Further, a good Database Administrator has an ethical code. This is important as they have access to confidential company information, and they must only grant access to authorized individuals.

 

Who does a Database Administrator report to?

A Database Administrator typically reports to the IT Manager or Director of Information Technology within a corporation. They refer to these individuals to receive new projects and relay information about database needs from company employees. In smaller corporations, Database Administrators may report directly to the Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, to design and update company data systems.

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