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How to Become a Database Administrator? Just Know the 5 Steps


Yesterday, we came across the following query from a career aspirant…

Query - Hi, I am Quinton from Texas, a virtual assistant with a mid-sized firm, I completed my Bachelor degree about 9 years ago. I am looking for a career change in Database Administrator jobs (as I heard database administrator salary plus growth opportunities are massive). Can you recommend a full proof plan on how to become a database administrator from scratch, starting from “what is the database administrator responsibilities look like” and what could be the best way to get Database Admin Certification? I need a faster route as I can’t wait to update in my career.

Answer- Congrats to all the Quintons who have decided to start a career in the Database Administrator field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has predicted 9% of employment growth annually in Database Administrators jobs between the years of 2018-2028.

With 2.5 Quintillions of data produced on a daily basis, the need for gatekeepers (database admins) is on the high rise within the data-concentric organizations - who could help them store, manage, and secure the data with databases. Without the databases and querying the databases, it is impossible to track, manipulate and update the data (just think of them like an Almira, where you put all the piles of clothes, neatly...and in color coordination maybe!).

So who are Database Administrators?

Database Administrators

Database Admins or Managers are IT professionals who utilize database management software to store, organize, and manage the organization’s pivotal data of any type be it - financial records to the customer shipping address. They ensure that required data is easily accessible to trusted users and is protected from all kinds of unauthorized access or manipulation.

DBA (Database Administrators) are required in many industry verticals like banks, hospitals, insurance, service, and more.

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This guide below will provide a complete journey to the job of Database Administrators as how can anyone score a growing career in Database Administrator jobs --- with a clear understanding on Database Administrator salary, job description, skills, education, training and certification, jobs in context to work industry, and more.

What are Database Administrator’s Typical Roles & Responsibilities?

What is the Database Administrator role? Database Administrator---also called DBA---is a professional who stores, secures, and retrieves the data by working with the database management systems software --- to determine, organize, and maintain the data safely.

They work in coordination with the organization’s management team to understand and respond to the company’s data needs and to plan for the database.

DBAs are also responsible for complying with the security measures to ensure that the data is secure from unauthorized access. 

DBAs are required to work closely with the database developers, managers, and other management members to make great sense from the data and further arrange and organize it in a meaningful format. There are general-purpose DBAs in every organization, however, organizations often disintegrate them in the following two specialties or say types.

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Two specialties or types of DBAs:

1. Application DBAs  - They are responsible to pull out database requirements for a particular business application like any Customer relationship software or so. They use complex programming languages to code and debug programs, and evenly manages all the aspects of the databases that are in correlation with the database. They also collaborate with the general DBA, but only to address their particular assigned application needs.

2. System DBAs - They overlook the technical & physical aspects of the database, such as installing the patches or upgrading the systems to treat program bugs. These professionals have a sound understanding of system architecture, and they are entitled to ensure that the organization’s computer system is responding well to the database.

Here are some of the detailed roles & responsibilities for the job of Database Administrators. 



Duties of Database Administrators

  • To identify the organization’s data management requirements
  • To transfer the data between databases via DBMS
  • To maintain new & existing databases
  • To protect data from losses & unauthorized user access
  • To identify the organization’s data management requirement and decide a dedicated plan to get it fulfilled.
  • To maintain existing databases, or install new ones (as needed), and timely transfer of the data in the reliable & secure databases.
  • To design and deploy processes and activities to ensure data distribution and archiving.
  • To ensure the database operates and functions without any scope of error or performance failures.
  • To develop and deploy robust backup & recovery plans to avoid data losses or breaches.
  • To maintain databases, merge old with the new ones, and update user permission to access databases only to the authorized users, and reject whosoever isn’t supposed to have its access.
  • To ascertain, analyze, and solve the database issues whenever occurs.
  • To monitor storage capacity, server performance, disk space constantly to treat the major bottlenecks.

So now you know “what is the Database Administrator’s role & responsibility”, here are the 5 key steps that you need to follow to mark your career as a professional & certified Database Administrator with a dignified and highly-compensating company.

5 Steps to Become a Successful Database Administrator

  • Step 1- Education
  • Step 2 - Acquire and Build DBA skills
  • Step 3 - DBA Certification Training and Internships
  • Step 4 - Create a solid network of IT professionals/trade associations
  • Step 5 - Keep Learning the innovations in the field

Step - 1 Education

A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for the DBA in disciplines like computer science, computer information systems, information technology, or business administration. 

These degrees give a fair share of ideas of distributed systems, web page applications, and database management, data structure & mining - which stands essential in grabbing the DBA career.

One of the most important things to pursue a career as DBA is to decide the database languages and database management systems. SQL as a database language that is used in popularity along with Microsoft SQL Server (a relational database management system). Thus, it is important to gear up for SQL language and Microsoft’s DBMS, for that, you need to get yourself enrolled in a SQL Server DBA training and certification program that teaches all the concepts from the real job of database administrator’s perspective. 

Step 2 - Acquire and Build DBA skills

DBAs are required to possess some technical to soft skills to support in the course of employment. Data-driven organizations want to absorb the talent which has a great hold over database software & its programming language along with great analytical and business acumen.

Here are the few technical to soft skills that aspirants are required to know.

Technical or Hard skills for Database Administrator Jobs

Technical skills of Database admins vary company to company, thus, here are the few areas which professionals should get prowess in via a certification centric - MS SQL Server DBA Training.

Acquire and Build DBA skills

Soft Skills for Database Administrator Jobs

Along with the technical skills, there are certain soft skills that professionals need to get a hold on. However, these skills can be developed while taking the SQL Server DBA Training - as there will be industry-focused projects to solve - which will ultimately help in enriching these soft skills. There are few soft skills one needs to have prowess in.

Database Administrator


Step- 3 DBA Certification Training and Internships

With competition in every job sector, the database administrator field is no exception. To stand out different from the rest of the crowd, it is best to back your knowledge & expertise with competent DBA certifications and internships as most of the organizations aim to hire the certified DBAs only.

There are certain certifications offered by popular vendors Microsoft, IBM or so - which you can consider after finishing your SQL Server Database Administrator Training for certification. The training will prepare you how to approach the certifications exam by its complete preparation from scratch with real-life projects, and the industry’s approved course curriculum. Also, getting DBA certifications will help you land on a high-paying job that the non-certified professionals.

Internships or some work on a part-time project can help you brush your skills harnessed during the training and to build a portfolio for the jobs. The training programs will help you learn how to approach the internships and the projects from the job market. Doing this will give you extra weightage during the hiring process.

Step - 4 Create a solid network of IT professionals/Trade Associations

Networking can play a significant role in defining your career journey. You can make associations with similar professionals as doing so will help how the real-work industry works and will even help you land the jobs.

Be a part of the trade associations, seminars, educational events, conventions. By being everywhere, you can get invaluable aid in setting your growth-filled career.

You can also join the trade associations related to the Database Administrator job role like- DAMA International CompTIA professional, and ICASIT (International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology).

The Certification Training for SQL DBA can help you coordinate with the industry working professionals who would be the course instructors, from there on you can start learning as well as building your networks.

Step - 5 Keep Learning the innovations in the field

Along with DBA training, keep yourself well-versed with the latest & highlighted innovations in programming and database frameworks to become a more professional & experienced manager of data storage facilities. 

Keep a tab on the Microsoft new releases, information, statements to stay on top of the addition of the new features. 

Get along with the working professionals you network during conventions or trading associations (as mentioned above). From there you can pull out a lot of updates on what’s coming next.

You can even sit for multiple certifications, the more DBA certifications you take, the more will be your knowledge and demand for the job of Database Administrator.

Shifting Career to Database Administrator

The professionals that have worked as Data Analysts,  computer support, programmers, managers of computer information systems, web developers, Data Analysts can easily shift their careers in the job of Database Administrators.

And if you are someone who lacks a college credit, you can dig the sites of accredited online colleges, and look for the associate degrees in bachelor of computer science/information system/database programming/telecommunications.

However, if you have no experience or a college degree in CS or its related field, you can opt for the diploma courses and certificates in computer systems or programming to set your base with ease.

Career Path of Database Administrator

Starting from the entry-level in the jobs for the database administrator can expand anyone’s career into much more growing and compensating fields - in 2-6 years of career, down the line. A candidate can choose to grow big in the following fields later in the career with ease.

  • Computer System Analyst
  • Information system manager
  • Database architect
  • Database Developer/engineer
  • Information systems manager
  • Chief information officer

How much is the Database Administrator Salary?

Database Administrator’s salary depends on a lot of factors like experience, certification, knowledge, market scenario, and more. However, on average, an entry-level Database Administrator earns an annual average salary of $53,292, while the ones with years of experience earn an average of $110,160 or more.

Database Administrator
Those who earn Database administration certification have more scope of climbing high on the salary scale.


  • The DBA salary fluctuates based on the job location and industry as well. The computer system design and other correlated service-based industries hire DBAs two times than other industries. 
  • The industries of commercial building construction, oil, and gas extraction, manufacturing, finance, auto manufacturing seem to pay the highest salary for Database Administration skills.
  • Company size, image, requirement, and other credentials are also the big facilitator of the salary package. 
  • Also, the metropolitan cities are the biggest payers for the job of a Database administrator.
  • The top-3 cities that pay heavy database administrator salaries and hire in the huge ratios are Texas, Washington, and California. 

Know Where to work as Database Administrator

Most Database Administrators when surveyed were found working in the computer design and service industry, while there are other sectors too like education, management, insurance, banking, telecommunication, and healthcare that hire Database Administrator. 

High-data industries in metropolitan cities are proven to offer high Database Administrator salary and job opportunities. Places like Texas, California, New York, Virginia, Florida are counted out of many states with the highest job opportunities for Database Administrators.

Here are the top-paying states for the job of Database Administrator with their remuneration estimation.

Final Thoughts on 5 Steps to Become a Database Administrator!

Here we just got a nice brief on “what is the Database Administrator” job description looks like --- along with 5 steps on how anyone can mark their career trajectory in the Database Admin profile.

For the 21st century, data is like oil to business machinery. It is generating each second in huge quantities and requires proper channeling and management to store it at a reliable place for further analyzing and drawing the key insights from it. Like the customer's past purchases, payment information, and more is some form of data that needs to be stored securely so that organizations can base their business decisions or improvements on it. That is why DBAs come into play to meet the organization’s data management requirements.

Data is growing - so is the demand for Database Administrators. With the right skills and certifications in hand, anyone can find a way to a highly-satisfied Database Administrator salary.  And the best way to start is - to sign up for the real-industry projects and real-industry professionals mentored SQL Server Database Administrator Training for Certification.

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