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SQL Server Developer & Database Administrator Salary Structure

How good is the salary as a SQL Developer? What are the technical skills and educational requirements for the SQL Developer role? How to grow your career as a SQL developer? These are a few Quora questions that quickly hit the minds of the developers as they get into the SQL Server space. If you are also one of them, you have absolutely landed on the right page. Let us dive deep and try to find the answer to each of our questions in detail. The first point of discussion is what are the salaries of a SQL Server developer?

Before we start with the actual discussion, here is a secret tip from experts to follow when planning to start a career or switch to the SQL Server domain.

“Be a good negotiator!”

If you are a good negotiator, then you can earn more at different career levels. Everyone has to negotiate at some point, and you may have to negotiate at your starting salary being an entry-level SQL professional. Most successful negotiations end at a louder note, before you get into negotiations, you should know the tips on how to win the discussion against employers without getting louder.

Here are some surprising psychological insights discovered regarding negotiating your salary.

  • Frame the salary negotiation as a win/win strategy that could be beneficial at both ends.
  • State a convincing figure instead of defining a range. It will put your negotiation direct on conclusion.
  • Whatever you say, be certain of it. Instead of taking everything in terms of money, make the employer sure of how you can be the right fit for this position.

That’s it. These smart negotiation ideas can help you in grabbing attractive salary figures that you actually desired.

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What are the Salaries for a SQL Developer?

It is quite obvious that salary of database developers directly linked with their experience. The relationship between the percent of the job market and the salary range is given below.

Salaries as per Job market percentage:

Job Market in % Salary Range in $
10% 78K-83K
33% 73K-88K
50% 68K-93K
95% 45K-116K

If we talk about the salary and experience of the SQL developer role then freshers or entry-level professionals get the lowest salary, which increases as per the experience. People with great experience like more than eight years get higher salaries in the USA. As per the experience, salary may increase up to $10K or more, on an increment of one year.

Salaries as per the experience-levels

Entry-Level Professionals $56K
Average-Level Professionals $79K
Top-Level Professionals $90K

Following graph also shows a rise in salary as per experience level of the professionals. Data taken from the graph depends on the result of a random survey done for this profession:

Salaries as per the experience-levels

It is quite clear from the graph that there is a positive trend in SQL server professional salaries.

  • An entry-level professional with less than five years of experience can earn around $63K, where bonus, tips, and overtime payments are also included.
  • Those who have the experience in between 5 to 10 years can easily expect a compensation of $82K.
  • An experienced SQL developer who has 10 to 20 years of experience can earn up to $89K, and those with 20+ years of experience can expect more than $90K.

Salaries of a SQL Developer based on locations

It is a quick salary structure of a SQL Developer based on different locations in the USA. Salaries vary according to cities, state, and geographical locations. USA is the place where most of the IT developers enjoy the highest salary packages nationwide.

City Average Salary
SQL Developer Salary in New York, NY: 647 Salaries $90,770 per year
SQL Developer Salary in Chicago, IL: 642 Salaries $86,483 per year
SQL Developer Salary in Irvine, CA: 493 Salaries $87,490 per year
SQL Developer Salary in Dallas, TX: 420 Salaries $94, 720 per year
SQL Developer Salary in Atlanta, GA: 413 Salaries $86,650 per year

Please note that it is just an approximate idea of salaries as per the survey, or submission by third-parties, the actual salary for SQL Developer may vary. The best idea is to consult the employer directly to get an actual estimation on the salary. Further, you are advised to add extra skills to your resume or add certifications to get priority among the crowd.

Read: SQL Fiddle: The Best Resource to Practice SQL online

There are plenty of SQL certifications, and you can opt for the best one that suits you most according to your interests. Certification is one of the major factors other than the experience responsible for a visible hike in your salary.

The average salary of a SQL Developer

On an average, take-home salary of an SQL developer is around $70K annually, in which the cash component may vary from $47K and $105K. Moreover, bonuses and profit sharing are also included in the salaries of SQL developers.

SQL Server Developer & Database Administrator Salary Structure infographic

Experience or technical skills are great factors that put a direct impact on the salary of the SQL professionals. In the next section, we will discuss the technical skills requirements for the SQL Developer role.

Technical Skills Requirements for a SQL developer

Relational database management system (RDBMS) is designed by Microsoft for enterprises. Basically, by adding many new features to the standard SQL, Microsoft launched the MS SQL Server database. The features that are added include exception handling, error handling, variable declaration, row processing, etc. To become a SQL Server Developer, you must have the depth idea of advanced capabilities of a SQL Server database.

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In an organization, as per the requirement and position, SQL Developer has to perform a wide variety of critical functions. They are mainly responsible for performing the organizational operations by utilizing database resources optimally. They are responsible for working for application development and IT operations to meet future or current business goals. Their responsibility is to provide a highly reliable and performance-rich database for the organization. Let us have a quick look at the technical skills required for the role.

  • Excellent working knowledge of functionalities and capabilities of MS SQL Server 2008 R2 and Oracle 11.
  • Excellent knowledge of T-SQL and experience of integration services of SQL along with ETL techniques.
  • Experience of large-scale data migration projects which has multiple data sources along with familiarity with load patterns and processes and data extraction and transformation.
  • Data modeling background along with data management, data manipulation, version control, and code management skills.
  • Experience in SQL programming.
  • Performance tuning experience for SQL Server and Oracle database code and environments.
  • Ability to understand business requirements and to develop SQL Server solutions which can work within the technical boundaries of SQL Server.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Knowledge of SDLC including designing, testing, deployment, documentation, and other supportive activities.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills.

Educational Skills Required for the Role

SQL developers mostly enjoy their work and are satisfied with their salaries as well. They are supposed to provide the systems with perfect performance tuning among internal and third-party systems. Sometimes, data migration is also done by developers.

A SQL Server database developer must have some specific skills and knowledge so that they can perform their duties in a well-organized manner and enjoy attractive salaries packages by leading MNCs worldwide.

Following are a few educational skills for the developers that are taken as the must-have requirements to apply for the role:

  • The developer must have a bachelor or master degree in computer science or management information system or any other related field
  • Some companies also ask for Microsoft certification for an SQL developer role
  • Good communication skills so that they can communicate effectively with the client
  • Must be able to write reports, lead the team and meet the organizational goals
  • Must be able to deal with or handle business data of the organization
  • Must be able to prepare documents for the software or application
  • Ability to analyze and transform the requirement
  • Ability to design and develop the software application
  • To write, modify, and debug the software

SQL developers are expected to have a large skill set. Most asked skills are C#, SQL Server Integration, C# Programming Language, SQL Server Reporting Services, etc. Some skills which are not related to this profession are Crystal Report, SQL, and Data Analysis. The person who will apply for the SQL developer role will be expected to have SQL skills.

How to grow your career as a SQL Developer?

Today, the competition is very high, and a SQL developer needs a lot of skills to kickstart his career. Here is the list of skills that are necessary to add in your resume to grab good salaries.

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So, you want to know how good is the career as a SQL Developer? Buckle up! Here are a few facts for getting started. 

Read: MSBI Interview Questions & Answers for Fresher, Experienced

How to grow your career as a SQL Developer?

A). Build your Foundation

To acquire any new professional skill set, you need two things, time and money. It is an investment to grow your profile. You can take up a three-month SQL Server Course online. Ideally, it takes 3 to 6 months in acquiring all necessary skills related to the SQL server that involves basic skills, advanced troubleshooting, project work, certification, resume building, etc.

You can also try for free options that include blogs, whitepapers, seminars, meetings, video tutorials, books, etc. Check for a few websites where you may get a complete series of tutorials online for free.

B). Practice and Practice

It is the basic principle of learning that practice whatever you learn. IT space is dynamic, and you have to keep yourself updated all the time.

Brain Science – The forgetting curve

It is a dirty secret of science that we forget more than 50 percent of the total content whatever we have learned throughout the day. After 24 hours, you forget almost 70 percent of the total content. Within a week, you will forget 90 percent of it. So, keep practicing whatever you learn to master it forever.

C). Build a Brand

It is a little hard practice, but most working solution to retain everything you learn. In the initial stage, you can invest one hour daily to practice the content. Later on, you can start writing blogs and brief all the information nicely, you learned recently. It is useful for you and your peers as well. You can add stats or images to make the content even more powerful, and it can be used anytime when needed.


  • You can start free at WordPress, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Canva, Pixabay are a few sites where you can design images in a few minutes.
  • Go Live with Facebook and shoot videos with your phone and save it forever.

These are interesting tips for retaining your knowledge for a longer time. Don’t forget to try them and share your experience with us.

D). Implement within your Organization

It is a challenge to implement successfully whatever you have learned in your organization. Do proper research and come up with good ideas in the SQL Server space. If you are sure of it that your idea can work the best for the organization then discussion with your manager about the same. I will suggest don’t just tell but show them how it can help in meeting the specific goals.

Read: What is Update Query in SQL? How to Update (Column Name, Table, Statement, Values)

E). Additional skills needed for a SQL Server Profile 

  • You should stand out in creativity and show how you suit the profile most.
  • You should know how to write queries and dominate the basic database skills as well.
  • Learn to code in basic programming languages like PHP or JS.
  • Be dynamic and keep updating your skills regularly.

Brand yourself as a Freelance SQL Developer

The IT industry is booming, and it is good for freelancers as well. When you work as a freelancer, you have to compete with others offering similar services. Companies are hiring freelance developers who can complete the job at a lower price. But it is tough securing a project as a freelance SQL Developer. So, how to project yourself as a reliable resource that cannot, easily. The solution is building your personal brand.

The personal brand portrays your target clients about your skills and how you stand ahead from other freelancers. Uniquely showcase your skills and define your qualities about the position or the project.

Companies usually like working with experts having skills of a specific field. So, find your niche and establish yourself as an authority who can be trusted. If you are an expert, Companies don’t mind paying extra for the quality work.

Clients usually research your profile before hiring you. So, branding yourself can make you more credible for prospective clients. Here are a few tips for getting started.

1). Know your Client:

It is essential knowing your client that can help you in aligning your personal brand with Company goals. It is a fictitious representation of your skills that can attract clients worldwide. So, research well and find out what are the core value and principle of interests to attract the most potential clients. Try to answer their queries and be a problem-solver for them. Check out the blogs or content; they liked the most in the past. Also, keep in mind why are you making connections

2). Set a unique selling proposition:

It is one specific challenge where you offer the best solutions to clients for the problem they are facing for a long time. Here, you have to go a little deeper and try to know what Companies need. Suggest the best solution to their problem, and they can pay a premium value for it.

3). Be confident in your skills:

You can work either as an individual or as a team, but it is important to convince potential clients that they have chosen the most reliable resources. Realize them how you can help them in growing their business and how are you different from others.


The blog shares healthy information related to the SQL Developer profile. So, you can start your career either as a full-time or a freelance developer, but the career path is the same for the two. First, you have to replenish yourself with the necessary skills. You should join the SQL Server training course to jumpstart your career as a SQL Developer.

Don’t forget to get engaged in some healthy negotiations where you can work on your salaries, and it is helpful in freelancing profile as well. Success doesn’t come overnight, but it is a planned journey where each step should be taken thoughtfully. So, what suggestions do you think helped you to grow in your career? Please do reply in the comment section to help others struggling in the same field. All the Best!

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