Starting Database Administrator Salary Projected to Rise in 2014

Not only does 2014 look bright for database administrators (DBAs), but so do the coming years: The position ranked as one of the top career choices in U.S. News & World Report, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects over 30 percent employment growth through 2020 – that’s faster growth than the average for all other occupations.

“The need for data manipulation, reporting and integration within business units has driven demand within organizations for those with database administration skills,” Chris Mathe, division director for Robert Half Technology in Minneapolis.

Indeed, database administration skills are hot -- companies need those with a talent for storing, organizing and managing data -- and that's driving up starting salaries for the position.

Database Administrator Salary: Projected to Increase in 2014

A starting database administrator salary is projected to increase 5.4 percent in 2014, with compensation ranging from $87,500-126,000*. (You can use our Salary Calculator to adjust an entry-level database administrator salary for your city.)

Database Administrator Job Description

Want to know what it takes to be a database administrator? Here are the essential qualifications:

  • A strong technical foundation in database structure, configuration, installation and practice.
  • Knowledge and experience in major relational database languages and applications, such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and IBM DB2.
  • At least two years of postsecondary education is typically required, and certifications from Microsoft, Oracle and others are valuable.
  • Strong attention to detail and customer-service orientation, as well as the ability to work on a team.

A typical database administrator job description includes:

  • Managing, monitoring and maintaining company databases
  • Making requested changes, updates and modifications to database structure and data
  • Ensuring database integrity, stability and system availability
  • Maintaining database backup and recovery infrastructure

Wanted: Big-Picture Thinkers with Small-Detail Focus

In addition to the skills listed above, Mathe says the best DBAs are business savvy individuals and big-picture thinkers: “You need to understand what drives the demand for these services in solving business problems, not only executing IT tasks,” said Mathe. Attention to detail and a love of complex problem-solving are key traits as well.

In addition to information on a starting database administrator salary and job description, you’ll find information on starting compensation for 70 IT jobs in 150 North American cities in our 2014 Salary Guide.

*A starting database administrator salary in Canada is projected to increase 5.2 percent in 2014, with compensation ranging from $81,000 – 110,500.