Not only does this year look bright for database administrator (DBA) jobs, but so do the coming years: The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects over 9 percent job employment growth through 2028 in this field.

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

This demand for database administration skills makes it a strong career choice. Companies need administrators with a talent for storing, organizing and managing data systems — and that's driving up starting pay for the position.  

Use the latest Robert Half Salary Guide to adjust a database administrator salary for your city.

Database administrator job description and education

Want to know what it takes to have a database administrator career? Here are the essential degrees and qualifications required:

  • A strong technical foundation in database structure, system 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 (or a college degree) 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 for the database administrator job: 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,” says Mathe. Attention to detail and a love of complex problem-solving are key traits for this career as well.