Home Jobs & Education What is the Average Database Administrator Salary?

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The average database administrator salary in the US nowadays is $69,564 per year. The wages for this occupation range from $43,281 to $99,171, depending on industry, geographical location and years of experience. Interested in pursuing a job in database administration? Find out more interesting information on the job and cash compensation below.

Average Database Administrator Salary & Benefits

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the average annual database administrator salary was $77,080 in May 2012.

A Pay Scale survey, however, shows that same professionals earn $69,564 in average per year as for May 2015. According to the individuals reporting to Pay Scale, their pay packages may include bonuses up to $10K and profit sharing between $757 and $8,329.

Another advantage is that among the benefits database administrators have, medical, dental and vision insurance is covered for the majority of them.

 database administrator

Database Administrator Job Description

A database administrator (DBAs) works for companies that require data organization, storage and maintenance. They primary install and configure a database system after previously having discussed the needs of the organization’s management. Once the system is installed, database administrators are in charge of ensuring it operates correctly.

Database administrators are also responsible for making the information systems user-friendly as there are employers who have access to data for various purposes, such as data analysts. They are, therefore oriented to improving the performance and usability of the installed database system.

A profession in database administration is quite demanding. This job requires not only excellent computer skills, such as knowledge of database software and programming, but also great attention to details and communication competences. Database administrators interact with technical professionals, but also with different kinds of employees of the companies they work for.

What Tasks Does a Database Administrator Perform?

If you wonder what database administrator specifically do, here are their main duties:

  • Determine clients’ needs in database administration.
  • Install, troubleshoot and maintain a database system.
  • Ensure that databases operate without error.
  • Guarantee for the integrity and security of information.
  • Back-up database systems to prevent data loss.
  • Solve problems that may occur with clients’ files.
  • Monitor and improve system performance and usability.
  • Know and use optimization methods.

Database Administration Job Requirements

Data Administrator Training, Education & Certification

In order to become a database administrator you are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in IT, Computer Science or information – related subject, plus a few years of experience in a related filed.

The majority of database administrators have a degree in Management Information Systems and some hold a Master’s Degree in database management or information systems. Although it is not mandatory to have a master’s degree, employers consider this as an advantage.

Certifications are another competitive advantage for those seeking a job in database administration. Certifications are provided by software firms and indicate a more complex knowledge and skill in the field. For instance, Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) certification demonstrate your ability to design, implement, and manage SQL.

General Skills a Database Administrator Has in His/ Her CV

  • Computer Skills
  • Analytical Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Problem-solving Skills
  • Attention to Details

Database Administrator Skills Influencing Pay Check:

  • Knowledge of database software packages and platforms such as Oracle, MySQL, DB2, UNIX, Linux.
  • Knowledge of database languages (SQL – Structured Query Language or variations of it).

Work Hours

Most of database administrators work full time, 40 hours per week or more. As this is a demanding profession, more than a quarter of database administrators work overtime. They are required to offer maintenance services off hours, during weekends and holidays.

Database Administrator Salary by Industry

Database administrators are typically work in a various environments, from computer systems firms and Internet service providers to companies with large databases, and monetary authorities such as banks. There are also database administrators that are employed by retail companies, educational institutions, healthcare organizations or private companies.

According to BLS, most popular industries for database administrators in 2012 were computer system design and related services and finance institutions. However, top paying industries for this occupation are the following:

IndustryHourly Pay RateAnnual Average Database Administrator Salary
Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers, and Other Public Figures$47.55$98,900
Beer, Wine, and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers$46.79$97,310
Other Financial Investment Activities$46.63$96,990
Natural Gas Distribution$46.58$96,890
Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing$46.57$96,870

As regards employers, Aol, LLC is one of the best paying companies for database administration, with salaries ranging from $94K and $100K.

Database Administrator Salary by State

While highest concentration of database administrator jobs is found in Virginia, where the average database administrator salary reaches $90K, the best paying state for this occupation is New Jersey, followed by Colorado and California.

StateHourly Pay RateAnnual Average Database Administrator Salary
New Jersey$49.20$102,350
District of Columbia$44.34$92,220

Job Prospects – Database Administrator Jobs 2012 – 2022

As statistics show, database administrators held about 118,700 jobs in 2012. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of database administrator jobs is expected to increase with 15 percent between 2012 and 2022, which means 17,900 new jobs made available.

The future looks promising for those interested in building a career in database administration. This growth is faster that the average for other occupations and is considered to be driven by increased data needs of organizations.

Quick Database Administrator Job Facts


Annual Average Database Administration Salary as for May 2015 $69,5K
Entry-level Database Administrator Salary $59K
Mid-level Career Database Administrator Salary$76K
Experienced Database Administrator Salary $82K
Late-career Database Administrator Salary $88K
Education RequirementsBachelor’s Degree (minimum)Master’s Degree (optional)
Database Administrator Training & CertificationCertifications provided by software firms such as Microsoft
Work Experience Required Less than 5 years in a related field
Work Environment Computer system design and related servicesFinance



Private Organizations

Best Paying Employer Aol, LLC ($100K)
Best Paying Metropolitan AreaSan Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division ($108K)
Lowest Paying MarketRoanoke, VA ($46K)
Job Prospects 2012 – 2022 15% employment growth (+ 17,900 Database administrator jobs)
Work Schedule40 hrs/ week and over


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Erika Schwartz

Dear reader, my name is Erika and I am an actress, arts teacher and film analyst. I studied theatre and film for over four years, and changed more than 15 part-time jobs. What can I say? It is a tough industry. I love dance, especially tango, music, and basically anything art-related. I also enjoy writing about the captivating and dynamic world of entertainment. When I work, I seek the perfect balance between usefulness and beauty. I like to describe myself as the most optimistic person alive.

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