Database Administrator Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Database Administrator, or Database Manager, is responsible for managing computer systems that store and organise data for companies. Their duties include creating and maintaining a relationship with customers, securing data and identifying areas for improvement with the infrastructure.


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Database Administrator duties and responsibilities

The primary duty of Database Administrators is to keep a company’s data safe, accessible and easy to understand. These professionals also help develop stages of a database system. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Identifying who has access to the database
  • Helping build the structure and design of the database
  • Implementing security measures for the data
  • Restoring lost data
  • Building test versions and testing for bugs
  • Merging databases when necessary
  • Updating systems when necessary and creating data backups
  • Continually monitoring database systems


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What does a Database Administrator do?

Database Administrators manage and maintain software databases, such as library catalogues, user accounts, census information, statistical surveys and client records. They also provide secure access to databases and set up backup solutions to prevent data loss in case the system breaks down. 

Database Administrators usually work in computer-system design companies, banks, universities and government agencies. They perform most of their duties in an office setting or in a server room. Most Database Administrators work full time, and depending on the company where they work, they may need to work overtime hours. 


Database Administrator skills and qualifications

While the exact role of a Database Administrator may vary depending on the industry and company size, the following skills and qualifications are typically necessary:

  • Thorough attention to detail
  • Ability to extract insight from large datasets
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Thorough understanding of computer systems


Database Administrator experience requirements

Database Administrators must have several years of experience managing databases. However, if a job candidate has just graduated from university or worked in a slightly different role, such as a Data Analyst or Software Developer, they must have a thorough understanding of all the database languages of SQL, OQL, XQuery, SQL/XML and NoSQL as well as database management systems (DBMS).


Database Administrator education and training requirements

Database Administrators must have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering or information systems. For a Senior Database Administrator position, candidates must have a master’s degree in a relevant field.

Many employers usually require candidates to complete on-the-job training and earn industry-recognised certifications, such as the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), Oracle Database Certification and IBM Certified Database Administrator designation.


Database Administrator salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Database Administrator is £20,231 per year. This figure varies depending on several factors, including experience, location and company.


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Database Administrator job description FAQs


How can you make your Database Administrator job description stand out?

Database administration can be a competitive market for job seekers, so be sure to focus on what makes the company a unique place to work as well as a place where they can grow their career. A Database Administrator works in equal parts with a team and by themselves, so highlight any opportunities for remote working. Also, outline any routes to move to project management or systems analysis that may be possible within the company.


Who does a Database Administrator report to?

Although a Database Administrator must have a good deal of initiative and autonomy when it comes to day-to-day activities, in general, they will report to the m anager of their department in regards to a specific assignment or problem. Sometimes they will have to report to the department that gave them the assignment, such as IT or programming, but this will depend on the hierarchy of the company.


What is the difference between a Database Administrator and a Data Architect?

A Data Architect is responsible for the design and development of large database systems while a Database Administrator is responsible for the day-to-day aspects of a database system after it is up and running. Data Architects usually work at a more managerial level, determining what data belongs in certain sets and making sure that all the data are properly represented. A Database Administrator ensures the data is safe and accessible after it has been set up.


Do Database Administrators have different responsibilities in different industries?

While a Database Administrator’s core job of organising and protecting data will always remain the same, the data they are in charge of will change depending on the industry. Also, the size of the industry will affect the level of responsibility a Database Administrator will have. An employee who works for a small company may be responsible for all aspects of a project, while an employee who works for a very large company may only work within a specific area, such as security or system updates.

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