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Career profile Database Administrator

Also known as Database Administration Manager, Database Administrator (DBA), Database Analyst, Database Coordinator, Information Systems Manager, System Administrator

Database Administrator

Also known as Database Administration Manager, Database Administrator (DBA), Database Analyst

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Telecommunications
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Identify, evaluate and recommend hardware or software technologies to achieve desired database performance.
  • Test changes to database applications or systems.
  • Provide technical support to junior staff or clients.
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What does a Database Administrator do?

Database Administrators administer, test, and implement computer databases, applying knowledge of database management systems.

In addition, Database Administrators

  • coordinate changes to computer databases,
  • identify, investigate, and resolve database performance issues, database capacity, and database scalability,
  • may plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard computer databases.

What kind of tasks does a Database Administrator perform regularly?

Database Administrators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Test programs or databases, correct errors, and make necessary modifications.
  • Plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard information in computer files against accidental or unauthorized damage, modification or disclosure.
  • Modify existing databases and database management systems or direct programmers and analysts to make changes.
  • Specify users and user access levels for each segment of database.
  • Write and code logical and physical database descriptions and specify identifiers of database to management system or direct others in coding descriptions.
  • Develop standards and guidelines for the use and acquisition of software and to protect vulnerable information.
  • Review procedures in database management system manuals to make changes to database.
  • Revise company definition of data as defined in data dictionary.
  • Train users and answer questions.
  • Review workflow charts developed by programmer analyst to understand tasks computer will perform, such as updating records.
  • Approve, schedule, plan, and supervise the installation and testing of new products and improvements to computer systems, such as the installation of new databases.
  • Identify and evaluate industry trends in database systems to serve as a source of information and advice for upper management.
  • Develop data model describing data elements and how they are used, following procedures and using pen, template or computer software.

The above responsibilities are specific to Database Administrators. More generally, Database Administrators are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Database Administrator salary?

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Database Administrators?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Database Administrator are usually higher in their Conventional and Investigative interests.

Database Administrators typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Database Administrators typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Database Administrator tend to value Working Conditions, Support, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Database Administrators strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Second, Database Administrators strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Database Administrators moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Database Administrators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, analytical thinking, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Database Administrators, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Database Administrators need?

Many Database Administrators will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Database Administrators usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Database Administrators

Knowledge and expertise required by Database Administrators

Database Administrators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as computers and electronics, telecommunications, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Database Administrators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

Important Abilities needed by Database Administrators

Database Administrators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Database Administrators need abilities such as problem sensitivity, deductive reasoning, and information ordering in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Database Administrators, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Critical Skills needed by Database Administrators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Database Administrators frequently use skills like critical thinking, complex problem solving, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Database Administrators, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.