Database Developer Career Info

Learn about the education and skill requirements for a database administrator. Explore job duties, salary and employment outlook to determine if this is the right career for you.

Career Definition

Database developers, also known as database designers and database programmers, may meet with analysts, executives and managers, to learn what information an organization needs to store and determine the best format to record and manage it. Their responsibilities may include deciding on an approach to design; estimating the time needed to complete the project; setting target dates; writing the necessary applications, test scripts and technical documentation, and supervising or giving feedback on the work of other programmers.

Education Bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering
Job Skills Complex problem solving skills, analytical, ongoing professional education
Median Salary (2017)* $103,560 for software developers
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 24% for software developers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer software developers usually need at least a bachelor's degree; most employers look for majors in computer science or software engineering. A software engineering major will often include courses such as computer algorithms, software systems analysis, database programming and project management.

Skills Required

Database developers are analytical thinkers who enjoy solving complex problems. They concentrate well, are good listeners and communicators and are willing to constantly update their knowledge and skills.

Economic and Career Outlook

According to the BLS, employment of all software developers, including database developers, will grow 24% from 2016 to 2026, which is a pace much faster than the national average for all jobs. The median annual earnings of software developers were $103,560 in May 2017.

Alternative Careers

Here are some related career fields:

Computer Programmer

If writing programs for applications and other types of software sounds interesting, becoming a computer programmer could be the right fit. Assisting software and other developers, programmers receive design ideas and flow charts and use coding software to generate the code for functioning products. After creating the application or program, they analyze performance and spot execution problems and bugs in the code.

A bachelor's degree in a computer science field is generally required in order to enter the profession, but someone with an associate degree might be hired if they have knowledge of programming languages. Employment of computer programmers, however, is predicted to decline by 7% during the 2016-2026 decade due to overseas outsourcing, according to the BLS. Programmers earned a median salary of $84,280 in 2018.

Database Administrator

Database administrators go beyond just designing and building databases. They also control user access, create security and data loss prevention practices, perform software and structural upgrades when necessary, monitor database performance and troubleshoot issues.

Working in this occupation usually requires earning a bachelor's degree in computer or information science, but a master's degree may be necessary for positions with more complex organizations. According to the BLS, there were 110,090 database administrators working in the U.S. during 2018 and earning a median yearly income of $90,070. Employment growth of 11% is expected for administrators during the 2016-2026 decade, with large growth projected in the healthcare industry.


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