Database Engineer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a database engineer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and essential skills to find out if this is the career for you.

A bachelor's degree in a field such as computer science and exceptional knowledge of computer software are a few of the requirements for becoming a database engineer. Job opportunities are available in a variety of sectors, including financial services and health care. Namely any industry that incorporates a plethora of information into their business can make use of the services database engineers provide.

Essential Information

Database engineers, who may work as either applications or systems software developers, are generally employed by computer systems companies to design and monitor complex databases. They must make sure that a database is operational and provides valid and relevant data. An in-depth understanding of computer software, database technologies and programming is required to work as a database engineer. Many employers also require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field for entry-level employment.

Required Education Bachelor's degree related to computer science
Required Skills Understanding of computer software, databases and programming
Projected Job Growth 17% for all software developers from 2014-2024*
Median Salary (2015) $98,260 for all applications software developers and $105,570 for all systems software developers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Database engineers manage a company's flow of information. They design and maintain a database that provides informative and relevant data to other employees within the organization. Database engineers may be employed by financial services firms, healthcare providers and other companies that make use of large amounts of information.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the overall employment of software developers, including database engineers, is expected to increase by 17% between the years of 2014 and 2024. Per the BLS in 2015, applications software developers earned an annual median salary of $98,260, while systems software developers earned $105,570.

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Database engineers are in charge of keeping a company's database available, secure and stable. They must constantly test the data that is coming from the database to ensure it is not corrupted. Most databases require constant updates to keep up ever-changing computer technologies. Database engineers integrate new products and software packages into the system, and seeing that the data produced is accurate. They may even train other employees in the organization on how to access a database and how to make the best use of its contents.


Database engineers come into their positions in a variety of different paths, but all share an in-depth knowledge of computer programming and data manipulation techniques. There are many technical degrees that can help aspiring engineers develop a working knowledge of databases and computer technologies. Popular undergraduate majors include computer science, information science or mathematics. Since technology is constantly changing, some companies may give more credence to an applicant's knowledge and professional experience than to their degree, but degrees are often required for entry-level positions.

Database engineers are a vital component for a variety of industries in that they create software and programs to run databases that contain and organize the wealth of information companies deal with on a regular basis. Since the job growth rate is currently faster than average, graduates of computer science-related degree programs have a good chance of landing a position in this line of work and may expect to earn average salaries of $98,000 to $105,000 annually.

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