Jobs in Disaster Recovery: Career Information and Requirements

Sep 28, 2019

A bachelor's degree in computer science or engineering is required to begin a career in disaster recovery. Employers prefer those with related experience, and a master's degree is required for some positions.

Essential Information

In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, businesses risk losing crucial data, hardware and software. Disaster recovery professionals work to protect against this loss. Disaster recovery specialists develop contingency plans, and disaster recovery engineers implement them.

Career Title Information Security Analyst
Required Education Bachelor's degree; MBA sometimes required
Other Requirements Several years of experience may substitute for formal education; Proficiency in another field is helpful
Projected Growth (2018-2028)* 32%
Average Salary (2018)* $102,470

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Disaster Recovery Specialist Career Information

Disaster recovery specialists protect businesses by creating and updating technical disaster recovery plans and business continuity plans. The goal of a disaster recovery plan is to return an organization to normal functionality in as little time as possible following a disaster.

Disaster recovery specialists work with information technology professionals within an organization to develop an understanding of interdependent programs and identify resources necessary for recovery. They present their recovery plans to the organization's business and information technology leaders to gain approval. They also test and update disaster recovery plans and provide training for staff members.

Disaster Recovery Engineer Career Information

After a disaster recovery specialist designs a plan, it is the job of a disaster recovery engineer to implement the technology. These professionals ensure that data protection plans are up-to-date, comprehensive and appropriately installed. They work with teams to document disaster recovery infrastructure and provide written instruction of the recovery plan. During disaster recovery plan testing, engineers identify gaps, provide support to specialists and troubleshoot disaster recovery plans. They provide support around the clock in case of a system malfunction. The disaster recovery engineer must send any issues that cannot be solved internally to the system vendor.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information security analysts are also often responsible for the development and implementation of a company's disaster recovery plan. The BLS reported that information security analysts earned an average annual salary of $102,470 in 2018. The number of employment opportunities in this field was expected to increase 32% between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than average when compared to all careers (

Job Requirements

Disaster recovery specialists and engineers share many of the same job requirements. They must have an advanced understanding of infrastructure technology and be able to manage server hardware, operating systems, cloud architecture and storage. They must be analytical thinkers with strong problem-solving capabilities. An understanding of a variety of software is also necessary. Disaster recovery specialists and engineers must be able to communicate with a variety of staff members, work in a team environment and convey recovery plans to others.

According to job postings on and in early 2012, many employers seek disaster recovery employees who possess a bachelor's degree and experience in the field. Potential majors include computer science or engineering. Depending on the employing organization and exact position, four or more years of work in disaster recovery or system administration may be necessary. In some cases, experience may be substituted for education.

A disaster recovery professional is tasked with protecting the data of businesses, as well as their hardware and software. Disaster recovery professionals develop plans to implement in the event of a man-made or natural disaster, and these plans are then tested in order to ensure the appropriate contingency plans are in place to prevent the business from losing valuable data, hardware and software.

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