Microsoft Access Database Specialist: Job Outlook and Info

Learn about the work responsibilities of a Microsoft Access database specialist. Discover educational requirements, employment outlook and salary to decide if this is the right career choice.

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Career Definition for a Microsoft Access Database Specialist

Microsoft Access database specialists manage databases that use MS Office Access applications. Databases contain tables that store information and specialists design ways in which that information will be presented, distributed, and accessed. They decide which information to include in the database tables, how the tables will interact with each other, and create the queries that will enable users to access the information. Microsoft Access database specialists are employed as programmers, developers, analysts, and application designers by corporations, government agencies, academic institutions, and companies specializing in integrated technology solutions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts excellent job growth in the field of database administration, fueled by a need for highly skilled workers.

Education Degree in computer science or information systems required
Job Skills Problem solving, customer service, communication, knowledge of Microsoft Office
Median Salary (2015)* $81,710 for database administrators
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 11% for database administrators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Microsoft Access database specialist careers often require an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree in computer science or information systems, in addition to extensive experience with MS Office Access systems and database design, development, and administration. Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) or Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification may also be required by some employers. The Microsoft Learning website offers information about the Microsoft Business Certification program.

Necessary Skills

Microsoft Access database specialists must have expert knowledge of current and previous versions of MS Office Access systems, database design, information management, database integration, data security, and system optimization. Specialists must be results-oriented with strong problem-solving abilities and excellent communication and customer service skills. In addition to advanced computer skills and knowledge of the entire MS Office suite of applications, they must also have good Internet skills and a working knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet programs.

Economic Forecast and Career Outlook

The BLS predicts faster-than-average job growth of 11% for database administrators, which would include Microsoft Access database specialists, for the 2014-2024 period. An advanced degree and Microsoft certification may enhance job prospects. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary earned by database administrators was $81,710.

Alternative Careers

Here are a few other options to consider for careers in network support:

Network Administrator

Those interested in making sure an organization's computer systems run efficiently should consider a career in network administration. Network administrators not only install and maintain network equipment, they also run performance tests, activate permissions and other security measures, compile systems data and provide training for software and hardware users.

To enter the field, a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related area of study is usually required, but a certificate and work experience may be sufficient for some employers. The creation of over 30,000 new jobs in network and computer systems administration is projected from 2014-2024, based on BLS figures. The BLS also estimated in 2015 that these professionals earned a median annual wage of $77,810.

Computer Systems Analyst

If a job determining the efficiency of current databases and recommending changes sounds appealing, becoming a computer systems analyst may be a good fit. Systems analysts consult with management and run performance reviews of computer networks and databases. Using this information, they plan modifications or replacement of equipment, analyze costs, manage installation activities and create user training materials.

A bachelor's degree in a business or computer-related field is necessary to gain employment, but many employers may require an MBA in Information Systems. Large employment growth of 21% is expected by the BLS during the 2014-2024 decade, and computer systems analysts received a median income of $85,800 in 2015.

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