Oracle Database Specialist: Job Duties & Requirements

Discover the type of work an Oracle database specialist performs. Learn about what education and skills are necessary as well as employment outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you.

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Career Definition for an Oracle Database Specialist

Oracle database specialists, also known as Oracle database administrators, use procedural language and structured query language (PL/SQL) to design, program, secure, maintain, and integrate Oracle databases. They ensure that their systems are running efficiently and make recommendations for system improvements.

Education High school diploma required, bachelor's degree in computer science or information systems recommended
Job Skills Communication, independent and team work, troubleshooting, problem solving
Median Salary (2016)* $89,545 for Oracle database administrators
Job Growth (2014-2024)** 11% for database administrators

Source: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A high school diploma is required for a job as an Oracle database specialist. Educational requirements vary by employer, but a typical industry prerequisite is a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, management information systems, or a related concentration. Depending on the specific company, a combination of college coursework and professional experience may be considered as an alternative to a four-year degree. Conversely, some employers will only consider an Oracle database specialist with a master's degree. In addition to post-secondary educational requirements, many employers prefer, if not require, an Oracle database specialist to be Oracle-certified. The three main accreditations are Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), Oracle Certified Professional (OCP), and Oracle Certified Master (OCM).

Skills Required

Oracle database specialists must be able to communicate effectively in technical terms and on a business level. They must be independent but also a team player. Since Oracle database specialists frequently need to troubleshoot system errors, they should be good problem solvers. What's more, some companies may prefer that Oracle database specialists have experience working with HP-UX, Linux, and Windows servers.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the number of database administration jobs is expected to climb 11% from 2014-2024, which is faster than average. Specifically, reported that Oracle database administrators earned a median of $89,545 yearly as of January 2016.

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Alternative Careers

Check out these other choices in computer administration careers:

Network Administrator

If maintaining the operation and efficiency of computer networks seem like an interesting career option, consider becoming a network administrator. These administrators plan out what networking devices a company needs, run system performance tests to identify issues, perform equipment installation and repair activities, search for areas of improvement and educate end-users about software and equipment. They also manage network security and grant permissions to access the system.

Although most employers require a bachelor's degree with a computer major, some individuals find employment in the field with only a postsecondary certificate and related work experience. According to the BLS, job opportunities for computer and network administrators should increase by 8% during the 2014-2024 decade, resulting in the creation of over 30,000 new positions. The BLS determined that these computer professionals received a median yearly wage of $77,810 in 2015.

Computer Programmer

For individuals more intrigued by writing computer code for software programs, becoming a computer programmer may be the right fit. Computer programmers analyze the designs received from developers and utilize computer languages, such as Java and C++, to create working software programs. They also modify current programs, test performance and repair programming bugs.

To enter the profession, a bachelor's degree in a computer science field is generally required, but an associate degree may be sufficient for some employers. In May of 2015, the BLS estimated the median annual salary of computer programmers to be $79,530. Employment decline of 8% is predicted for programmers between 2014 and 2024, as reported by the BLS.

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