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Career Definition for SQL Developers
SQL developers, also known as database developers, use programming language and structured query language (PL/SQL) to create and maintain computer database applications. They are also responsible for organizational and security measures within specific systems, such as Oracle. SQL developers monitor stored procedures and execution time, continually striving for improvements in efficiency. Since they often merge database information from older to newer systems, SQL developers are responsible for testing and resolving any issues associated with the updated versions, which requires a familiarity with multiple versions of SQL. Most SQL developers work closely with database administrators.
|Education||Typically a bachelor's degree and 3-7 years of experience required|
|Job Skills||Knowledge of Transact-SQL (T-SQL) and .NET frameworks along with SQL 2000 and 2005; communication and multitasking skills|
|Median Salary (2016)*||$70,217 (SQL developers)|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)**||17% (software developers)|
*Sources: Payscale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
While an associate's degree in computer science is an option, most companies prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree in the same or a related field. Although not always required, professional certifications can help candidates for employment stand out in the field, and may include the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) or Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) credential. Additionally, applicants should have between three and seven years experience in SQL developing.
Knowledge of Transact-SQL (T-SQL) and .NET frameworks is helpful, if not required. SQL developers should also be familiar with SQL 2000 and 2005, especially when it comes to anticipating migration needs. Professional communication skills are beneficial, as is the ability to work independently or as part of a team. SQL developers should also be effective multitaskers and have excellent time management skills.
Career and Salary Outlook
PayScale.com reports that the median annual salary for an SQL developer was $70,217, as of January 2016 (www.payscale.com). While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide employment statistics specific to SQL developers, it does report that software developers in general will see a 17%, or much faster-than-average, increase in employment prospects between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).
Alternate Career Options
Individuals with a passion for computer science and programming may also consider the following related careers:
Computer and Information Research Scientists
Computer and information research scientists develop or enhance new and existing computing languages and technologies, including those that may be used in business, medicine or scientific studies. A bachelor's degree in computer or information science may qualify some candidates for jobs with the federal government; however, a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in a computer-related field of study is normally required to obtain a research position. According to the BLS, this is a faster-than-average growing field, with opportunities expected to increase by 11% nationwide through 2024. In May 2015, the median annual salary for a computer or information research scientist was $110,620 (www.bls.gov).
A bachelor's degree in computer or information studies, along with experience in the field, is usually sufficient to obtain a job as a database administrator. Professional responsibilities include using specialized software programs to back up, organize and secure data, including financial records. Opportunities for employment are expected to grow by a faster-than-average rate of 11% between 2014 and 2024, as reported by the BLS. Database administrators who were employed in May 2015 earned median annual salaries of $81,710 (www.bls.gov).