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Data Warehouse Specialist: Job Description, Salary & Responsibilities

Data warehouse specialists are computer experts who help clients manage and protect information. Read on for more information on what these professionals do and what they earn.

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Career Definition of a Data Warehouse Specialist

Data warehouse specialists are technology experts who store and organize data. Typical job duties include making information available to clients and customers and preventing unauthorized access from hackers or other parties. Given the prevalence of data in today's business world, data can be related to just about anything, from medical records to financial information to shipping records.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree, preferably in a technology-related field
Job Skills Knowledge of programming languages, analytical skills, problem-solving skills
Median Salary (2018)* $92,823
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 11% (for all database administrators)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

In order to be considered for data warehouse specialist jobs, you'll need a bachelor's degree, preferably in a field such as information technology or computer science. Some positions may accept other quantitative fields such as mathematics or economics, but the more direct exposure one can get to data, the better.

For candidates looking to gain more specialized education (and improve their job prospects), master's degrees are also available. Unlike more general undergraduate programs, these master's programs are much more specialized and allow students to focus in areas such as data analytics that teach the entire life cycle of data.

Software vendors (and some private companies) also offer professional certifications in certain languages or skill areas. These credentials are not often required, but can serve as a valuable way to provide demonstrated evidence of your knowledge.

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Required Skills

In addition to education, professionals looking to go into this field must have technical knowledge when it comes to database management. This comes in the form of an understanding of programming languages that relate to databases, such as Structured Query Language, also known as SQL. These specialists must also be comfortable with many different types of software, such as those used in data base and metadata management.

Aspiring data warehouse specialists can build on their knowledge by working on analytical and critical thinking skills. Working with data often means solving problems, doing quick math, and puzzling out solutions to coding problems, so the ability to think quickly and rationally is a must.

On top of duties directly related to data warehousing, specialists will also need interpersonal communication skills. Clients and customers will rarely possess the same level of understanding when it comes to the exact functions that take place on the job, so specialists will need to be able to explain complicated concepts in a clear and concise manner.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates continued growth for professionals working in database administration. From 2016-26, the BLS predicts job growth of 11% for all database administrators, a rate that is faster than the national average for all professions. The BLS attributes this anticipated growth to the current data demands for all sectors, a demand that will only increase as time continues.

Salaries for data warehouse specialists reflect the desirable nature of the industry. In 2018, PayScale reports a median salary of $92,823 for these specialists, with an overall range of $64,000-$127,235. Even the most entry-level positions command an impressive salary, and as one accumulates more experience, that figure will only grow.

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