Database administrators (DBAs) plan and build computer systems, and make sure they’re secure and working properly.
Salary Range: £22,000 to £70,000
How to become a database administrator
You could get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You could study for a higher national diploma, degree or postgraduate qualification before joining a company training scheme. Useful subjects include:
- computer science
- business information systems
- software engineering
- information technology management
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You may be able to get into this job through a digital and technology solutions specialist degree apprenticeship, or an advanced or higher apprenticeship for IT, software, web and telecoms professionals.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You may be able to apply directly for a place on a graduate training scheme. These are often open to non-IT graduates as well as those with a computing qualification.
Experience in IT support, programming or web development will help.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- analytical thinking skills
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- excellent verbal communication skills
- persistence and determination
- the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
- complex problem-solving skills
- to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to know structured query language (SQL) and database management systems (DBMS).
What you’ll do
You’ll work with an organisation to:
- establish what the database is for, who’ll use it and what other systems it will link to
- plan the structure of the database, working out how to organise, find and display data
- build a test version and check the results for bugs
- fill (populate) the database with new information or transfer existing data into it
- plan how to update information, create back-up copies and report errors
- put in security measures
You could work in an office or at a client’s business.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could move into IT project management or systems analysis, web development or network management.
You could also become self-employed, or move into consultancy.