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How to Become an Entry-Level Database Administrator

Entry-Level Database Administrator

If you have a passion for data and are just starting out, you might enjoy working as an entry-level database administrator (DBA). As DBA career options become more accessible than ever before, it’s never been easier for anyone who wants to get started in this field.

So what do you need to become an entry-level DBA? Read on as we explain everything you need to know about this niche career path.

What is a Database Administrator?

Database Admin

DBAs are the people who build and maintain data infrastructure — the computers, servers, and software that manage and store the large quantities of data that make up most organizations’ databases. As the name indicates, a DBA’s job is to keep the database running smoothly.

This means that DBA jobs are always in demand because if the computer system managing your business’s information goes down, you could lose valuable data. This can have dire consequences for an organization. If the database is critical to your company’s operations, you could lose customers and valuable data.

Database administrators are responsible for ensuring the computer system is running at peak performance. They ensure that the computer systems are fast enough to handle the immense amounts of data that businesses store. To do this, they make sure that computer systems are kept up-to-date with software updates, troubleshoot any software issues that arise, and make sure all hardware devices are functioning at optimum levels.

How to Become an Entry-Level Database Administrator

Like any other career path, earning a degree in information technology or computer science is a big step toward earning the credentials needed to start your DBA career. With these basics under your belt, you’ll be ready to begin searching for entry-level DBA jobs.

When looking for a job, it’s important to find one that lets you work in a field you enjoy. Ideally, a database administrator career path is the perfect fit. Next, identify entry-level database administrator roles that align with your skill set. You’ll want to choose a role that emphasizes database administration, as it’s the core of a DBA’s work.

Try to identify any specific areas you’re particularly good at. You may be able to find a role that focuses on your strong suit. Finally, research salary and job growth potential for each role you’re exploring. You’ll want to choose a career path that has a good chance of providing you with long-term job security.

Requirements for Becoming an Entry-level DBA


Before you can even apply for entry-level DBA jobs, you’ll need a few specific qualifications. First, you’ll need a strong foundation in programming, networking, and computer science. If you don’t already have a strong technical background, this could pose a challenge in finding a job as a database administrator.

Next, you’ll need the willingness to learn. You’ll need to be comfortable diving right into all the nuances of data management and learning new software and hardware technologies on the job. This can be a steep learning curve, but most employers are willing to help you get up to speed as quickly as possible.

Before you can start applying to jobs as an entry-level DBA, you’ll need to determine if this is a career path you’re interested in pursuing. You may want to consider what types of challenges you find most interesting in your work environment and what challenges you have in mind for your future career.

Potential Employers of an Entry-Level DBA

As the demand for data analysts continues to grow, there are many potential employers of entry-level DBA candidates. Companies that perform large amounts of online data analysis, such as retail and financial services firms, are likely to see the most hiring for entry-level DBA positions.

Other industries that could see a rise in demand for DBA employees include healthcare, manufacturing, and government institutions. Many companies use databases to store and retrieve information, so a DBA is critical to the success of those organizations.

Companies that rely on data include technology firms that design and operate hardware, software, and network infrastructures, healthcare firms, financial services companies, government agencies, and retail and marketing companies. Organizations that use databases include companies that operate retail stores, deliver goods and services to customers, manage inventory, and track customer interactions.

Duties of an Entry-Level DBA

Here are some of the most common duties for an entry-level database administrator:

  • Developing an infrastructure – When you think of a DBA, you likely think of computers and servers. These are the devices that store, organize, and analyze the data your business generates. A DBA’s job is to make sure they’re running smoothly. This can mean anything from installing new software updates to ensuring the hardware devices are up-to-date.
  • Troubleshooting – Occasionally, your computer system won’t work properly and needs to be troubleshot. DBA jobs typically require a bit of hardware and software knowledge, which can help you know what to look for when troubleshooting.
  • Managing data – There’s a lot more to a DBA job than just computers and servers. One of the most important aspects of a DBA’s job is managing data. This involves making sure all data is accurate, organized, and easily searchable.
  • Support – Finally, a large portion of a DBA’s job is supporting colleagues — whether that’s helping colleagues troubleshoot problems or calming them down when they’re overwhelmed.

Supplementary Duties of an Entry-Level DBA

Here are some of the supplementary duties of an entry-level DBA:

  • Ensuring data security: Ensuring data security is a high priority for DBA professionals. They monitor the security of the data on servers and make sure any changes are logged. They also work to reduce the risk of data breaches by implementing security best practices.
  • Implementing applications: A DBA’s job responsibilities also include training employees on how to use the applications their organization uses. This requires the DBA to understand the data those applications process, and how that data advances the organization’s goals.
  • Maintaining servers: A DBA is also responsible for monitoring and updating the software on the servers. They must ensure the software is kept up-to-date to ensure it can handle the increased data load.
  • Troubleshooting issues: When issues arise, a DBA must troubleshoot to find a solution. Because these issues can arise at any time, it’s important for a DBA to have an understanding of automation tools that can help solve issues.
  • Developing new tools: DBA professionals are also responsible for developing new tools that improve the efficiency of the company’s operations. This may include creating new algorithms to help with data analysis or creating new software that expands the types of data that a company can store.


If you have a passion for data, the career path of a database administrator could be right for you. The ever-growing demand for data analysts will likely further accelerate the growth of the data engineer and database administrator workforce. Entry-level positions will likely be the most common, so it’s important to determine if this is a career path you’d like to pursue.

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