A database administrator (DBA) manages the software used to store information like customer records, finances, and other data so that it can be easily accessed by those who need the data, while protecting it from those who should not have access to it. The median income of a DBA in the United States in 2011 was $75,200.
National Salary Overview
The latests statistics from the Labor Department show that database administrators earned a median salary of $75,200 in 2011. (Median salary being the middle-point in all salaries, with half earning more than this figure and half earning less.) This figure is about the same as all computer-related occupations in the United States, which had a median salary of $73,710 that year. It's more than double the national median salary for all occupations which was $33,840 according to the Labor Department.
The highest-earning 10 percent of DBAs over $116,900 in 2011, while the lowest-paid earned below $42,300 that year.
Like most occupation salaries, DBA salaries vary in different regions. Here is a sample of twelve median salaries in 2011 according to each state's data. The figures in brackets represent the bottom and top 10 percent earning thresholds, corresponding to the national figures.
D.C.: $80,500 ($45,000 to $116,700)
California: $79,500 ($43,600 to $131,300)
Massachusetts: $78,600 ($47,300 to $122,200)
Georgia: $80,600 ($46,100 to $118,800)
New York: $80,500 ($43,600 to $128,200)
Texas: $75,900 ($40,800 to $114,000)
National: $75,200 ($42,300 to $116,900)
Florida: $71,900 ($41,900 to $108,500)
Ohio: $70,700 ($41,900 to $109,200)
Michigan: $69,800 ($41,700 to $99,800)
Arizona: $69,600 ($42,300 to $109,200)
Hawaii: $66,000 ($37,700 to $121,800)
Wyoming: $60,100 ($41,000 to $101,300)
For information on states not listed here, visit CareerOneStop and select a state to see the median salary.
Salaries by Industry
Database administrator salaries vary within different industries. The median income for those in computer systems design and related services was $82,820 in 2010. The median salary in the finance and insurance sector was $81,640. The median salary in federal, state, and municipal governments was $69,320. The median salary for DBAs working in health care and social assistance was $65,380. Those working in educational services had a median income of $62,580.
Salaries by Software Expertise
The job search website Indeed.com calculates the average salary of jobs based on job titles. According to their data, the average salary of a database administrator in 2012 is $82,000, while the average salary of a senior DBA is $96,000. An SQL DBA makes $90,000 on average, while a senior SQL DBA makes $100,000. According to Indeed.com's data, a PostgreSQL DBA makes $102,000 on average. A Peoplesoft administrator makes $106,000.A Siebel administrator makes $95,000. An Oracle DBA makes $100,000 on average and a Senior Oracle DBA makes $102,000.
Salaries by Education
The education of database administrators is basically on par with other computer occupations as a whole. According to the CareerOneStop, less than a half percent of DBAs between the ages of 25 and 44 do not have a high school education. Five percent have a high school diploma or equivalent. Seventeen percent have some college. Ten percent have an associate's degree and 46 percent have a bachelor's degree. Almost 20 percent have a master's degree and 2 percent have a doctoral or professional degree.
Outlook to 2020
According the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 110,800 database administrator positions in the United States. They expect this to increase by 31 percent by 2020, to 144,800 positions. Job prospects should continue to be high, as even today it is often difficult for employers to find qualified DBAs. As the amount of data being collected continues to increase, DBAs will be essential in making that data accessible so it can be intelligently accessed and analyzed. Positions in the healthcare industry should increase considerably as medical records become digitized and databases will be needed to store patient records.