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Salary for an Entry-Level Database Administrator

by Rick Suttle

Entry-level database administrators – and their more experienced colleagues – determine the database requirements of company managers and develop software programs to meet those needs. They also monitor database programs to ensure maximum efficiency, and merge older databases with new ones. If you want to work as an entry-level database administrator, you'll need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related major. In return, you can expect to earn salaries averaging between $45,000 and $50,000 annually.

Salary and Qualifications

The average salary for an entry-level database administrator was $48,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. This income is commensurate with the bottom 25 percent of all database administrators, according to 2012 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, who earned $57,240 annually or less. To get an entry level job in database administration, you need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science or management information systems. Some employers may prefer that you have a master's degree in business administration, according to the BLS, especially companies with large in-house databases. Employers may also prefer that you have one or more years of experience in database administration. Other essential requirements for this job include an attention to detail and problem-solving, analytical, communication and logical thinking skills.

Salary by Region

In 2013, entry-level database administrators' salaries varied the most within the South region, according to Simply Hired, where they earned the lowest salaries of $37,000 in Mississippi and highest of $75,000 in Washington, D.C. Those in the Midwest made $37,000 to $51,000 per year in South Dakota and Minnesota, respectively. If you worked as an entry-level database administrator in the Northeast, you'd earned $43,000 or $58,000 in Maine or Massachusetts, respectively, which were the lowest and highest earnings in that region. In the West, you'd make the least in Montana and most in California and Alaska -- $38,000 and $54,000, respectively.

Contributing Factors

The BLS doesn't report salary differences among entry-level and experienced database administrators. Still, all database administrators earned the highest salaries of $96,180 working for securities and commodities brokerage firms. They also earned relatively high salaries of $95,130 in the electronic shipping and mail house industries, while those who worked for elementary and secondary schools only made $64,780. You may also earn more as an entry-level database administrator if you worked for a security brokerage or electronic shipping company, as you'd still be a database administrator. Similarly, your entry-level salary may be relatively low working for an elementary or high school.

Career Outlook

The BLS forecasts a 31 percent increase in jobs for all database administrators from through 2020, which is much faster than the 14 percent national hiring rate for all occupations. Rapid growth in data collections among companies should increase jobs for both entry-level and experienced database administrators. Corporations can learn more about their customers by maintaining databases, including their ages, incomes and purchasing habits. Databases should continue to be important to companies in the next 10 years, which provides a promising employment outlook for all database administrators.

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