Database Administrator Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Database Administrator Do?

Companies need access to the data they collect, and they need it faster and faster so they can make more informed decisions to grow their businesses. A database administrator, also called a DBA, maintains the databases where data is stored and oversees database updates, security, storage, and troubleshooting.

A database administrator organizes everything from sensitive data like financial records, purchase histories, and customer information, to inventory and sales statistics. They also make sure that information is accessible to anyone in the organization who needs to use it.

Database administrators need to back up, restore, and troubleshoot databases and system access, as well as updating systems to the latest technology. They need analytical skills to assess their company’s database needs and evaluate the data system’s performance.

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National Average Salary

Database administrator salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Database Administrator is:


Database Administrator Job Descriptions

When it comes to recruiting a database administrator, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.

Example 1

[Your Company Name] is searching for a knowledgeable database administrator to take over the database management at our organization! This position is full-time and long-term, so candidates must be able to commit to this position. As our database administrator, you will be responsible for managing our current databases and ensuring that the correct information is sent to our employees and data analysts upon request. Although at the moment you will not be responsible for adding new databases to our system, this may change in the future so at that point you must be able to competently create and add new databases into the system cohesively. Because of this, you must be data-minded and have the ability to understand and carry out specific tasks as requested. If this sounds like it fits you, please consider applying to this position. This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Manage, monitor and maintain company databases
  • Ensure database security, integrity, stability, and system availability
  • Maintain database backup and recovery infrastructure
  • Develop technical and training manuals
  • Research and suggest new database products, services and protocols

Education and experience

A bachelor’s degree in computer science or another relevant field is required for this position. Certifications from Microsoft, Oracle, JavaScript, and others are strongly preferred.

Required skills and qualifications

  • In-depth understanding of data management
  • Excellent analytical and organization skills
  • Knowledge of database technologies like SQL or MongoDB
  • Ability to understand front-end users’ requirements
  • A well-developed problem-solving attitude
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Ability to work as part of a team

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in an Information Technology, Computer Science or related field
  • 5 years’ experience with databases (oracle and/or others)
  • Excellent understanding of Oracle core database architecture and concepts

Example 2

To assist with ensuring the integrity of all donor and donation data critical to the execution of advanced functions and fundraising operations. Supports the efforts of the development team through a variety of responsibilities in major gifts through database management and ongoing cultivation activities.


  • Maintain and audit the list of donor’s outstanding commitments for the production of new language versions
  • Track and report to Development leadership all Matching Gift and Challenge grants
  • Maintain and audit the Film database for the ministry’s top 110 donors
  • Maintain and audit the Commitment tracking system for various Film donor fundraising events on a daily/weekly basis
  • Assist in maintaining and updating the funding statistic reports for priority language funding projects
  • Track and update funding of projects on the Worldwide Greatest Opportunities List
  • Process incoming checks and communicate donor account and designation information regarding large gifts to donation services on a daily basis
  • Compile and send biannual status reports of event commitments to donors and respective Development Rep
  • Track Non-Cash gift income and collective Giving Group Gifts for Allocations and reporting

Experience and skills

  • AA degree
  • Plus 1-3 three years of business, data management, and financial administration experience required; or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Siebel’s experience is a plus

Example 3

As the Database Administrator, you are responsible for the full software lifecycle with a focus on database development. You are the focal point for the design, testing, implementation, and delivery of database objects to fulfill customer requirements. You will work with software and determine ways to organize and store data, identify user requirements, set up computer databases, test and coordinate modifications to the computer database system, ensure the performance of the system, understand the platform on which the database runs, and add new users to the system. You will also be responsible for planning and coordinating security measures to include integrity, backup, and overall database security.


  • Work in an agile team to design, prototype, develop, and document new product offerings and enhance existing products and tools
  • Provide performance tuning of database queries and code
  • Troubleshoot application issues and data-related problems
  • Work with application teams to troubleshoot connection-related issues including SSL configuration
  • Provide database administration support to the Systems Administrators including database upgrades, backups, user creation, and SSL connections
  • Evaluate new frameworks and contribute to technology selection
  • Design and develop database objects to support Java/JEE Web-based applications and Domino applications
  • Support application teams making database designs, loading, modifying, and updating data
  • Understand high-level business requirements and produce technical specifications, designs, documents, interface control documents, and architecture documents
  • Brief design and technical approach solutions to the customer’s Architecture and Engineering Review Board (AERB)
  • Create quality code and perform code reviews of other team member’s code
  • Interact with customer stakeholders and build relationships
  • Participate in the software requirements analysis, technical design, and implementation of applications based on functional specifications
  • Collaborate with the Product Manager to identify, prioritize, and document detailed product requirements
  • Facilitate and guide initiatives for improving development processes
  • Quickly adapt to new technologies and processes
  • Develop Level of Effort (LOE) estimates for work assignments
  • Help develop robust automated unit/functional test suites and development scripts
  • Work with internal test teams on system, performance, and acceptance testing

Required education, experience, & skills

  • The candidate must have an Active Intel Security clearance with a Favorable Polygraph. The candidate will not be considered without it
  • Experience with Oracle databases (12c, 19c versions)
  • Experience with database tools such as SQL Developer, TOAD, DBArtisan
  • Strong SQL, PL/SQL, and SQL development experience
  • Strong understanding of database connections including JDBC and ODBC
  • Experience with Solaris, Linux, and Windows environments
  • Ability to use verbal and written communication skills to present information to a diverse population (technical and non-technical)
  • Ability to work well independently and as a member of a team in a fast-paced environment
  • Experience working/collaborating with software engineering teams
  • Strong software engineering, development, debugging, testing, and troubleshooting skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Example 4

Currently seeking a Database Administrator with strong problem-solving skills to contribute to solving complex, multi-layered challenges. If you are an efficient problem solver with highly tuned decision-making skills, this may be the position for you.


  • Configure database monitoring utilities to minimize false alarms
  • Restore databases as service outages occur, including after-hours and weekends
  • Ensure the design and execution of database server topology, configuration, and maintenance meet SLA objectives
  • Improve performance with the most effective solution, such as hardware purchases, server configuration changes, or index/query changes
  • Monitor for deviation in baseline system performance, and advise on and execute improvements to slow-running queries
  • Advise on database design, tuning options, and other potential issues
  • Maintain all database instances across development, staging, and production environments, handling installations and configurations as needed


  • Experience building and maintaining documentation
  • Prior experience adjusting queries to enhance performance
  • Familiarity with relational database management systems
  • 2+ years of database experience
  • Blackbaud and Raisers Edge
  • Excellent communication and customer service mentality
  • Education industry experience is highly preferred

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Oracle Certified Associate – Oracle9i Database Administrator (OCA). Becoming an Oracle Certified Associate gives training, experience, and testing to ensure that a database administrator has competent levels of expertise with Oracle9i and up-to-date techniques which are required in this position. The certification is offered by the Oracle Corporation, which means this certification is valid and widely recognized as a standard for Oracle9i.
  • Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA). A Microsoft Certified Database Administrator will be required to demonstrate their ability to manage and use Microsoft database software such as SQL Server 2000 and other relevant software. This certification is given by Microsoft and is known as a very common certification for database administrators in order to certify their competence in Microsoft databases and similar. Because of this, this certification can prove to be immensely useful to any database administrator looking to further their career or expand their relevant certifications to other software.

How to Hire a Database Administrator

There are a number of important initial considerations when hiring a database administrator:

  • Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
  • Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
  • Duration: Are you hiring for a project or an ongoing need?
  • Urgency: How soon does the opening need to be filled? What happens while it remains open?
  • Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?

Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:

1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)

The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.

This is the best route to take when:

  • You need to fill the position quickly
  • You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
  • Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
  • You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff. 
  • You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
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2. Hire an experienced freelancer

The freelance, or gig, economy continues to grow, with more talent available daily. Freelancers provide high-quality work without a long-term commitment. They can offer you a fresh perspective, more flexibility, and increase efficiency. While the freelance market isn’t ideal for every position, database administrators are often a great fit. 

We recommend this option when:

  • Your need is project-based
  • The work can be performed remotely
  • You do not intend to direct the daily work activity
  • You are hiring for expertise your internal team does not possess
  • You do not require an employee to work onsite or follow a specific schedule

We recommend using either Toptal, Upwork, or both.


Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers in the world. Toptal vets its freelancers before making them accessible, ensuring their legitimacy. Top companies hire Toptal freelancers for their most important projects. Hiring a database administrator on Toptal can help you quickly get the results you need.

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Upwork is a freelance talent network that helps individuals connect with experts in a variety of fields to accomplish project-based needs. When you have a specific, well-defined goal in mind, this can be a great path to hiring an experienced database administrator. If you are satisfied with the outcome you can continue to book the same freelancer through Upwork’s easy-to-use project interface.

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3. Post the opening on a top job board

Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice. 

We recommend using a job board when:

  • Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
  • You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort 
  • You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
  • You are prepared to respond to all applicants

We recommend using CareerBuilder for database administrator openings:


CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.

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4. Leverage your internal resources

You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates. 

A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.

We recommend these options when:

  • Your brand has great name recognition
  • You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
  • You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
  • You have an effective employee referral program in place

If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is your experience with database management systems?
  • What steps should you take to ensure a database is secure and private?
  • Could you describe a time when you had to resolve a complex database issue and what steps you took?
  • What are the best ways to monitor and optimize database performance?
  • What is your experience with disaster recovery and backup procedures?
  • How do you handle database migrations and upgrades?
  • What steps do you take to stay on top of new technology and advancements in database management?
  • What is the best approach to resolving conflicts with developers and other stakeholders when making changes to a database?
  • How have you used SQL and written queries in the past?
  • Could you describe a complex database design and implementation project that you worked on?

Need help hiring a Database Administrator?

We match top professionals with great employers across the country. From filling urgent job openings to developing long-term hiring strategies, our team is here to help. Review our staffing solutions, browse our award-winning Staffing Corner blog, or call today. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

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