What Does a Database Architect Do?
Every business collects data. Whether it’s merely tracking sales and inventory, gathering demographic information about customers, or observing industry trends, companies need to find ways to manage that data so they can use it to change and improve. That’s where a database architect comes in.
Database architects and developers often take data from disparate sources. They envision ways to combine those sources into a more cohesive, easier-to-use framework, then develop the systems to store and manage that data. A database architect must create and execute an end-to-end vision for how a design might translate into physical databases, and how to integrate disparate sources of data.
Today, database architects need to be able to model and predict how changes in the way an organization acquires data could impact the way it uses that data, and map out the way data will flow through the various stages of a project.
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National Average Salary
Database architect salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Database Architect is:
Database Architect Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting a database architect, 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.
Database architects use their analytical and organizational skills to develop and implement databases for their respective businesses. These architects must develop an understanding of what it is the business is looking for, and set up ways to store, organize, and access the data needed for vital day-to-day activity. Are you an excellent organizer? Can you visualize and anticipate the needs of others? If so, [Your Company Name] is looking to hire a talented database architect! These architects use their proficiency with applied math and statistics in combination with applicable programming skills like fluency in SQL, Python, and Java. Together, in combination with these hard technical skills, these architects use soft skills to develop a better understanding of the needs and pain points of their clients to develop the perfect software solution needed.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Provide development and administration support for various databases, primarily SQL server databases, in a client-server development environment including stored procedures and triggers, SQL, and index performance tuning, and database design and file storage
- Develop, deploy, and maintain Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) scripts and schedules
- Develop and implement all database indexing, maintenance, back-up, transformations, and stored procedures
- Expose data to application in various business tiers
- Assist software developers in implementing appropriate data access permission schemas
- Participate in the refinement and development of user stories, assessing the impact of new development on current database implementation
- Communicate with technical and product owner stakeholders to help them anticipate and mitigate configuration management issues
Education and experience
A bachelor’s degree in MIS, information technology, computer science, or data analysis, and multiple years of development experience in an Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server database environment, are required for this position.
Hands-on work experience in database design, architecture, development, and production support for enterprise applications are strongly preferred.
Required skills and qualifications
- Experience developing reports using Crystal Reports or SQL Server Reporting Services
- Experience using database tools such as TOAD, Oracle’s SQL Developer, or MS SQL Server Management Studio
- Knowledge of developing analytic reports and dashboards using Microsoft Power BI or other similar tools
- Excellent command of the SQL language with the ability to write and optimize complex queries
- Solid knowledge of relational database architecture and concepts
- Passionate about technology and delivering solutions in integrated data environments
- Current on event processing, Data API, and recent emerging data technologies
- Strong database architecture, engineering, and design skills
As the member of the Database Services team, you will work with multiple database, Cloud, and automation technologies. You will collaborate with business users, and help developers with data-tier architecture, performance tuning, and database design and development.
We expect you to have experience working as both, Infrastructure and Developer DBA, be proficient with automation, and have expert-level knowledge of at least one database technology in our portfolio. We are looking for individuals who are eager to learn and work in fast paced environment.
What you’ll do
- Work as the member of cross-platform Database Services team
- Lead data tier architecture and design processes, participate in system and application architecture
- Help with performance tuning and help with database development of performance-critical code
- Architect and implement HA/DR/Backup/Maintenance strategies in the company
- Collaborate with development and business teams
- Be responsible for meeting various SLAs for multiple database platforms used in the company
- Troubleshoot and address various issues in the systems
- Learn other database platforms and technologies
What you’ll need
- 8+ years of hands-on experience working with database technologies
- Experience working with at least two, and expert-level knowledge of at least one database technologies in our portfolio: Postgres, SQL Server, Vertica, Snowflake, DynamoDB, MongoDB, DocumentDB
- Understanding of various relational and non-relational database technologies along with their benefits, downsides, and best use-case
- Willingness and commitment to learn other database, automation, and Cloud technologies
- Proficiency in automation
- Experience in Agile development methodology & Agile development tools
- Experience working with the databases in public Clouds, preferably AWS
- Strong analytical skills
- Ability to perform system monitoring and address various issues in the system
- Ability to do performance tuning and database development
- Great communication and collaboration skills
As a Database Architect, you will be responsible for analyzing, creating, manipulating, and organizing database systems. You will consolidate customer data to make it easily accessible and readable to users throughout their community. Work closely with the development team to update database storage, troubleshoot technical issues, and create visual layouts to display data.
- Achieves organizational goals by defining, integrating, and upgrading a comprehensive architecture to support applications, platforms, and databases
- Maintains database by determining structural requirements and developing and installing solutions
- Ensures security of all information and computer systems and digital data
- Studies organizational mission, goals, and business drivers, and confers with senior management to understand information requirements
- Defines infrastructure for design and integration of internet computing systems by analyzing information requirements, studying business operations and user-interface requirements, and directing development of physical database
- Determines platform architecture, technology, and tools
- Improves architecture by tracking emerging technologies and evaluating their applicability to business goals and operational requirements
- Ensures adherence to government regulations and guidelines for technological systems and safeguarding of data
- Properly evaluate sources of information to determine possible limitations in reliability or usability
- Compare and analyze provided statistical information to identify patterns, relationships, and problems
- Prepare detailed reports for management and other departments by analyzing and interpreting data
- Design computer code using various languages to improve and update software and applications
- Possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university in Engineering, Science, or Information Technology
- A master’s degree can serve as a substitute for some experience
- Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen to obtain and maintain an active Security Clearance
Experience and education
- 10 years of database experience experience
- Excellent multitasking skills and task management strategies
- Ability to complete milestones and work toward multiple deadlines simultaneously
- Ability to compile and organize statistical information retrieved and present findings to management
- Strong interpersonal and customer service skills when meeting with and interviewing customers
- Confident in decision making and the ability to explain processes or choices as needed
- Experience as a software developer or data architect or in a data management role
- Experience with software network design and implementation
The primary responsibility of this individual will be focused on database design, data analytics, data retention processes, data compliance, security, and automating related processes for products used in support of semiconductor manufacturing and yield learning.
You will have opportunities to work with experienced teams on projects involving top tier chip makers in the world while they are driving the chip manufacturing process down to nano scale.
- Creating and maintaining high performance, scalable, and stable data architectures for the Onto Innovation product suite
- Research new database methods and technologies to fully utilize platform features
- Working with customer, development squads, and product management to identify and document use case scenarios
- Lead on all data solution aspects including setting data standards and providing your deep technical expertise to development teams for best practices, systems, and architectures
- Design data architectures and solutions that are highly available and meet disaster recovery requirements
- Design effective data store solutions that account for effective capacity planning, data tiering, and data life-cycle management
- Design automated deployment procedures for on-premises and cloud
- Work with QA to create detailed test plans and needed tooling to account targeted performance for production volume data
- Ensure the successful delivery of solutions, training, and documentation, internally and with customers
- Recommend solutions to improve new and existing database systems
- Participate in code reviews and create documentation for engineering and cross-functional practices
- Work with cross-functional teams to ensure end-to-end technical and business viability
- 20 percent travel domestically and internationally
- Demonstrated experiences in architecture of enterprise level big data solutions
- CS, EE, or Applied Mathematics majors
- 3+ years Big Data system design experiences with Vertica and Hadoop
- 10+ years relational database design experiences including Oracle and SQL Server
- Familiarity with NOSQL (e.g., Cassandra) is a plus
- Large scale data warehouse design experiences required
- 5+ years ETL experience
- Java or C# programming experiences
- Shell scripting, python experiences
- Exposure to Data Lake architectures, microservices, and containerization is a plus
- Experience with cloud data services (e.g., AWS, Azure, GCP) a plus
- Experiences in migrating traditional database to Big Data platform
- Experiences with Predictive Analytics based on Big Data platform a plus
- Demonstrated experience in customer facing position
- Demonstrated experience with presentations in front of management
- Project management
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Cloudera Data Platform Generalist. This certification will verify proficiency within the general Cloudera platform. Candidates will be tested on data administration, development, analysis, and architecture principles. This will give employers confidence candidates have a foundational understanding of the problems they’re being tasked with solving.
- Amazon Web Services – Certified Data Analytics. AWS Certification verifies the user understands the intricacies of AWS data analytics, life cycle, and integration of one of the world’s most widely used services in the world. The candidate should generally have something close to 5 years of experience with data analytics and two years hands-on experience with AWS directly.
- Data Science Council of America – Associate Big Data Engineer. Obtaining this certification demonstrates a candidate’s understanding of popular data platforms such as Spark and Hadoop, and gives a foundational understanding of both proprietary and open-source tools like HiveQL, Hive, Hbase, and Pig.
- DSCA – Senior Big Data Engineer. This certification builds on the previous ABDE foundation, demonstrating a high-level understanding of all things big data. By continuing this track one demonstrates a deep knowledge of database architecture, and the tools and languages associated with database management and administration.
How to Hire a Database Architect
There are a number of important initial considerations when hiring a database architect:
- 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
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 architects 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 architect on Toptal can help you quickly get the results you need.
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 architect. If you are satisfied with the outcome you can continue to book the same freelancer through Upwork’s easy-to-use project interface.
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 when hiring a database architect:
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.
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 in designing and implementing large-scale database solutions?
- In terms of scalability, performance, and security, how do you approach database design?
- Did you ever have to make a trade-off between maintaining data integrity and optimizing performance?
- When it comes to evaluating various database technologies, how do you determine which is best suited to a particular project?
- What is your experience with data warehousing and big data solutions?
- What do you do to keep abreast of database technologies and architectures?
- Are you familiar with cloud-based database solutions and migration strategies?
- What has your experience been with database modeling and normalization?
- Could you describe a complex project in which you integrated multiple databases and systems?
- What methods do you use to collaborate with developers and other stakeholders so that the database architecture meets their requirements while also ensuring scalability and performance?