SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is sometimes pronounced “sequel." This language is used to communicate with a database and is a very important tool for data professionals.
If you’re interested in becoming an SQL developer or getting into data science or analysis, then SQL is the language to know.
As a SQL developer, you’d work in the tech industry where salaries are generally high. Here’s what to expect if you decide to pursue this career.
An SQL developer is an information technology (IT) professional who designs, creates, and manages databases or applications using SQL programming language.
SQL is a tool used to extract and organize large amounts of data (big data) that are stored in databases, so that they can be analyzed. Just like you would use English or another language to speak to a friend or family member, SQL is the language that allows you to communicate with and perform functions on databases to extract data you need.
To manage all the data and make it useful for businesses, SQL developers build and test databases that store the information, making sure they’re running correctly and troubleshooting whenever necessary. Developers update and delete data as needed by a particular application.
Typical projects for an SQL developer might include inventory management or hospital records management. You would be responsible for controlling the stock for products in an Amazon warehouse, for example, so you’d need to manage inventory levels, reduce insurance costs, and keep reserve stock on hand, all by using SQL for database management.
It can be fun to learn something new, and SQL can introduce you to the world of data management. In the Introduction to Relational Database and SQL guided project, you’ll gain hands-on experience working with a relational database in just one hour.
SQL developers, like many roles in the tech industry, have the potential to earn a good living. In the United States., SQL developers can typically make a median salary of $98,860, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics .
Roles such as SQL developer and other database administrators have a projected job growth outlook of 9 percent between 2021 and 203 .
As a SQL developer, your salary might be affected by your location, experience, or industry.
Salaries can vary depending on where your company is located. Generally, cities with higher costs of living tend to pay higher salaries. But with many tech companies prioritizing remote work, salaries may be determined by an employee’s location rather than the company’s. Here is a list of SQL developer salaries in various cities in the US, according to Indeed :
Charlotte, NC: $135,584
Arlington, VA: $107,724
Irving, TX: $97,775
New York, NY: $90,674
Chicago, IL: $94,121
Houston, TX: $85,683
Tampa, FL: $83,281
Denver, CO: $70,080
While you don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree to become an SQL developer, 79 percent of SQL developers have one . Often, SQL developers study computer science, information technology, engineering, or business.
As in many other jobs, the longer you work as an SQL developer, the more you can expect to earn. Senior SQL developers with five or more years of experience will earn more, though this can vary depending on your industry.
SQL developers who begin at an entry-level position may grow into senior SQL development positions. An SQL developer can also become a database administrator or business intelligence (BI) developer, and then grow into a manager, architect, or engineer. Here are the base salaries for a range of related titles, according to Glassdoor:
Database administrator: $78,776
Business intelligence developer: $91,750
Database administration (DBA) manager: $103,824
Information technology (IT) manager: $99,618
Business intelligence architect: $107,102
Database engineer: $90,325
Database architect: $109,494
Business intelligence analyst: $80,657
Data scientist: $103,052
To become an SQL developer, you’ll need to be an expert in these skills:
Relational database: Use the database to manage large amounts of data and design logical models of relational databases.
SQL programming language: Use SQL to control and manipulate databases, enabling the creation of complex queries using tables and variables, and delivering dynamic reporting solutions.
SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS): Use ETL (“extract, transform, load”) tools to integrate data from unique sources and save all the data in another platform so you can clean and manage it. Develop SSIS solutions that can be applied to business units across an organization.
Analytical skills: SQL developers need to have analytical skills to understand the organization’s needs and requirements, and then design software solutions that suit those needs.
Learn one of the most widely used programming languages with Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL), a course offered as part of the specialization Web Applications for Everybody from the University of Michigan.
Any of these courses can be added to your LinkedIn or resume as proof of your skills-based learning. Consider Google’s Data Analytics Professional Certificate for a more in-depth look at key analytical skills such as data analysis and visualization, and tools like spreadsheets, SQL, R programming, and Tableau. You can be job-ready in less than six months.
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US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Database Administrators and Architects, . https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/database-administrators.htm." Accessed December 19, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.