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Don Burleson Blog 







DBA Salary Trends

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonSeptember 23, 2015


Update:  2015 Oracle DBA salary survey


I've been a full-time DBA for almost 25 years and I've worked as an IDMS, DB2 and Oracle DBA in several Fortune 50 corporations.  In my experience I've noted these trends in DBA salaries.


This 2005 DBA Salary survey shows Oracle Architects with the highest pay ($90k/year) followed by Oracle DBA at an average of $65k year.  It also shows Oracle salaries being highest in California.  Also in 2005 this survey shows an average DBA salary averaging $86,000 per year and Oracle OCP average DBA salaries over $75,000 per year.

As of 2015, the starting salary for a DBA depends largely on the quality of their education, your major, and your commitment to a profession in database administration, as noted in this 2015 DBA salary survey.  I use this rough rule-of-thumb for DBA salaries:

Salary = (age time two)

On average, a DBA salary will be approximately age x 2.  If you are 22 years old, expect a starting DBA salary to be about $44,000.  As your experience increases, so does your DBA salary, such that you could expect about $100,000 per year when you are 50 years old (age x 2) with 28 years experience.

Quality and DBA salary

DBA's with extra-strong backgrounds can command a salary approximating age x 3.  For example, a 22 year-old graduating from MIT with a BS degree can expect to earn a DBA salary of about $66,000 in salary their first year.

Back in 1981, the average DBA salary was about age+10, and a DBA right out of college could expect to earn $32k/year, a nice salary back when gasoline was 80 cents a gallon.  Today, inflation and increased demand have increased the DBA pay scale:

Low Tier DBA

An Oracle DBA without college and less than 10 years experience earns about age*2, a 25 year-old earning about $50k/year.

Middle Tier DBA

A DBA with a Bachelors degree and ten years full-time work experience can earn up to age*3, with a 35 year-old DBA earning about $105/year.

Senior DBA

A senior DBA with a Masters degree, 20 years experience managing mission critical database can earn up to age*4, with a 45 year-old DBA manager earning up to $180k/year.

Superstar DBA

For those DBA Superstars with advanced degrees and specialized skills (RAC, Oracle Apps), the pay is often as high as age*6 and a 35 year-old superstar can earn up to $210k per year.

See these related notes on DBA salary:




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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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