A database administrator (or DBA for short) is in charge of maintaining and operating the databases which form a company's information system.
Given the critical nature of the data he/she is in charge of, the database administrator must be well versed in IT, with a particularly good knowledge of DBMSs (database management systems) and the query language SQL, as well as knowing several programming languages, in order to be able to automate certain tasks.
His/her duties involve ensuring the integrity of the company's information system. What's more, a keen understanding of DBMSs may be necessary for optimising queries, adjusting DBMS settings, or fine-tuning database access monitoring tools.
The database administrator may be called upon to act as technical support for client application users or development teams in order to fix their problems, advise them, or help them carry out complicated queries.
Working with the security manager, the database administrator will need to develop data backup and restoration plans and procedures, in order to preserve the data which he/she is responsible for.
Besides these technical skills, the database administrator must have a good understanding of the company's applications and be in a position to listen to users' needs when developing or editing a database. Ideally, he/she has experience with designing information systems and UML models.
A database administrator's salary may vary between $40k and $70k (Â£20k-Â£35k) per year, depending on how large and complex the information system is, and which duties he/she is given.