Database managers are responsible for planning, managing and monitoring the daily operations and technical direction of a database team. They implement plans for overall database strategy and architecture that support the enterprise mainframe, including maintenance and replacement.

The database manager collaborates with other teams, departments and stakeholders to uphold corporate data requirements, define strategies and establish goals.

Job Duties for Database Managers

Database managers, in general, are responsible for developing the architecture, programming, security and troubleshooting of database and mainframe environments. Typical job duties may include:

  • Providing a strategy for data assets that meets technical, business and functional requirements
  • Collaborating with teammates to create overall strategy for mainframe and database environments
  • Monitoring, maintaining and improving quality, depth and security of data
  • Informing executives about company data standards and practices
  • Performing audits and reviews
  • Developing, communicating and maintaining guidelines, standards and documentation for database and mainframe systems
  • Communicating with IT and other business stakeholders relevant to mainframe and database systems

Specific responsibilities vary by type and size of employer, among other factors. Database managers may also be responsible for training, budget allocation, software and hardware upgrades, and personnel assignments.

Education and Training for Database Managers

Database professionals typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in a technology-related field, with several years of experience in the IT field. A graduate degree in a technology-related discipline, such as an MS in Information Technology with a specialization in Database Administration, may be preferred by employers.

Database managers need a high level of technical ability; specifically, they should have knowledge in areas such as database query skills, data maintenance, database design, database architecture and platforms, and IS systems architecture. Proficiency in report writing, business intelligence, project management or other areas may also be beneficial.

Employers may expect database managers to have an understanding of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), as well as experience with enterprise database programs such as SQL, Oracle and IBM DB2, and various operating systems.

Database managers need strong communication skills in order to collaborate with other IT managers and project leaders on database and mainframe infrastructure operations, as well as to present reports and recommendations to senior managers and executives.

Multitaskers with excellent problem-solving skills, these professionals should have strong attention to detail and a commitment to quality. Prior IT management experience may be desired, along with a background in mentoring and training IT employees, and collaborating with multiple teams.

Employment Outlook and Salary Range for Database Managers

Federal projections call for solid employment growth in the coming years for a range of IT professionals as organizations increasingly base business decisions on data analytics. Digital technology, cloud computing and the Internet of Things are producing vast volumes of data that must be collected, analyzed and stored.

This is driving demand for qualified professionals who can manage and interpret data, the global staffing firm Robert Half Technology noted.

Nationally, database managers will have average starting salaries ranging from $118,000 to $170,500 in 2016, according to the Robert Half Salary Guide. That represents a 5.9% increase over the previous year’s average range. Salaries may be higher for candidates with advanced educational qualifications, specialized skills and industry certifications.

Potential salary ranges and career opportunities are influenced by a variety of factors, including a candidate’s qualifications and work history, as well as the type of industry and regional market conditions.

Overall, the employment outlook is seen as robust.

“So many IT-related positions are being created that employers throughout North America and across industries often must wait months to staff key roles,” the Robert Half report noted.

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