Employment growth in the IT industry is running ahead of the national curve, and the greatest beneficiary seems to be database administrators (DBAs), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Employment rates for careers in the IT field tend to run from 3% to-6% below the national average. Database administrators have the lowest IT unemployment rate at 1.5%, while programmers have the highest at 4.6%. The BLS estimates a long-term positive employment outlook for DBAs, with projected growth of 31% by 2020, and a healthy median salary of $73,490.
“Rapid growth in data collection by businesses, as well as increased need for database security measures, will contribute to the growth of this occupation,” the BLS says.
PayScale’s projections of DBA salaries demonstrate a growth not only in hiring prospects for the profession, but in wage as well. Since 2011, the field’s average salary climbed by nearly $3,000 from 2011 to 2012. The bump in average pay brought the field above its pre-recession totals. The gradual improvement of the economy should only further benefit the field’s positive outlook, both for salaried and contract employees.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports prospects for DBAs working on a contract basis are particularly strong, offering pay up to 28% higher than the BLS estimated median.