The Day-to-Day as a SQL Developer
SQL Developers design and build databases and applications. They can find work at a wide variety of employers including software development firms, online retailers, information technology organizations and consulting firms, staffing companies, healthcare organizations, data companies, universities, and banks. SQL Developers usually work with Database Administrators, other Developers, upper-level management, Data Analysts, and stakeholders or clients. SQL Developers can find full-time job opportunities onsite, remotely, or freelance. They typically work a 40-hour workweek but might work overtime for certain parts of projects or code sprints.
Each SQL Developer role will be slightly different, but you’ll probably find them developing SQL databases, writing applications to interface with those databases, writing and testing code, designing tables, attending team meetings, modeling, developing stored procedures, documenting code, creating and delivering reports, collaborating on in-application SQL statements with their peers, solving database usage issues, or working on preventative maintenance.
What Skills Should SQL Developers Have?
SQL Developers should be proficient in designing, creating, and managing databases and the applications which interface with them. They should know how to design database tables and structures, as well as creative views, functions, and stored procedures. They must be able to write sound, efficient, and proper SQL statements for stable and reliable performance databases and understand SQLs various dialects and tools. They should be familiar with various SQL database management systems and relational databases such as Oracle Database and MySQL, as well as their best practices. Each employer will have their own preference for these tools.
SQL Developers should also know how to prepare documentation and reports on the databases they’ve designed and created as well as how to use server analysis services. Databases must be kept up-to-date and SQL Developers must know how to perform maintenance tasks, like upgrades, backups, recoveries, and migrations. They should understand how to plan resource requirements from high-level specifications, data modeling, troubleshoot and solve issues, and configure popular databases.
Learn the Skills You Need to Become a SQL Developer
SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a computer language used to store, manipulate, and retrieve data which is stored in a relational database.
Developer tools are tools typically created by developers to do tasks like debug code, edit code more efficiently, test code, test interface, and more efficiently build websites and applications.
Git is a distributed version control system that is standard in software and web development. Git allows multiple developers to work on the same project at once or a single developer to keep track of changes. It also creates a simple environment to conduct A/B testing. Git is designed to optimize speed, data integrity, as well as distributed and non-linear workflows.
SQL Developer Salaries
A SQL Developer in the United States makes, on average, $85,843 annually, according to Indeed.com.
Salaries for SQL Developers vary by region within the the United States. Listed below are some SQL Developer salaries for specific areas with the United States compared with the average national salary:
- U.S. Average $85K source n/a
New York City
Los Angeles, CA
Orange County, CA
- U.S. Average $85K source n/a
Typical Qualifications to Become a SQL Developer
The requirements for the SQL Developer position vary by employer but most employers are simply looking for proof of the candidate’s skills and that they are a good culture-fit. Some companies will require an associate's degree or a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems or computer science.
Searching for SQL Developer Jobs
SQL Developers can look for jobs in the finance, healthcare, and software industries. There are full-time remote, freelance, and onsite positions available for this career path. There are specific SQL job boards where Developers can find positions, but many SQL Developer jobs are actually listed on general job boards first.
SQL Developers can look for jobs on these sites:
- Authentic Jobs
- GitHub Jobs
- The Muse
- Career Builder
- The Ladders
- SQL Crossing
- IT Job board
SQL Developers can find remote and freelance opportunities on these sites:
Tips to Become a SQL Developer
SQL Developers might find the job search competitive, but they can try networking, virtually or in-person, as a big step to landing a job in tech. Even if none of the connections you make end up hiring you, they could become your mentor or lead you to a company that does hire you. Try connecting with SQL Developers who are already working at the companies you’d like to work at someday. Ask for an informational interview if you’d really like to make a strong connection, and prepare questions to ask about the job, their company, or SQL skills. If you specify that you’d like to chat for a specific length of time, like 20-minutes, they’re more likely to schedule a time to speak with you.
Spend time learning. Read job descriptions and see which requirements you don’t meet. Sharpen those skills. Many entry-level SQL Developer positions will be made up of report writing, developing complex queries, and automating administrative tasks. Try to find a mentor, course, or someone who can help you, to ensure you’re learning the skills properly.
You can find mentors or SQL coding buddies through social media groups like Facebook and LinkedIn, paid coding mentor services, or by networking with other SQL Developers. Learn the skills, but don’t be afraid to apply for a job even if you don’t meet every requirement or preference the employer listed. There is enough demand for SQL Developers and not enough supply that the companies are willing to hire candidates who don’t meet their dream specifications.
If you do find a mentor or SQL buddy, ask them if they’d be willing to run through a mock-interview with you. Ask your friends or family to help with this, or sign up for an online mock-interview service. mock-interviews are a surefire way to feel comfortable in the real job interview when the time comes. If you’re having trouble getting interviews, even though you’ve been applying for jobs, try connecting with some recruiters or a tech recruiting platform like Dice.
What Job Titles Would a SQL Developer Hold?
The SQL Developer position might specify the specific data technologies that an employer uses, whether it’s a junior or senior position, or whether the role will also involve other programming languages in the title. Programmer positions will usually require coding in some languages other than SQL, while SSIS, SSRS, and SSAS specific positions will expect candidates to know how to use Microsoft’s SQL server tools.
SQL Developers can apply for jobs with these titles:
- SQL Developer
- Database Developer
- Junior Database Programmer
- Oracle Database Developer
- SQL SSIS/SSRS Developer
- MySQL Developer
- Entry-Level SQL Developer
If you already know one back end language, one front end language, and SQL, you would be qualified to become a Full Stack Developer, Web Developer, or Software Engineer. These positions would all have similar salaries to the SQL Developer role, except for the Software Engineer. Software Engineers typically have higher salaries than SQL Developers.
Salary Comparison to SQL Developer
Software engineers use their extensive knowledge of user experience design, operating systems, and programming languages to develop software. They can create different types of software, from games to operating systems. After analyzing a client's needs, they design, develop, and test software to meet that need. Software engineers can be divided into two distinct career categories: application engineers and systems engineers.Learn about becoming a Software Engineer
Full Stack Developer
Full Stack Developers build web applications for both the visible front end that users see and the back end that powers the applications.Learn about becoming a Full Stack Developer
Back End Developer
A Back End Developer builds the server-side of a web application and integrates front end development components.Learn about becoming a Back End Developer