What does a SQL developer do? role, salary and skills (2023)



What does a SQL developer do? Role, salary and skills

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Learn more about the role of a SQL developer. Find out how much you could earn and the SQL developer skills you need to build a career in this field.

What does a SQL developer do? role, salary and skills (1)

An SQL developer is a hybrid database engineer and software developer who uses Structured Query Language (SQL) to manipulate data, implement database-based solutions, and build applications. SQL developers design relational databases and write code that interacts with the stored data to meet the functional requirements of a business.

In today's digital information age, data quality and accessibility are more important than ever. As a result, SQL developers are in high demand across a wide range of industries, from healthcare to retail to finance.

What is a SQL developer?

An SQL developer is a database professional who often works alongside business analysts, database administrators, and other IT professionals. SQL developers help companies create and maintain databases to control and manipulate their data.

What does a SQL developer do? role, salary and skills (2)


Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL)

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SQL Developer Job Responsibilities

The role of a SQL developer is to develop and manage SQL databases by planning, developing, and maintaining the databases. SQL developers use Structured Query Language (SQL) to create and modify database tables using SQL CRUD commands. CRUD is an acronym for create, read, update, delete and refers to the four operations developers perform on database tables to manipulate data.

As a SQL developer, you'll optimize database performance, create complex functions and stored procedures, analyze queries, develop security protocols, and troubleshoot. They may design database architecture, write complex queries for business intelligence applications and reports, or create dashboards.

Some application and query functions can be as simple as a command to retrieve all records related to a specific customer from an e-commerce database. The code can also be complex, involving multiple tables linked through a web of interconnected relationships, such as in supply chain enterprise resource planning (ERP).

The developers' SQL code allows users to interact with information stored in databases, access metrics that display key business information, and provide decision support for the organization.

Skills needed to be a SQL developer

SQL developers must possess a combination of technical and job skills. These skills are necessary to thrive in a SQL developer role.

SQL proficiency

The first and most apparent competency of the SQL developer is proficiency in SQL (Structured Query Language). SQL is the programming language used to interact with databases.

database managment

In addition to knowing the language, SQL developers must be familiar with one of the major database management systems. This includes MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostgreSQL.


MySQL is currently the most popular open source database management system. Michael Widenius, co-founder of MySQL AB (now part of Oracle), with David Axmark in 1995, developed MySQL. It runs on multiple platforms, including Windows and Linux, and can support both large and small databases.


PostgreSQL is another open source relational database management system available on all major platforms (and some minor ones) and is compatible with many cloud computing environments.

Servidor Microsoft SQL

Microsoft SQL Server is a popular relational database management system developed by Microsoft Inc. that runs on Windows servers. Like MySQL, SQL Server has a variety of versions, each supporting different features and data scales. Microsoft also offers Azure SQL Database as a cloud-based service.

SQL Server is particularly popular in corporate environments. Job advertisements often list SSIS, SSRS, or SSAS SQL Server experience as essential application criteria.

(Video) How to Become an SQL Developer

  • SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services):Microsoft tool for ETL processes, which loads data from one database to another

  • SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services):Microsoft reporting tool for SQL Server databases which is useful for creating reports

  • SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services):Microsoft tool for building OLAP cubes, which are useful for business intelligence applications

You don't need to be an expert in all of these areas before becoming a SQL developer, but it helps to have a good understanding of at least some of these tools and resources.

Database integration with business intelligence software

Business intelligence software is the general term for applications that help companies analyze data. SQL developers often help connect databases with business intelligence software packages like Power BI and Tableau.

It may be up to the SQL developer to modify the database schema to ensure external applications can access the data, or even create a new database from scratch to meet the needs of a business case.

Excel, including pivot tables

If you're working with data in Excel and want to summarize it using pivot tables, you'll need to know how to write SQL code. Pivot tables extract and organize data into organized categories and subcategories for quick analysis. You can also add filters, charts, and other visualizations on top of this data, which means you'll need to learn how to write queries to use it efficiently.

Database design and management.

Before writing programs, SQL developers must design a database. They are typically responsible for cataloging and organizing data in tables, specifying data types, primary and foreign keys, and other constraints. They may also develop processes for importing data from external sources and migrating databases when moving to new technologies, such as cloud database systems.

Experience in programming languages.

SQL developers must have a strong programming foundation, including experience with one or more programming languages, such as Java. .NET, C++, Python, or Ruby on Rails. Developers must also be familiar with web application development languages ​​and tools for designing front-end user interfaces (eg HTML, PHP).

Additional useful technical knowledge and skills include:

  • Experience with NoSQL

  • Knowledge of big data analysis.

  • Strong data management skills.

  • Good understanding of indexing, querying and normalization.

  • Good understanding of the relational database management system.

  • Good understanding of the integrity and security of the database.

job skills

As a SQL developer, you will need to have excellent interpersonal skills. SQL developers need to be able to communicate with colleagues in IT roles and subject matter experts. They must also be able to discuss functional business requirements with professionals who are not as tech-savvy. They can collaborate with a diverse group of project professionals during their daily work. This can be face-to-face or remote.

How much does a SQL developer make?

The average annual salary for a SQL developer is $97,539 [1], while the median annual salary for a senior SQL developer is $129,027 [2].

Jobs Similar to SQL Developer

Here are some common job titles you can find when searching for SQL developer roles and their annual salaries, according to Glassdoor:

  • SQL Server Developer: $99,046 [3]

  • Oracle Database Administrator (DBA): $132,730 [4]

  • Oracle Developer: $102,231 [5]

  • Desarrollo de Oracle PL/SQL: US$ 119.144 [6]

  • DBA Developer: $130,538 [7]

How do you become a SQL developer?

To become a SQL developer, you'll need the necessary education, experience, and certifications.

(Video) Fastest way to Become a SQL Developer


As with many careers, a strong educational background can help you become a SQL developer. While a high school diploma may suffice for some positions, many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in computer science, data analysis, data management, mathematics, engineering, statistics, or another related field.

Masters in these areas are also useful for SQL developers. These programs are based on university degrees and students learn advanced programming techniques that develop their skills as SQL developers. SQL developer master's degrees typically focus on computer science, data analysis, and information technology.

experience gain

Employers often state that their minimum requirement for SQL developer positions is one to two years of experience with SQL and relational databases.

To gain experience, consider working as a freelancer, in a junior position, or even as a volunteer in a related field, working on projects that use SQL in a real production environment. Employers want to see real life experiences in a professional work environment.


You can further your progress in your SQL development career by earning professional certificates. These certifications demonstrate commitment, competence, and subject matter mastery, which can help you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.

Popular SQL developer certifications include:

  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer - Data Management and Analysis

  • Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate

  • Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)

  • MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator Certification

  • IBM Certified Database Associate

  • Azure Data Fundamentals

  • Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Certification

  • EDB PostgreSQL 12 Associate Certification

Typical SQL Developer Career Duties

There are a large number of senior positions in SQL developer careers. The following are some common roles and their estimated annual salaries, according to Glassdoor:

  • Big Data Consultant: $114,710 [8]

  • Information Technology Manager: $138,246 [9]

  • Information Technology Operations Manager: $136,791 [10]

  • Senior Software Engineer: $144,569 [11]

  • Director of Software Development: $255,363 [12]

  • IT Consultant: $125,222 [13]

  • Project Manager: $84,963 [14]

  • Development Manager: $139,703 [15]

  • Senior Development Manager: $175,998 [sixteen]

  • Senior Programmer Analyst: $131,393 [17]

    (Video) How to Become an SQL Developer? | Salary | Skills | SQL Developer Career in India

  • Development of management applications: US$ 145,635 [18]

  • Director of Application Development: $185,540 [19]

Ready to take the next step with SQL?

To start learning SQL right away, you can take a guided project to learn SQL and relational databases. look at thisIntroduction to relational databases and SQLinitial project. To advance your career with a specialization then thisFundamentals of data science with a specialization in Python and SQL, offered by IBM, can be a productive next step.

What does a SQL developer do? role, salary and skills (3)


Fundamentals of Data Science with Python and SQL

Build the foundation for your career in data science. Build hands-on experience with Jupyter, Python, SQL. Perform statistical analysis on real data sets.


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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Students are encouraged to do additional research to ensure that the courses and other credentials earned meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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