I took the data from the 2017 Data Professional Salary Survey, and filtered just for database administrators in the United States. Then, I pivoted it on the two experience questions. First, we’ll cover database experience, and then we’ll cover job experience.
How many years of experience do you have with this database?
I stopped the analysis at 20 years of experience because the numbers drop dramatically at that point. (Makes sense, SQL Server 7 wasn’t even out 20 years ago.)
Each year of database experience seems to correlate with about a 3% raise. Sure, some of the years represent a drop, but the overall trend is positive over time:
However, here’s the tricky part: just because you’ve been gaining database experience doesn’t mean you’ve held the same job over time.
For example, going back through my own career, there were definite jumps up in my salary – but they corresponded with times where I changed my job position. Going from jack-of-all-trades to developer: big bump. Going from developer to DBA: another big bump. Which leads us to…
How many years of experience do you have with this type of job?
This tells a very different story:
For your first few years as a DBA, you probably shouldn’t expect much in the way of a raise. There are bumps along the way, though:
My hunch: you don’t get a big bump for the first couple/few years because you tend to stick with the same company. You end up getting bored (or ambitious) after a few years, and then you jump to another company as a DBA – and that’s where the raise comes in, about five years in.