So you have some SQL skills and you’re looking for a job that will use them. What are your options?
SQL is everywhere, and there’s a huge demand for people with database management skills. This is especially the case when companies start implementing Big Data solutions and strategies.
There’s no arguing that SQL is a must-have skill. If you’re already proficient, how can you put your expertise to practical use in the job market? What different types of jobs are available? And how much money can you make?
We’ll answer those questions in this post!
Thousands of SQL Jobs, But None for Me?
Finding an SQL-related job posting is easy; a quick search of any job engine will return thousands of results. But the more you examine these jobs, the more confusing the differences in requirements and job functions become.
If you only have the basics of SQL, many of these jobs will be out of reach (at least for now). Even if you’re a proficient SQLer, jobs like SQL Developer or Database Administrator may be unreachable if you don’t have a specific industry background or additional technical skills.
Don’t get discouraged! You need to narrow your search to find jobs where deep technical skills are not required but SQL knowledge is still important. Then think about what other areas you have some expertise in: business, communication, accounting, etc.
Finding Your Perfect SQL Job
There are many different kinds of tech jobs open to people with SQL skills. If you’re not a programmer and you don’t have a lot of tech experience, a position as a data analyst can be a good fit. These jobs call for an analytical mind, the ability to work with spreadsheets (like Excel), and basic SQL skills. This combination of abilities is needed in all sorts of industries, including marketing, banking, and healthcare. Remember, databases are everywhere, so data analysts are needed everywhere!
Another option for someone with SQL skills and some technical chops is working as a quality assurance or QA tester. In this job, you’ll be testing software, seeing how it performs in various conditions and how it meets different requirements. You’ll be monitoring software activity and tracking defects. QA testers may use SQL to verify if the application displays the correct data, or to force and verify a boundary case. (This is not as complicated as it sounds!) Critical to success as a QA tester is good communication – such as being able to explain to the developers what part of the program is not working properly.
If you have good people skills and a knowledge of SQL, you might consider looking for a job in IT support. Working as a support consultant requires you to help consumers who have an issue with their computers or a software program. Strong written and especially spoken communication is very important here! Your SQL skills will be very handy when using reporting and documentation tools; based on your detailed explanations of recurring problems, developers will better understand how to fix them.
How Much Can You Earn?
Naturally, you’re not going to work for free! IT jobs are highly desirable not only because they offer a lot of opportunities but also because they usually pay a pretty good wage. Look at what some SQL jobs earn, according to PayScale:
SQL-related jobs in the US are very high-paying! Of course, salaries in other countries will vary because of different financial markets and currency rates, but global salary trends are similar. However, keep in mind that senior developers with lots of experience will get paid much more than a junior administrator (which is where most people start).
Other Ways to Use SQL
Using SQL is not limited to working full-time for other people. You can also put your skills to work in other ways:
Some people don’t want to work for a company; they prefer to work on varied, often short-term assignments for several different clients. There are many web portals that enable freelancers to find interesting projects. In many cases, freelance SQLers complete their work, send it to the client, and get paid without leaving home. Of course, the more complicated the project, the more money the freelancer makes!
SQL is also good for personal development. If you just want to learn a new skill, getting started with SQL is easy and relatively inexpensive. You may even decide that you like working with SQL enough to become an administrator or developer in the future.
Knowing SQL is a huge plus for almost any job. Many firms are looking for people with a very comprehensive skill set – one that includes technical and programming skills. Finding your right path means taking time to think about your strongest abilities and how they will be helpful in your career.