Salary Forecast: Database Engineer

Database engineers may also be known as database administrators. Many of their tasks overlap with those of database engineers, and some companies may give either title to a particular position. For the purposes of this article, database administrators and engineers are grouped together as it relates to salary. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and, some of the responsibilities of database administrators and engineers include designing database systems, making sure the database is secure, creating a recovery process, and providing technical support. They also do regular maintenance on the system and establish database management processes, as well as provide user access. Additionally, they may combine old databases with new ones.  

To become a database engineer, most people earn a bachelor’s degree in a field like information technology or computer science, although some employers may not require a four-year degree. A master’s degree with an emphasis on databases and data may be preferred by some employers.  


The 2017 ComputerWorld salary survey indicated that the national average for the job title of Database Developer/Modeler was $99,235, and it was $96,771 in 2016, an increase of 2.5 

As of May 2016, the median hourly wage for database engineers was $40.84, and it was $84,950 annually. The lowest 25th percentile made $29.97 per hour, or $62,350 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 75th percentile earns $52.86 per hour, or $109,940 annually. The mean annual salary was $87,130, or $41.89 per hour.  

The Securities and Commodity Exchanges industry was the highest-paying industry for database engineers. The hourly wage was $54.94 per hour, or $114,280 per year. The Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers, and Other Public Figures came in $54.31 per hour, on average, or $112,970 per year. The Beer, Win, and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers industry came in third place at $51.00 per hour, on average, or $106,070 per year.  

New Jersey was the highest-paying state, with an hourly mean wage of $51.61, or $107,340 per year. The District of Columbia was the second highest-paying at $48.74 per hour, on average, or $101,380 annually. Virginia came in third, and, there, the average hourly wage was $46.24, or $96,170 per year. Colorado paid the fourth highest among the states at $45.58 per hour, on average, or $94,810 per year. The fifth highest-paying state was California at $45.17 per hour, on average, or $93,960. 

The top three top-paying metropolitan areas were Trenton, NJ at $54.03 per hour, on average ($112,380 annually); Newark, NJ-PA at $53.68 per hour, on average ($111,660 per year), and San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA at $52.67 per hour, on average ($109,560). Midland, Texas was in fourth place at $51.27 per hour, on average ($106,530).  The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metro area paid an average of $50.06 per hour, or $104,130 per year. 

The southwest Colorado non-metropolitan area paid $42.21 per hour, on average ($87,810 per year) and was the highest-paying non-metro area in the country. The west northwestern Ohio nonmetropolitan area came in second at $41.60 per hour ($86,520 per year). The west Texas nonmetropolitan area pays the third-highest salaries for database engineers for non-metro areas at $40.93 per hour, on average, or $85,130 per year. The southeast Iowa non-metro area paid an average of $40.34 per hour, or $83,900 per hour and was in fourth place, while the west central New Hampshire non-metro area came in fifth at $39.99 per hour, on average, or $83,170.