SQL or Structured Query Language is the backbone of the data industry. If you are interested in building a career in a data-centric profile, be it data analyst, data scientist, business analytics, database developer, and the list is endless. As an integral part of database management and just as crucial for many industries, SQL is a must for any career or project you want to try with data. SQL deals with transforming, accessing, and manipulating the data in its most basic form. This article will explore how you can become a skilled SQL developer.

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What is SQL?

Structured Query Language is a standard language with application to relational databases. SQL is used to insert, delete, change, and search database records. With SQL, you can do many other operations, including optimization and maintenance of the database.


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SQL Developer Job Requirements

The job requirements vary from employer to employer. The candidates enter the field with different levels of formal education. Let’s see some basic requirements that will definitely give you an edge:

  • A bachelor's degree in Computer science or a related field. This is always a preferred option. 
  • A few years of experience as an SQL developer or similar roles. This could be important if you are applying for senior-level positions.
  • An excellent understanding of SQL programming and databases is a prerequisite for almost every SQL developer position.
  • Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities.

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How to Become An SQL Developer?

Step 1: Bachelor’s Degree

To become an SQL Developer, having a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field is very important. Formal education is the best starting point for this professional journey. These degrees will help give you an in-depth understanding of programming, computer networking, and database management skills.

Classes will include subjects like:

  • Computer algorithms
  • Calculus and algebra
  • Abstract data types
  • Computer organization
  • Algorithm design

Step 2: Internships

In addition to having technical knowledge about computer networking and databases, it is also essential for you to understand how it plays out in the practical world. This is where internships play an important part. Internships in computer information systems and computer science can increase your chances of employment. 

Step 3: Improve Database Knowledge

Upskilling is essential as technology keeps changing. This is why you should keep upskilling and improving your database knowledge using courses and online classes. This will help you stay on top of the latest technologies and trends in your field and also keep you relevant in your professional career. 

Step 4: Start Employment

Once you’ve completed your degree and course, look for entry-level positions such as developer, database administrator, or programmer to help you gain experience. You'll quickly grow through the ranks as you gain experience in the field and with related technologies.

Step 5: Get Certified

While this is not a mandatory step, a few companies might require you to have application-specific certifications. A few suitable certifications include:

  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer: Data Management and Analytics
  • Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate
  • Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)

You can also become a SQL certified developer by passing the certification exam.

Step 6: Improve Your Skills

There are two primary soft skills that are important for SQL developers: communication and collaboration.


An SQL developer must communicate and work with various IT professionals, including network administrators, engineers, cloud service providers, etc. Improving communication skills ensure that work happens seamlessly without any interruptions. 


An SQL developer must collaborate with different business unit heads to ensure that the company’s digital networking infrastructure is set up and maintained. You will also need to help other departments with questions or help build intelligence reports. Practice goal setting and deadline maintenance for your projects to improve collaborative skills and ensure that things run smoothly. 

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What Does an SQL Developer Do?

While specific duties may vary, an SQL developer creates and maintains a database to suit the business needs. They are familiar with a wide range of database software, including Oracle and Microsoft products. 

Some task and duties that a SQL developer performs are:

  • An SQL developer is responsible for database systems design, which are used for storing and accessing business-related information. 
  • They are responsible for creating, updating, and deleting data as required by a particular application.
  • An SQL developer makes informed decisions regarding compatible database languages and technologies.
  • They work on evaluating the network infrastructure, running multiple diagnostic tests, and updating the information security systems for optimal performance and efficient navigation. 
  • They also document code, provide progress reports, and perform code review and peer feedback.
  • They are also responsible for testing code for bugs and implementing fixes.

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Skills Required to Become an SQL Developer

Here are some essential skills that a SQL Developer needs to be successful in this profile:

1. Database

  • They use the database as a layered architecture for developing services by separating business logic and interfaces.
  • The database makes information handling simple.
  • It is used to design logical and physical models of relational databases.

2. SQL

  • SQL allows you to control and access databases.
  • It will enable you to create complex queries using temporary tables and table variables.
  • They design the SQL to deliver dynamic reporting solutions using MS SQL server reporting services.

3. T - SQL

  • T-SQL is short for Transact-SQL, an extension to the SQL language that provides many more possible statements. 
  • It is used to filter data legacy systems using complex T-SQL statements.


  • Microsoft SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) is an ETL tool from Microsoft. You can integrate data from unique sources and save them in a repository and cleanse data.
  • It is involved in developing and implementing SSIS application solutions for various business units across the organization.

5. Analytical Skills

  • Developers must have excellent analytical skills to understand the clients' requirements and design the software according to their needs.

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Salary Expectations

In the United States, SQL developers draw an average salary of $71,486 per year.


In India, the average salary of an SQL developer is Rs.440,176.


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Why Pursue Becoming a SQL Developer?

SQL is a massive technology. The volume of data is going to increase in the information age that we live in. This will result in excellent jobs, salary, and career advancement for upcoming SQL developers. This is not just limited to Computer Science but in many other industries such as finance, retail, and health care sector, to name a few. All the organizations will need a person who can manage their database.

The SQL developer's role will see exciting changes as the organizations understand the data-driven technologies. The changes in SQL technologies will demand further skilled and specialized SQL developers - thereby creating even more excellent opportunities and rewards for professional developers.

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Program Name Full Stack Java Developer Career Bootcamp Automation Testing Masters Program Post Graduate Program in Full Stack Web Development
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SQL developers are the most in-demand professionals because of the expanding dependence on data and information. It’s a career path offering high salaries, in-demand work, contact with the latest technologies, and promising career opportunities.

An SQL certification can improve job prospects and lead to more job opportunities. Simplilearn’s SQL certification course gives you a comprehensive understanding of all that you need to confidently start working with SQL databases and utilize them in the applications you work on/build. Learn how to correctly structure your database, author efficient SQL statements, and clauses, and manage your SQL database for scalable growth.

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