What Jobs Use SQL? A Comprehensive Guide (2023)

If you’re fascinated by all things data, then learning the SQL computer language would be a good use of your time, especially if you’re looking for a career in database administration, software engineering, or other database roles.

Before you invest your energy in learning SQL, you might be thinking, What’s the job market is like for those with SQL skills? and, Is SQL in high demand? In this article, we break down what SQL is and the best jobs that use SQL. We’ll answer those questions and give insight into the industries hiring professionals with SQL skills.

What Jobs Use SQL? A Comprehensive Guide (1)

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What Is SQL?

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a domain-specific language used to store, manage, and retrieve data in databases. SQL works with relational databases and helps to perform different operations in them. The language is used by developers to write data integration, and by data analysts to set up and run analytical queries.

Beyond these most common uses, SQL is also used to modify database tables and index structures. It also provides functions like adding, updating, and deleting rows of data. It can also be used to retrieve information packs from a database for processing and analyzing applications.

Is SQL in High Demand?

Yes. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, jobs related to SQL, such as data analysts and database administrators are projected to grow by 25 percent by 2030. As companies gather data on their users, they need data experts to harness that information to better serve their customers. You’ll have plenty of career opportunities with SQL under your belt.

Types of SQL Jobs

The career outlook for people with SQL skills is growing as the language can be applied in different industries. Below are some career roles where SQL is applicable in day-to-day operations. If you’re looking to make a career switch, you might find you already have some transferable skills that are relevant to jobs that use SQL.

(Video) How To Become A SQL Developer | SQL Developer Career Path | SQL Developer | Simplilearn

Business Analysis Jobs

Business analysts look at company data to find gaps in systems and processes, and use this information to improve decision-making within the company. In analyst roles you would need knowledge of SQL to analyze the data. SQL skills in combination with business know-how and soft skills would make you highly marketable in the business world.

Database Jobs

There are numerous database roles such as database developer, database administrator, and database engineer. One thing they have in common is that they all required SQL. The language is essentially the foundation of every data science career. To land a job in one of these areas, SQL should be at the top of your skill acquisition list.

Research Jobs

Researchers work in industrial, government, or private institutions. Researchers use SQL to solve problems, predict trends, and explore issues that could be economic, technological, or social. A key responsibility in research is collecting and organizing data. If you are looking to have a career in research, learning SQL is worth your investment.

» MORE: How to Become an Angular Developer: What Is the Best Angular Developer Career Path?

How to Establish a Career in SQL

Just as every career starts from somewhere, landing a career in SQL doesn’t happen overnight. It is a step-by-step process. Below are reliable steps to begin a career in SQL.

  1. Learn a programming language before SQL. Before taking up SQL, it’s a good idea to learn a programming language such as C++ or Java first. This is because languages like Java are often used with SQL, and with the knowledge you have, you will find SQL easier to navigate and be able to perform tasks quickly and efficiently.
  2. Learn how to secure your code. As a newcomer in the SQL career space, you need to learn how to secure your code, because they are prone to being lost due to failure of storage, or being stolen due to a hacking attempt. Securing your code can boost your confidence and give a firm foundation as you start your career.
  3. Improve your skills. To be much more confident in your career, don’t just learn. Try to put everything you’ve learning into practice. Create programs for people or companies. By doing this, you are improving your skill in real-time, gaining experience, and learning more. Not only that, you become more creative and more resourceful.
  4. Craft out your resume. Now that you have a knowledge of SQL, it’s time to craft a resume that will pique the interest of potential employers. Write your resume to communicate your skills, strengths, and certifications. Review your resume and make sure it has a strong suit for landing you a job.

The 15 Best Jobs That Use SQL

What Jobs Use SQL? A Comprehensive Guide (2)

If you are planning a career path in the tech industry, then SQL is an in-demand skill to possess. SQL is the fourth-most used language by developers worldwide. Knowledge of SQL is a basic requirement for landing one of the high-paying jobs. Below are the top 15 jobs that use SQL.

Job Title Average Salary Job Outlook
Big Data Engineer $130,674 22%*
Data Scientist $119,413 22%
ETL Developer $109,881 22%**
SQL Server Developer $103,647 22%**
.NET Developer $99,306 22%**
Database Developer $95,066 8%***
Database Administrator $86,833 8%
Software Developer $86,523 22%
Business Analyst $77,218 14%
Software Consultant $73,693 22%**
Data Analyst $67,294 25%
Researcher $62,880 22%*
Quality Assurance Tester $62,876 22%**
Journalist $53,939 6%
Educator $51,083 8%

*Job outlook has been sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Computer and Information Research Scientists

**Job outlook has been sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers

***Job outlook has been sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Database Administrators

What Careers Use SQL? An In-Depth List

Data Analyst

SQL is a basic tool in data analysis. It is used for accessing and analyzing data that is stored in relational databases. The major work of a data analyst is to analyze data through various means including statistics, graphical representation, and calculations. Data analysts possess strong Excel and programming skills because that is the major part of their work.

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Database Administrator

Database administrators are some of the most important people needed in an organization. They use SQL to manage all forms of data and make sure everything is running smoothly. They install and configure databases, handle data security, database programming, and are also in charge of recovering data in cases of loss or theft and backing it up as a recovery plan.

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Software Consultant

Software consultants work in database administration and maintenance services, MS SQL database troubleshooting, database development services, and other related administrative tasks. They give information and create different kinds of database solutions. In summary, they deal with everything that has to do with software and its services.

Database Developer

Database developers design, modify, and edit databases using SQL. They also use SQL to check for errors or issues in an existing database design. They are in charge of database performance and optimization, data transformation and loading, reporting, and querying. Database developers make sure that large databases are easy to use for database managers.

Software Developer

Software developers use SQL in the design and use of the software they create. They also handle the documentation of how each step of the process of creation will go. The services of software developers are in high demand due to the emergence of technology in almost all sectors.

Data Scientist

Data scientists work with data to give insights or extract knowledge using math skills, programming skills, statistics, and domain scientific knowledge. Data scientists use SQL in relational databases in order to fetch the required data from a large mass of data. Data scientists use their analytical skills to interpret data and inform business decisions.

.NET Developer

.NET developers specialize in building software for Microsoft Windows platforms. They work with software that is compatible with Microsoft such as SQL Server Management Studio. These developers write code with these languages and develop architecture and interfaces for software.

ETL Developer

ETL developers are a type of software engineers. Their role is to oversee the extract, transform, and load process of company data from one source to another. The main job roles of ETL developers is to move and process raw company data into a useable form. ETL developers use SQL in all aspects of the ETL process.

SQL Server Developer

SQL server developers are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining SQL databases. They deal with database management and attend to any SQL query that arises. With their deep knowledge of SQL, SQL server developers help companies organize, store, access data to inform business decisions.

Big Data Engineer

Big data engineers are tasked with designing, developing, and maintaining complex data processing systems. They are involved in the collection, storage, and dissemination of data throughout a company. SQL is one of the key skills used by big data engineers. This role has bright career potential as big data engineers are in high demand and well paid.

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Journalists must collect information, analyze it, then assemble and write in a presentable manner, then broadcast and distribute it as news. Often, they have to dig through data to find facts to back up their stories. Having SQL knowledge makes the work easier because of the ability to sort through voluminous data to get the information needed.


If you have a passion for teaching, your SQL skills could be useful in higher education, especially for students in the programming, engineering, and other information science or data science courses. As SQL is a popular programming language, students will be keen to learn it.

What Jobs Use SQL? A Comprehensive Guide (3)

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(Video) SQL for Beginners Tutorial


When researchers go into the field, they collect data that they later have to analyze and make inferences from to solve problems and predict trends. Researchers in all fields can use SQL to sort through the large amounts of data collected.

Quality Assurance Tester

Quality assurance testers use SQL to check new software for mobile apps, gaming systems, or web applications. They run tests to improve the quality, identify possible errors, and provide extensive reports and documentation. Companies hire them to determine if the data fed into the software is in line with the data listed from the source.

Should You Get a Job in SQL?

Yes, getting a job in SQL is a move you should make if you are looking for a job with a bright career outlook and growth opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, data scientists are among the 30 fastest growing careers between 2020 and 2030. Armed with SQL skills, you will never be out of employment.

Jobs That Use SQL FAQ

Can I get a job in SQL without a degree?

Yes. Companies in need of SQL skills also recruit applicants who possess the key skills even if you haven’t been to college. You can learn all you need to know in SQL through a coding bootcamp and be employed using your new skills within a few months.

(Video) FASTEST Way to Become a Data Analyst and ACTUALLY Get a Job

Is SQL applicable to other fields apart from data science?

SQL is highly sought in business, education, health, journalism, and many other fields. Find out the best jobs that use coding in the tech industry.

How long does it take to learn SQL?

This depends on your learning pace and what areas you are looking to cover. You can learn the basics in as little as two weeks, however, it depends on how you apply yourself. Read this guide for more tips on how to learn SQL.

Which SQL is most in demand?

At the moment, MySQL is one of the most popular databases used with SQL.


What jobs can you get with only SQL? ›

  • Unlock new career paths with the best SQL jobs.
  • Data Scientist/Data Analyst.
  • Business Analysts/Business Intelligence Developer.
  • Software Developer/Engineer.
  • Database Architect.
  • Database Administrator.

What job uses SQL the most? ›

Here are some top jobs with SQL, along with their salaries and duties:
  • Data scientist.
  • Data analyst.
  • Business analyst.
  • Web designer.
  • Quality assurance engineer.
  • Server engineer.
  • Software engineer.
  • Data warehouse architect.
Jan 23, 2023

Can you get a job just with SQL skills? ›

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.

Is Basic SQL enough to get a job? ›

Structured query language (SQL) is one of the most popular programming languages today, especially in data. You should probably be familiar with it if you want to pursue a data career, but you don't necessarily need to be an expert. You can get surprisingly far with just basic SQL skills.

Can knowing SQL alone get you a job? ›

SQL is most useful in data-focused careers, but it's also valuable for Web Developers and Software Engineers. While learning SQL alone won't get you a job, it's a great place to start. In combination with other programming languages like Python, SQL can help you launch your career as a developer or data specialist.

Is SQL a high income skill? ›

A SQL Server Developer's salary ranges from INR 4 LPA to upwards of INR 11 LPA in India. Internationally, it can be around $135,000 to $150,000 per annum or even higher, depending on the skills and experience.

Where is SQL used in real life? ›

Platforms, such as Snapchat and Instagram, make use of SQL to store the profile information of users. The Structured Query Language allows them to update the database of their app when users create new posts or share photos, and it also facilitates the recording of messages, enabling users to retrieve messages later.

How long does it take to learn SQL? ›

It should take an average learner about two to three weeks to master the basic concepts of SQL and start working with SQL databases. But in order to start using them effectively in real-world scenarios, you'll need to become quite fluent; and that takes time.

What is the salary of SQL beginner? ›

Average starting Salary for SQL Server Developer in India is around ₹2.0 Lakhs per year (₹16.7k per month).

How long does it take to learn SQL with no experience? ›

How Long Does it Take to Learn SQL? Because SQL is a relatively simple language, learners can expect to become familiar with the basics within two to three weeks. That said, if you're planning on using SQL skills at work, you'll probably need a higher level of fluency.

How much does knowing SQL pay? ›

In the United States., SQL developers can typically make a median salary of $98,860, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics [1]. Roles such as SQL developer and other database administrators have a projected job growth outlook of 9 percent between 2021 and 203 [1].

Is SQL easier than coding? ›

Because of its narrow application domain, SQL is relatively easier to learn than most general-purpose programming languages.

How do I get my first job in SQL? ›

Here are five different ways to get yourself the desired SQL experience to make you the single most desirable candidate for data-backed jobs.
  1. Enroll in an SQL Training Course. ...
  2. Transform Raw Data Into Clean Data Pipelines. ...
  3. Work on Real-World Scenarios With SQL Case Studies. ...
  4. Get Confident With Online SQL Practice Websites.
Feb 8, 2022

Is SQL job stressful? ›

Structured query language database administrators (SQL DBAs) are in high demand and yield high salaries. Their work is dynamic and challenging, though it can be stressful.

Is Python and SQL enough to get a job? ›

Is Python and SQL enough to get a job? Yes, knowing the fundamentals of more general languages like Python or R is critical. However, ignoring SQL will make it much harder to get a job in data. Here are three key reasons why you absolutely need to learn SQL in 2022.

Is SQL enough to get a job as a data analyst? ›

Since almost all data analysts will need to use SQL to access data from a company's database, it's arguably the most important skill to learn to get a job. In fact, it's common for data analyst interviews to include a technical screening with SQL. Luckily, SQL is one of the easier languages to learn.

Should I learn SQL or Python? ›

Using SQL vs Python: Case Study

If someone is really looking to start their career as a developer, then they should start with SQL because it's a standard language and an easy-to-understand structure makes the developing and coding process even faster. On the other hand, Python is for skilled developers.

How can I get top 3 salaries in SQL? ›

  1. TOP keyword SELECT TOP 1 salary FROM (SELECT TOP 3 salary FROM Table_Name ORDER BY salary DESC) AS Comp ORDER BY salary ASC.
  2. limit SELECT salary FROM Table_Name ORDER BY salary DESC LIMIT 2, 1.
  3. by subquery. SELECT salary FROM (SELECT salary FROM Table_Name ORDER BY salary DESC LIMIT 3) AS Comp ORDER BY salary LIMIT 1;

Where is top 3 salary in SQL Server? ›

select * from( select ename, sal, dense_rank() over(order by sal desc)r from Employee) where r=&n; To find to the 2nd highest sal set n = 2 To find 3rd highest sal set n = 3 and so on.

Which SQL is in demand? ›

Today, MySQL is one of the most popular and widely used SQL databases. It is also one of the most used databases in Web Applications. Some of the world's largest Web-Scale applications (e.g., Facebook, Uber) uses MySQL.

What industry uses SQL? ›

SQL is a programming language used by IT professionals in software development, data science, software quality assurance, and database administration. Many people in data analyst roles need SQL key skills. What industry uses SQL the most? The technology industry uses SQL the most.

What kind of companies use SQL? ›

Some of the major organizations that make use of SQL include:
  • Microsoft.
  • NTT Data.
  • Cognizant.
  • Dell.
  • Accenture.
  • Stack Overflow.
Jan 6, 2020

What is SQL primarily used for? ›

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a standardized programming language that is used to manage relational databases and perform various operations on the data in them.

Is SQL easy than Python? ›

SQL is certainly an easier language to learn than Python. It has a very basic syntax that has the sole purpose of communicating with relational databases. Since a great amount of data is stored in relational databases, retrieving data using SQL queries is often the first step in any data analysis project.

Do SQL needs coding? ›

It doesn't require coding skills.

Thankfully, SQL does not require coding skills, just the use of simple keywords like “select,” “insert into” and “update.”

Is SQL coding difficult? ›

Generally speaking, SQL is an easy language to learn. If you understand programming and already know some other languages, you can learn SQL in a few weeks. If you're a beginner, completely new to programming, it can take longer.

How much SQL do I need to know for a job? ›

In general, though, you should at least know the basics of SQL before applying for any job that involves working with data. This includes knowing how to select, insert, update, and delete data from a database.

How do you find top 5 salary in SQL? ›

Solution 13
  1. SELECT MAX(salary) FROM employee; ...
  2. SELECT MAX(slary), dept_id from employee group by dept_id; ...
  3. select distinct salary from employee order by salary desc limit 5; ...
  4. select distinct salary, dept_id from employee order by salary desc limit 5;
May 31, 2012

Can you get a SQL job without a degree? ›

Entry-level SQL developers may only be required to have an associate's degree in computer science. Most companies prefer that SQL developer candidates have a bachelor's degree in computer science or related field. Job seekers should have several years of SQL development experience.

Is SQL the easiest programming language? ›

Because of its narrow application domain, SQL is usually easier to learn than a general-purpose programming language. You don't need a computer science background to start with the SQL Basics course.

Is SQL experience valuable? ›

Knowledge of SQL is a highly marketable skill, both within an organization and for other organizations. Learning SQL is therefore an effective use of time, and one with a high potential return on investment.

What is the salary of SQL Developer for 5 years experience? ›

Average Annual Salary by Experience

SQL Developer salary in India with less than 1 year of experience to 6 years ranges from ₹ 2 Lakhs to ₹ 8 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 4.1 Lakhs based on 7.2k latest salaries.

What should I know before learning SQL? ›

What to Know Before Learning SQL
  • Knowledge of Databases. In addition to basic computer skills, a critical prerequisite to working with SQL is a knowledge of databases. ...
  • Microsoft Excel. Students commonly learn Microsoft Excel, a spreadsheet application, before SQL. ...
  • Knowledge of Basic Programming.

Should I learn SQL as a beginner? ›

In-Demand Skill. Be it a developer, a product manager, or a business analyst, SQL helps in upskilling the career. According to the job portals, SQL is the most in-demand skill as it is robust and easy to learn programming language.

What is the benefit of knowing SQL? ›

SQL is useful for managing huge stores of structured data. Those who work with this language to perform queries are an asset to their organization because they understand how their company structures its data and therefore can retrieve actionable information relatively quickly.

Is SQL an in demand skill? ›

SQL is worth learning because it's a programming language that's in-demand not only in the tech industry but also in other sectors that need technology.

How can I get top 2 salary in SQL? ›

SELECT MAX(SALARY) FROM Employee WHERE SALARY < (SELECT MAX(SALARY) FROM Employee); This query will give you the desired output i.e 12000, which is the second highest salary.

How do I land a job in SQL? ›

Qualifications Required for Entry Level SQL Jobs
  1. Masters Degree in Computer Science (CS), Information System (IS), Management of Information System (MIS), Engineering, Statistics, Data Analytics, etc. ...
  2. 0-1 years of practical involvement in MS SQL Server.
  3. Essential information on Data Modeling.
Jan 29, 2022

What is the hardest thing in SQL? ›

Recursive Queries is known as master the most challenging type of SQL queries.

Why did SQL job fail? ›

Similar to Windows services, SQL Agent Jobs run under a user or service account configured in the job. Job failures can occur when there are permission or authentication issues with the user or service account. Common issues include: Account expired.

Can I get a job with only mysql? ›

Mysql career opportunities are on the rise. A Fresher can get a job in the industry if they are good in the particular Mysql skills. One should have practical knowledge of Mysql to secure a job in top notch Organizations. The scope is huge and the industry offers abundant career and job roles for Mysql Jobs.

Can I learn only SQL? ›

SQL is easy to learn

Because SQL query syntax relies on common English words, even if you have no programming experience you can easily understand how to use it. But it may take somewhat longer to become proficient than if you had come in with some programming experience.

Can a non IT person learn SQL? ›

Anyone can learn SQL. It's not as hard as you think! In today's world, even those in non-technical jobs need some technical skills. And you don't have to be a hard-core nerd to get these skills.

How long does it take to learn SQL for a job? ›

On its own, SQL isn't hard to learn. You can learn SQL in as little as two to three weeks. However, it can take months of practice before you feel comfortable using it. Determining how long it takes to learn SQL also depends on how you plan to use it.

How do I start a career in SQL? ›

Education to Improve Careers in SQL

Tech/B. E/MCA. Certification on Database Administrator (DBA), Database Developer, Database Designer/Database Architect, etc will add more value-adding to the education. An additional recommendation is to learn PL/SQL and ETL tools which has more demand in a market.

How long does IT take an average person to learn SQL? ›

Because SQL is a relatively simple language, learners can expect to become familiar with the basics within two to three weeks. That said, if you're planning on using SQL skills at work, you'll probably need a higher level of fluency. How quickly you achieve mastery will depend on your method of learning.

Is SQL very difficult? ›

Generally speaking, SQL is an easy language to learn. If you understand programming and already know some other languages, you can learn SQL in a few weeks. If you're a beginner, completely new to programming, it can take longer.

How much does SQL certification cost? ›

The Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Exam costs $245. This is a one-time fee, including the cost of the certification exam itself and access to the certificate of completion.

Can SQL do basic math? ›

SQL supports the standard arithmetic operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and also modulo.

Does SQL require coding? ›

It doesn't require coding skills.

Thankfully, SQL does not require coding skills, just the use of simple keywords like “select,” “insert into” and “update.”

Is SQL easy if you know Python? ›

If we look at it as a language, then SQL is much easier as compared to Python because the syntax is smaller, and there are pretty few concepts in SQL. On the other hand, if you look at it as a tool, then SQL is tougher than coding in Python.


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