How to Become a SQL Developer For Your Career in 2023?

Published: October 18, 2023

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a programming language made specifically for accessing and modifying data from a database. 

For database managers working in the product department of various fields, such as finance, healthcare, and e-commerce, SQL is a crucial tool. The primary advantage of Structured Query Language for firms is that big data can be managed and accessed effectively, enabling organizations to make decisions based on data mining and report generation. 

SQL is employed in the field of finance to create reports for the analysis of financial performance, in the healthcare industry to manage patient data, and in e-commerce to manage consumer data to predict buyer behaviour. Therefore, learning how to become a good SQL developer means getting automatic demand for labour from each of these sectors too.

According to Coursera, there is a 9% increase in the demand for SQL developers in the US, with an average annual salary in the US is $72,740, according to therefore, becoming an SQL developer in the current times is the best career decision you can make! 

Who is an SQL Developer? 

becoming a sql developer

A software engineer that specializes in building code and queries to connect with databases using SQL is known as a SQL developer. 

Writing queries to extract data, maintaining and optimizing database architecture, and guaranteeing the database’s performance and security are all tasks that SQL developers do. Additionally, to become a good SQL developer, you will need to know data modelling, developing databases etc.

Typically, SQL developers deal with database management systems like MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL. They may also combine SQL with other programming languages like Python or Java to create sophisticated apps that communicate with databases. To try your hand at Python and Java, explore these online courses to determine what you enjoy most!

SQL development is a highly sought-after expert in data science. In fact, 42.7% of all job advertising for data scientists list becoming an SQL developer as the most desired across all professions in the industry. If you’re wondering how to become a coder, here is something to help you out!

What Does a SQL Developer Do?

An SQL developer’s duties include planning, creating, and managing SQL databases to administer them. 

The developers use four operations programmers, which include creating, read, updating and developing (CRUD) commands to build and change database tables using a structured query language (SQL). 

SQL developers evaluate queries, build sophisticated functions and stored procedures, optimize database performance, design security standards, and fix issues. They could develop dashboards, run intricate queries for business intelligence reporting, or design database architecture.

5 Key Steps for Becoming a SQL Developer

key steps for becoming a sql developer

Becoming a SQL Developer requires a combination of technical skills and practical experience. In this article, we’ll cover the six essential steps you need to take to kickstart your career as a SQL Developer.

1. Understand the Basics of SQL

The first step is to learn the basics of the structured query language. Familiarizing yourself with SQL’s syntax, instructions and ideas and how to construct and modify databases, tables, and data is essential. 

To do this, start by studying books, videos, and online tutorials that cover the principles of SQL. Also, you can participate in online discussion forums or groups on social media platforms, including Facebook, where you can ask questions and receive answers from knowledgeable SQL professionals. 

Equipped with this knowledge, you would have already started strong on your journey of becoming a SQL Developer. 

2. Earn a Degree, Course or Attend a Bootcamp 

Once you are equipped with the basics of SQL, the next step of the journey is to gain a relevant degree, Bootcamp or course certification to improve your SQL knowledge.

You should consider opting for the best SQL courses or bootcamps simply because it is a one-stop solution to providing you with all the skills for writing and running queries for your unique database. 

Moreover, you will learn about SQL and its practical applications, bringing you one step closer to learning how to become a good SQL developer. You can differentiate yourself in a crowded job market and show prospective employers that you are proficient in SQL by completing a certification.

3. Look for an Internship

The next stage in figuring out how to become a SQL developer is to look for an internship after gaining a basic understanding of SQL and adorning your resume with a certification. 

An internship is a fantastic way to get practical experience and apply your academic learning to real-world problems. You can search for internship opportunities at businesses that rely on SQL as their main database management technology. These will mostly involve Product Teams at E-Commerce platforms or firms specializing in Financial Analysis. 

As an intern, you will assist seasoned developers who will also be your mentors for the rest of your career while also learning from them. Moreover, working in an environment with technical experts will equip you with the confidence to decide whether or not SQL development is a field you practically enjoy or are just excited by in theory. 

4. Gain Hands-on experience

To help you obtain experience after finishing your course, look for entry-level jobs as a SQL developer, database administrator, or programmer. As you gain expertise in the field and with related technology, you’ll rise up the ranks swiftly.

This step in how to become a SQL developer will only work when you start taking up real-world projects. This is why networking is also key in becoming an SQL developer. To get comfortable with SQL commands and syntax, you can start by constructing tiny projects and practising with sample databases. 

Also, you can participate in online forums and discussion groups or collaborate on open-source or freelance projects. You will build a thorough understanding of SQL and, moreover, develop a more comprehensive portfolio. This is also the key difference between how to become just another SQL developer and become a good SQL developer.

5. Endless Learning

There is always more to learn about SQL, which is a continuous process. The last step of the process of how to become a SQL developer is dedicating yourself to never-ending learning and continual progress if you want to become an expert in SQL. 

You must be abreast of the most recent changes and trends in the market and be open to adopting new tools and methods in becoming an SQL developer. 

With all of these steps followed you will become a good SQL developer in no time!

The Duties and Responsibilities of a SQL Developer

duties and responsibilities of sql developer


  1. Database Design and Development
  2. Query Optimization and Performance Tuning
  3. Data Analysis and Reporting
  4. ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) Development
  5. Database Administration and Maintenance


  1. Designing and implementing database structures, tables, and views
  2. Writing SQL queries for data retrieval, manipulation, and updates
  3. Identifying and resolving database performance issues
  4. Creating reports and visualisations for data analysis
  5. Developing and maintaining ETL workflows
  6. Ensuring data security and integrity
  7. Conducting database backups and recovery
  8. Monitoring database health and availability
  9. Collaborating with cross-functional teams to understand data requirements
  10. Staying up to date with emerging database technologies and best practices.

What tools do you need to Learn to Become more Proficient as a SQL Developer?

  1. SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) – Microsoft’s primary tool for managing and developing SQL Server databases. It offers tools for designing, developing, and maintaining SQL databases.
  2. Visual Studio Code – A lightweight and versatile code editor that supports various programming languages, including SQL. It provides features like syntax highlighting, code completion, and debugging for SQL development.
  3. Azure Data Studio – A cross-platform data management tool for SQL Server and other data platforms. It offers a modern UI, features like Notebooks and dashboards, and support for Git integration.
  4. MySQL Workbench – A visual tool for MySQL database design, development, and administration. It provides tools for database modelling, SQL development, server administration, and data migration.
  5. Toad for SQL Server – A database management tool with a focus on SQL Server development. It offers features like code profiling, query optimization, and schema comparison.
  6. DataGrip – A database IDE from JetBrains that supports various databases, including SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL. It provides features like code completion, an intelligent query console, and schema navigation.
  7. dbForge Studio for SQL Server – A comprehensive database management tool for SQL Server. It offers tools for database design, development, administration, and data analysis.

Top 10 Career Paths for SQL Developers with a Salaries 

  1. Database Developer: responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining an organisation’s databases. Salary range: $77,000 – $135,000.
  1. Database Administrator: responsible for maintaining, optimising, and securing an organisation’s databases. Salary range: $50,000 – $114,000.
  1. Business Intelligence Developer: responsible for designing and implementing data analysis and reporting solutions using SQL and other BI tools. Salary range: $83,045 – $106.061.
  1. Data Analyst: responsible for analyzing and interpreting large amounts of data using SQL and other analytical tools to provide insights and make data-driven decisions. Salary range: $44,000 – $210,000.
  1. Data Engineer: responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the infrastructure needed to store and process large amounts of data. Salary range: $26,000 – $195,000.
  1. ETL Developer: responsible for designing and implementing the Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) processes needed to move data from various sources into a data warehouse or other storage solutions. Salary range: $69,113 – $95,000.
  1. Data Scientist: responsible for applying statistical analysis and machine learning algorithms to large amounts of data to derive insights and create predictive models. Salary range: $127,096 – $155,160.
  1. Big Data Developer: responsible for designing and implementing large-scale data processing systems using SQL and other big data technologies. Salary range: $103,00 – $156,000. With the demand for data scientists and machine learning engineers you need to up skill your and advance your career. With machine learning courses on Udemy, you can gain the skills and knowledge necessary to apply statistical analysis
  1. Cloud Data Engineer: responsible for designing and implementing cloud-based data solutions using SQL and other cloud-based technologies. Salary range: $117,000 – $175,000. Check out top-notch cloud computing bootcamps to learn more about cloud computing
  1. Data Warehouse Architect: responsible for designing and implementing the overall architecture of an organization’s data warehouse, including data models, ETL processes, and storage solutions. Salary range: $93,000 – $217,000.

How to Become a SQL Developer - FAQs

How Much Education Do We Need to Be a SQL Developer?

For some jobs, an online certification may be adequate, although many businesses choose applicants with bachelor’s degrees.

Are Any Certificates Required to Become a SQL Developer?

While no specific certificates are required to become a SQL developer, obtaining certifications from organizations like Microsoft, Oracle, or IBM can demonstrate proficiency and enhance job prospects. However, hands-on experience and practical skills are highly valued in the field, so building a strong portfolio of projects and demonstrating mastery of SQL can also lead to career success.

How Much Does a SQL Server Developer Make?

The average salary for a SQL Server Developer in the United States is around $81,299 per year in the US. However, salaries can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and industry


In conclusion, considering the high salary and growing demand for SQL developers in 2023, this is a wise career choice and thinking about how to become a SQL developer is completely justified. SQL is a programming language that was created expressly for databases, making it a vital tool for database managers across a variety of sectors. 

Building code and queries to connect to databases, maintaining and improving database architecture, and assuring database performance and security are all areas of expertise you must know when considering how to become a good SQL developer. 

In summary, understanding the fundamentals of SQL, earning the appropriate certification, looking for an internship, obtaining practical experience, networking, and staying up to date on industry advancements are all steps in the process of becoming a SQL developer. 

These techniques can help you become a skilled SQL developer and set yourself apart in a congested job market.

So what are you waiting for? Begin your journey of becoming an SQL developer now so you can avail its benefits!