An SQL (pronounced as “ess-cue-el”) developer is someone adept at using a programming language, specifically Structured Query Language (SQL). SQL is used to build and manage computer database applications.

As such, an SQL developer is responsible for creating a database and writing SQL queries using an SQL program. An SQL developer’s primary responsibilities are summed up by the acronym “CRUD,” which stands for “Create, Read, Update, and Delete” in database operations.

SQL developers apply organizational security measures for specific systems that run applications like Oracle SQL, Microsoft SQL Server, SQLite, and MySQL. They are responsible for monitoring the execution of processes to ensure that each follows best practices.

Other interesting terms…

Read More about an “SQL Developer”

What is an SQL Developer

As the economy continues to lean toward technology use, the demand for all kinds of developers is high. SQL developers topped the list of most in-demand programmers. If you want to start your career as an SQL developer, read on.

But before we fully describe what an SQL developer is and does, it’s essential to know the answer to the question “What is SQL?” first.

What Is SQL?

SQL, as previously mentioned, is short for “Structured Query Language.” It is a standard programming language for using and handling databases. It was dubbed an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard in 1986 and an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard in 1987.

SQL allows developers to:

  • Query a database
  • Retrieve information from a database
  • Insert records into a database
  • Update records in a database
  • Delete records from a database
  • Create a new database
  • Create a new table in a database
  • Create a stored procedure in a database
  • Create a view in a database
  • Set permissions for database tables, procedures, and views

What Do SQL Developers Do?

The tasks expected of SQL developers include:

  • Building a database and checking if it is stable and reliable to run on systems
  • Creating a database system following end-user requirements
  • Improving system performance
  • Preparing records for adding to a database
  • Developing database tables and dictionaries
  • Verifying the quality and integrity of databases
  • Developing complex scripts, stored procedures, and triggers for application development
  • Doing regular system backups
  • Testing databases and applying bug fixes

What Skills and Qualifications Should SQL Developers Have?


In terms of education, SQL developers must have at least an associate degree in computer science, although most organizations prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree. Professional certifications from reputable organizations such as Microsoft-Certified IT Professional (MCITP), Microsoft-Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), or Microsoft-Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) also help. Big corporations often require that applicants have 3–7 years of experience in actual SQL development.


When it comes to skills, SQL developer wannabes need to have a working knowledge of Transact-SQL (T-SQL) and .NET frameworks. Since their work involves migrating database details from old to new systems, they must be able to detect issues with conversion. SQL developers must thus be able to work with all versions of SQL programs.

Additional Skills

Additional good-to-have skills include familiarity with big data technologies, C#, SQL Server Integration and Reporting, JavaScript, PHP, and HTML. SQL developers often work with database administrators. As such, they should have excellent communication and time management skills as well.

How Much Do SQL Developers Earn on Average?

An SQL developer’s salary depends on his or her experience. According to PayScale, a U.S.-based entry-level SQL developer can receive at least US$63,000 annually. Those with several years of experience can earn as much as US$82,000, whereas those with extensive experience spanning 10–20 years can expect to get at least US$89,000 a year. 

The salary would depend on location, though. Pays are often higher in urban areas. Several SQL developers serve as business intelligence developers because they usually receive excellent compensation.

SQL developers should have a passion for computer science and programming to become successful in their careers.