How Do I Become an SQL Programmer?

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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2019
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You can become a structured query language (SQL) programmer by learning about this particular language's purpose and applications, mastering techniques to identify specific problems that a SQL project will solve, and completing coursework in writing SQL programs. Once you are sufficiently prepared to become an SQL programmer, you are then ready to apply for entry-level job positions in which you can use your new skill set. Some people begin an SQL programmer career with unpaid internships or volunteer projects, and this type of work can be a valuable opportunity to create a portfolio of code samples to submit to future employers. Previous computer programming experience can often reduce the initial learning curve, although it is generally not a requirement to become an SQL programmer.


Understanding the common uses of SQL programming is often a good first step towards an SQL programmer career. This language is designed to create systems for storing, organizing, and linking information in electronic databases. A qualified SQL programmer can potentially find work in a range of industries such as e-commerce, finance, and any other type of business that entails tracking detailed customer and employee information. In addition to writing code with the correct syntax, an SQL programmer needs to be able to identify existing problems with a database and think of possible algorithms that would resolve them. For newcomers to programming, a beginning college course in computer algorithm logic can build a helpful foundation for your goal to become an SQL programmer.

You will also typically need to complete a series of courses in basic to advanced SQL programming. These kinds of classes are often taught at vocational or community colleges, and you may also have the opportunity to complete a degree or certificate that will strengthen your chances to become an SQL programmer. Additional coursework in database administration and general computer system administration can also give you additional needed skills for many SQL programmer jobs. A good number of these jobs are open to applicants who have both formal education and solid portfolio samples of SQL applications they have written.

Once you have completed the needed education to become an SQL programmer, you may need to build up some practical on-the-job experience before becoming eligible for some paid entry-level SQL programmer positions. Unpaid internship work can be a valuable experience for building your SQL coding skills. These types of positions can also familiarize you with the day-to-day work environment of an SQL programmer.


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