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How to Become an SQL Developer

How to Become an SQL Developer

Data is a goldmine, but in order to refine its value, companies need well-articulated data management strategies. Forbes reports that currently, only 30% of companies have implemented such strategies. 

This means 70% of companies are lagging behind and are significantly putting out efforts to produce their data pipelines. Owing to this fact itself, Future Market Insights has predicted that the SQL market, which was valued at $15.5 billion in 2022, will reach $30.4 billion by 2029, growing almost twice in market value.

These statistics show the chronic demand for SQL developers in a data-driven world. So, if you want to build your career in this field, keep reading! This blog will provide you with a complete roadmap to becoming a skilled SQL developer.

Check out this interesting video on How to become an SQL Developer in 2024:

What is SQL?

SQL is considered among the top 5 important data-related programming languages. Generally, at the beginning of every data project, data is in its crude form. To work on it, big data processing is required. After data processing, the target would be to send that data all over to the data analytics and data science teams. How do companies do this? Well, SQL is the widely implemented gateway in this case. It is mostly used to communicate with processed relational data, do CRUD operations, and start with the initial analysis. 

When we refer to relational databases, we’re talking about a specific way of organizing and storing information. A relational database stores information in tabular form, with data spread across rows and columns. SQL allows you to manipulate this data by doing operations like sorting it, grouping it, or even gaining insights from it.

Demand for SQL Developers

Business Today reports that companies that have a proper data management schema in place are 77% more likely to make winning business decisions using data analytics. That’s why many companies are looking forward to building their data management frameworks, leading to growth in the demand for SQL developers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, database administrator, developer, and architect job postings are consistently growing in number at a rate of 8% with each passing year. So definitely, the demand for SQL developers is consistent.
In 2024, Naukri and Indeed job boards have almost 75,000+ SQL developer job posts. So if you are someone who likes working with databases, knowing how to become an SQL developer would prove beneficial.

Is It Hard to Become an SQL Developer?

SQL is a foundational block for dealing with data. It is taught in engineering colleges, mainly during the initial phase, along with database management. Also, you can learn SQL and DBMS within a timeframe of two months, even if you are from a nontechnical background. So definitely, the complexity associated with learning SQL is comparatively less. 

To help you with learning SQL, there are innumerable learning resources, starting with blogs, YouTube videos, and even free certification courses. You can refer to these resources and easily acquire the required skills. If you get stuck anywhere there are platforms like Stack Overflow, where you can resolve your doubts from a vast community of developers. 

In addition, if you’re looking forward to getting into data pipeline architecture roles like data engineer or big data analyst, you have to learn tools like Apache Cassandra, Spark, and Hadoop. All these tools are SQL-centric. If you were to use these tools, you would require technical know-how about SQL.

So definitely, while thinking about how to become an SQL developer, you are opening other realms of data job opportunities too.

Want to learn more about SQL? Enroll in our free SQL certification course provided by Intellipaat.

Want to know how much you know about organizing data?
Take a quick Quiz to check it out

What Does an SQL Developer Do?

What Does an SQL Developer Do - How to Become an SQL Developer - Intellipaat

As an SQL developer, you have to perform various tasks, such as writing SQL queries, optimizing database performance, and ensuring data integrity. SQL developers are also responsible for designing and maintaining databases. Not only this, you have to collaborate with various teams, such as data analysts and software developers, to meet the organization’s data requirements.

The responsibilities of an SQL developer include:

  • Optimizing database performance
  • Creating database schema/architecture
  • Creating data pipelines
  • Troubleshooting and debugging database-related issues 
  • Resolving database performance problems, data inconsistencies, and query errors 
  • Working around SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

Skills Required to Become an SQL Developer

Skills required to become an SQL developer - How to Become an SQL Developer - Intellipaat

An SQL developer typically does tasks that revolve around designing, developing, and maintaining the databases that store and manage data for an organization.

Here are some key skills required for an SQL developer.

  • Proficiency in SQL
  • Knowledge of database management systems such as MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostgreSQL
  • Understanding of database design principles and data modeling
  • Understanding of data integration techniques, such as ETL processes
  • Proficiency in any programming language, such as Python, C++, or Java
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Problem solving and critical thinking

How to Become an SQL Developer: Step-by-Step Roadmap

How to become an SQL developer - How to Become an SQL Developer - Intellipaat

Step 1: Meet the Educational Requirements

Earning a bachelor’s degree is the first step for you to launch the SQL developer journey. You should make sure to finish your bachelor’s education in the domain of computer science or computer application. These programs allow you to gain knowledge of programming, computer networking, and DBMS.

However, if you are not from a tech background but are still interested in becoming an SQL developer, you should go for professional certifications. Professional certificates offer a fast-paced learning experience and relevant curriculum, which can help you land a job in as little as a year.

Want to learn more about SQL? Here is the Online SQL course provided by Intellipaat.

Step 2: Learn the Fundamentals of DBMS

Once you enroll for professional certification or are already a graduate, you should focus on learning the fundamentals of database management systems. Here, your main focus would be to develop a basic intuition for how databases operate and how you can manage them. 

Following are the concepts that you will have to master while learning the basics of database management:

Step 3: Learn SQL

Next, once you are done with the basics of DBMS, it’s time to familiarize yourself with Structured Query Language, or SQL. Since you aim to become an SQL developer, you must have great command over the SQL programming language. Initially, focus on learning how to use database servers and programs that facilitate database management. 

Don’t stop there; learn NoSQL and PL/SQL programming languages. For every database programming language, try to master concepts such as:

  • Syntax
  • CRUD operations
  • Joins
  • Subqueries
  • Group By, Aliases, and Constraints
  • Arithmetic operations
  • Connections
  • Controlling database access
  • Versioning
  • SQL developer reports

Remember, as an SQL developer, you will be closely working with the data engineering team to develop data pipelines. So while learning how to become an SQL developer, you have to learn tools like Hadoop, Spark, or Cassandra.

Step 4: Master Cloud Data Frameworks

Forbes reports that 90% of enterprises are already using cloud services. Data processing, storage, and database are major services companies are opting for. Here’s another interesting stat: according to Market Analysis and Insights, the cloud-based database market, which is standing at US$19.5 billion, will reach US$40.5 billion by 2031, growing at a whopping CAGR of 53%. 

So, you must learn about cloud storage services in the SQL developer journey. You must look into database services provided by AWS (AWS RDS, DynamoDB, Aurora), Azure (Azure CosmosDB, Azure SQL, PostgreSQL), or GCP (Google Cloud SQL, BigQuery, FireStore). 

Once you master the fundamental skills, you’ve done the majority of the work on your how to become an SQL developer roadmap journey. The next thing you would do is implement the skills in the form of projects.

Step 5: Take on DBMS Schema Projects

You can only claim to have learned a specific technology if you can demonstrate it through projects. So, you must start implementing your skills by building projects. This will help you show the recruiters that you’ve got what they are looking for. 

Open-source projects are great starters if you are starting with your first project. You can go over to GitHub, look into multiple database-related projects, and start contributing your version of the solution. At the same time, you can learn from the solutions and programs of other developers around the globe.

Step 6: Build Your Resume and Create Profiles on Job Boards

A resume plays an important role when it comes to placements. If you are applying for an internship or a full-time job, a resume is a must. A resume is a summary that contains your professional experience, skills, and other relevant information.

The first step you need to take is to read the job description, understand important keywords, and then incorporate them into your resume. Also, job portals like LinkedIn, Indeed, Naukri, etc., are very critical for you to initiate your internship or job hunt. Create your digital profiles on these platforms. Add key skills for your job role there, and add your projects as well as relevant certifications. After that, start applying for internships and job opportunities.

Step 7: Prepare for Interview, and Ace Your First Job

Prepare for Interview and Ace your first job - How to Become an SQL Developer - Intellipaat

Once you have mastered the skills, it’s time to start looking for job opportunities. As we have already built a presence on LinkedIn, Indeed, and Naukri, we will start applying for job opportunities. You can also participate in on-campus career fairs, placement drives, and hackathons to catch the eyes of recruiters and grab an interview opportunity.

The next step would be cracking an interview. Before you appear for the interview, make sure that you have done thorough research on the company and have read the job description well. Sprinkle the important keywords from the job description over to your resume. Go through the most commonly asked SQL interview question guides available on the internet.

Be confident throughout your interview, and with a few attempts, you will be able to get your first job as an SQL Developer.

Wish to crack SQL job interviews? Intellipaat’s Top SQL Interview Questions are meant only for you!

SQL Developer Jobs Available Right Now

Ultimately, what holds the utmost significance are the job opportunities in the market for SQL developers. 

According to LinkedIn, 184,000+ jobs are available in India, and 7,000+ jobs are available in the US. This number could be much higher if we consider other job boards.

Jobs in USA - How to Become an SQL Developer - Intellipaat

Source: SQL Developer jobs USA LinkedIn

Jobs in India - How to Become an SQL Developer - Intellipaat

Source: SQL Developer jobs India LinkedIn

SQL Developer Salary (India & USA)

According to Glassdoor, salaries for SQL developers in India range between 4 lakh rupees and 7 lakh rupees per annum.

With a few years of experience, you can easily expect 10 lakh per annum as a senior SQL developer.

Salary of SQL Developer in India - How to Become SQL Developer - Intellipaat

Source: SQL Developer Salary India Glassdoor

According to Glassdoor, in the USA, the salary of SQL developers ranges from $83,000 to $1,00,000 per annum.

However, with experience, the salary could go as high as $1,36,859.

Salary of SQL Developer in USA - How to Become SQL Developer - Intellipaat

Source: SQL Developer salary USA Glassdoor


In this digital world, most organizations prefer data-driven strategies. As it is said, data is the new oil in the industry. No doubt, to store such a huge amount of data, we need a database. Of course, to operate those databases, we need SQL developers. So, SQL can definitely be a great field of choice for a growing career.

Do you have any questions for us? Drop them over our Intellipaat community page, and we will have our experts answer it for you.

FAQs on How to Become an SQL Developer

How long does it take to become an SQL developer?

Learning SQL isn’t a very difficult task, but you will also have to master other critical skills, such as cloud storage systems, NoSQL, PL/SQL, etc. However, with a proper guided learning plan, you can become an SQL developer in a year.

Can I become an SQL developer without a degree?

Yes, you can become an SQL developer even without a degree. But you have to master the fundamentals of SQL and related fields. For this, you can learn through lots of online resources, and you can go for certifications that will provide you with complete guidance to become an SQL developer.

Does SQL have a future?

To use data, companies have to create and manage databases. That’s where they need SQL developers. Right now, on LinkedIn, there are more than 1 lakh job openings for SQL developers in India and the USA. So definitely, as an SQL developer, you can have a bright future.

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