Where are the dollars? Oracle or Sql Server?

Which dbas make the most per hour? Oracle or Sql Server? I think Oracle pays the most from looking at the job sites i.e. dice.com

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asked Jan 11, 2011 at 11:50 AM in Default

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5 answers: sort voted first

I have heard that Oracle DBA's can demand a higher salary than MSSQL Server DBA's, however the available jobs for MSSQL Server are abundant. Other benefits of being in the SQL Server world is that our community is unmatched. The SQL Server community goes above and beyond to help each other out, such as this site you are on. We dedicate a tremendous amount of our spare time to volunteer on forums, and community events. There is much more to a career than $$. For me the fun and pleasure I get from the SQL community out weighs making a few extra K per year.

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answered Jan 11, 2011 at 11:54 AM

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This is true that the decision of many organizations to still stick with Oracle is simply explained by the fact that they are already too far in and do not see the way out. However, it appears that in the foreseeble future more and more of them will find the way to break free and eventually switch to SQL Server. This will temporarily make the current spread in wages even bigger in favour of Oracle due to more and more limited supply of qualified Oracle DBAs (people change and learn different tools faster than companies). This is much like VB 6 or Coldfusion developers can temporarily demand higher wages than they actually deserve simply because nobody wants to work with old technologies, so those who still can do benefit for now.

The difference in the quality of learning resources, as Tim already pointed out, is tremendous. Take this site, for example. While not every answer, no matter how helpful, gets a token of appreciation via accept the answer tick, no question is unattended, and majority of questions have very helpful, problem solving answers. I learned from this site more then from any other resource ever, and I know that such sites for Oracle simply don't exist.

Jan 11, 2011 at 02:53 PM Oleg

Very interesting answer AND comment. My 2 cents: although it's important to get paid sufficient for your knowledge and work, it's also important to have fun while doing it. Don't forget that you'll be stuck with it for a big part of your life!

So if you had to choose between SQL or Oracle, you probably shouldn't choose the one that pays best at given point in time. Go for the technology that you feel most comfortable with. In the end that will gain you much more! (ever had to do a task that you didn't like doing, for months and months?)

May 04, 2011 at 11:22 PM Valentino Vranken
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Oracle probably can get you more money, but only if you have the right specialist skills within the Oracle world - I was looking at a job that would have gained me experience of Oracle Financials, and that can land big bucks on the daily rate.

But I suspect that the ubermenschen of the SQL Server world can also pretty much demand what they want, and get it. I seem to recall hearing of one organisation that was looking for a SQL Server MCM, and was prepared to offer US$200k or something. They got no takers. I wonder why? (Mind you, I wouldn't have gone for it...)

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answered Jan 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM

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ThomasRushton ♦♦
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Would I have been better off just saying "it depends" here? ;-)

Jan 11, 2011 at 12:25 PM ThomasRushton ♦♦

Not at all Thomas - I think you are one of the people on here that has a relevant say in the topic, being a contractor.

Jan 11, 2011 at 12:28 PM WilliamD

You are right on stating it really depends your level in either field. So many folks call themselves DBA's when all they do is backups and make sure SQL jobs run successfully. They don't know how to create indexes, stored procedures, tune queries, setup DR and HA, etc etc. The DBA's with intimate knowledge of SQL server can demand lots of $$, same as Oracle. 200k for an MCM, the MCM just became a bit more important to me. :)

Jan 11, 2011 at 12:43 PM Tim
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There is a reason Oracle DBAs make more...it is a pain to administer that stinking software. Oracle has so many different modules/pieces to it, which is what causes the high price. Patches are released more often with Oracle, compared to Microsoft. You have to have a strong knowledge of Red Hat, Solaris, etc that Oracle runs on since it integrates so much with the OS.

I don't think there is a huge difference in salaries between the two products, it will just depend on the market for the area you live in. I live in Montgomery, AL. This is a miltary town and the militar thrives on Oracle, as does the federal government. Where as when I worked for the State it was a Microsoft shop at most agencies. If you know Oracle in Montgomery you can pretty much make a killing. There are SQL DBA jobs, just fewer of them in most cities. Birmingham area has a good number of SQL jobs and Oracle jobs available. So it just depends on where you are at, or where you want to move.

I would suggest though picking one product. The job I am at know is going to make me learn Oracle, which I do not mind, I want to. However I do not expect I will learn Oracle as deeply as I have, and still want, to learn SQL Server. I just don't think my brain could take it :)

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answered Mar 22, 2011 at 07:44 PM

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Having worked in both areas for some years starting with Oracle and experiencing SQL Server mature, cross training between the to isn't so difficult. I worked in organisations that ran Oracle on Windows OS (don't tell that to an Oracle person, they frown at this). The more onerous bit is often learning the environment differences, unix, linux vs Windows OS. Money-wise as one of your posts says it depends, and generally although Oracle might pull in some more, it isn't earth shatteringly different, certainly on the contract market. What will be interesting will be SQL Servers in roads into the linux world, with powershell and visual studio .net core starting out already.

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answered Nov 04 at 03:48 PM

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Some sites do not run SQL Server, since they had to run virus software on the Windows machine...that is - to say the least - not good...

So on the Linux platform Oracle, MySQL, postgre or heavy duty databases. Not relational databases could be the future.

Money is not all...having fun is more ... fun...

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answered Mar 22, 2011 at 02:39 PM

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Not sure what you mean with "since they had to run virus software on the Windows machine". I wouldn't put a database to production without having some sort of virus protection on the machine, regardless of operating system. I have no XP with postgre. With mySQL though, I have had to work a little, and the one advantage I've found so far is that it's free. Apart from that, it's ages behind both Oracle and SQL Server in terms of functionality, scalability and performance.

Mar 22, 2011 at 03:58 PM Magnus Ahlkvist

Yes, you are correct.

But there are far more , to My knowledge, viruses aimed at Windows based platforms than linux based.

But I do not know that for à fact. It is just à turas.

Mar 22, 2011 at 04:27 PM linlasj

There may be far more instances of Windows OS's out there and installs of SQL Server which is the point of several of the posts on here. MSSQL is very widely accepted and used, therefore it isn't to difficult for a good MSSQL DBA to get a job anywhere. It also isn't to difficult for a company to find a Network or Systems guy who can do basic SQL administration. It is much harder for a business to find a good Oracle/Unix admin especially on the cheap. However it is getting pretty hard to find a top notch MSSQL DBA as well.

Mar 22, 2011 at 04:42 PM Tim

As a science kinda guy I could more easily debate the black or white as the most beautiful color. Science has taught us that black is the absence of color and white is the blending of all colors. Therefore "black" is NOT a color at all and "white" is. Therefore out of choices of black and white, white would be the most beautiful color. As for Oracle or SQL, it really all comes down to supply and demand and what you enjoy doing. If my current company said we want to switch from MSSQL to Oracle, well I would just find another MSSQL job somewhere. I am not against learning some Oracle, but have no intention of becoming an Oracle guru. I have spent the past three years becoming the MSSQL dba that I am and don't care to do it again right now with another technology, plus I have heard that the Oracle community is not nearly as nice as the SQL community.

Mar 23, 2011 at 05:56 AM Tim

Seems like what we all want in the end is to have some fun. Don't let the dollars blind your eyes and kill your enthusiasm!

May 04, 2011 at 11:31 PM Valentino Vranken
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asked: Jan 11, 2011 at 11:50 AM

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Last Updated: Nov 04 at 03:48 PM

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