Databases are an important aspect of the datacenter. While they don’t have a shiny front and center role in the datacenter like the servers or storage do, they play a key role. Without a database, user data and application data would be lost. Almost every application calls on a database to retrieve data and present it. There are many different database options available such as Microsoft SQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, MariaDB, MySQL and Oracle. A skilled database administrator is a highly sought after individual in the technology field.  An average DBA salary is in the range of $87,000 to $140,000 depending on where you live. In this installment of Cleared & Certified we will focus on Oracle and their Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional certification (ODBA).  

Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (ODBA) Overview

The ODBA Professional certification is an advanced Oracle certification. There is an associate level certification that is a prerequisite to this cert. Being that this is an advanced cert, you should have a minimum of 2 years of Oracle DB experience in order to feel confident to sit for the exam. Here is an excerpt from the Oracle Certification website on what the certification covers:

“Preparing for the Oracle Database Administration Certified Professional credential helps candidates gain the skills and knowledge to install, patch and upgrade Oracle Database and Oracle Grid Infrastructure for a standalone server, create and manage a backup and recovery strategy using Recovery Manager (RMAN), use RMAN for Database duplication and transportation, diagnose failures using RMAN, and manage all aspects of Multitenant container databases, pluggable databases and application containers including creation, cloning, security, transportation and backup and recovery.

By earning the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional credential, you will be demonstrating your possession of the full skill set required to perform day to day administration of the Oracle Database.”

Training Available

Oracle’s education website provides many resources for help in preparing to sit for the ODBA exam. There are several training courses to attend that will prepare you for the exam, one of them being the Oracle Database: Administration Workshop. The workshop will cost $3,400 for a self paced training course while there are also in person 5 day workshops that cost even more. According to Oracle’s’ education website, the workshop is described as the following; “This course is designed to provide you with a firm foundation in administration of an Oracle database. In this course you will gain a conceptual understanding of Oracle Database architecture and learn how to manage an Oracle database in an effective and efficient manner.”  Other courses that will help prepare you for the exams are the Backup and Recovery Workshop, New Features for Administrators and Managing Multi-tenant Architecture.  

Exam Details

There are two exams required to pass in order to obtain the ODBA Professional certification. The first exam is the Oracle Database Administration exam (1Z0-082) which is comprised of 90 multiple choice questions. For this exam you will have a time limit of 150 minutes with a passing score of 60%. The 1Z0-082 exam voucher costs $245 for each attempt.  

The second exam is the Oracle Database Administration II exam (1Z0-083), which is comprised of 85 multiple choice questions. You will have 150 minutes to log a passing score of 57%. The 1Z0-83 exam voucher also costs $245 for each attempt.  That brings a total of $490 to obtain the certification, not counting any training.  

What’s Next?

There are many options to choose from for an Oracle expert. First, diversifying your certification portfolio by picking up another database certification such as a SQL cert or other DB certs would be a good next step. Additionally, you can go for a different Oracle certification such as the Oracle Certified Expert cert, or focus more on the Java development certification side of the house. It all depends on what you want to do in your career.  

Is it For Me?

If you are an Oracle database administrator, and you have the requisite experience, then yes, go for it. Having the work experience is great and it goes a long way in the market, however, adding an ODBA Professional certification will cement your status as a professional. Some would disagree with me, and that’s ok. Yes there are paper certified DBAs that just crammed and passed a test, but if you have the experience plus the certification it elevates your resume.  

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Greg Stuart is the owner and editor of He's been a VMware vExpert every year since 2011. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids. He has 20 years of IT experience and currently works as an IT Consultant both in the private and public sector. Greg holds a BS in Information Technology and an MBA degree. He currently resides in Southeast Idaho. You can follow him on Twitter @vDestination, read his blog ( and listen to his podcast (