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Jobs in computing, especially in 2020 and beyond, are growing at an unprecedented rate. But one of the fastest growing computing fields is in ETL. But what is an ETL job? What does it entail for a programmer like you? Let's take a look at some of the many things you need to know about this field.

What is ETL?

Before we discuss what ETL jobs are, we need to know what ETL actually isETL is short for "Extract, Transform, Load.ETL are database functions that combine into one tool to pull data out of one database and into another. First comes extraction, which reads data. The data is often collected from many sources to ensure its accuracy. The next step is transformation. Here, data extracted in the previous step gets converted into data for the new database. The final step is loading, when extracted & converted data gets placed into a new database. ETL processes and data are an important aspect of today's business intelligence (or BI).

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What is an ETL Developer?

As demand for ETL experts increases, ETL developer jobs are increasing in kind. IT specialists are more general. But, ETL developers are completely dedicated to data extraction, transformation, and loading. This is a simplified answer. ETL developers are especially important in today's "big data" world. ETL developers have several responsibilities outside of data management.

Specific Responsibilities:

1. ETL developers determine data storage needs. Not every company has the same data storage needs. It's up to the ETL developer to a business's appropriate needs.

2. ETL developers design and create data warehouses. They work in tandem with a team designed for the business they're working for. This way, they can understand and fulfil the business's needs. This is in response to the explosion of available data.

3. ETL developers have to test, and troubleshoot, data warehouse design. This is to ensure the smooth running of processes. Once the system is set up, the ETL developer has to make sure it works well. This means that they, from time to time, have to test the system. And, if it isn't working, they're required to figure out why this is so, and correct the matter.

Furthermore, ETL developers have to have a set of core skills that other developers do not need to have.

Core Skills: 

1. ETL developers must be strong in other core skills, such as dimensional modeling and project management. Additionally, they should know programming languages. Examples include PL/SQL Oracle and NoSQL databases. 

2. ETL developers need experience with Hadoop Components (HDFS, Spark, Hbase, Hive, Sqoop). They also need experience with OLAP, SSAS, MDX, and Java and/or .NET. ETL developers need to be a lot more specialized than other IT specialists. Their jobs involve a lot more than plugging data into a database, and extracting it from another. 

ETL Developer Jobs are in High Demand

ETL developers are in high demand. And their demand will continue to grow as years go by.  According to CIO, an ETL developer's salary reflects his/her specialty. This is to say that they are well paid. Developers, in general, make a median salary that starts out in the low six figures. ETL developers, then, get a "boost" in pay for their specialty. ETL developers can rest easy knowing that their jobs are secure. They can do this even while knowing that median salaries vary from state to state. This also accounts for the cost of living variance. 

ETL developers can work for big companies like Overstock. In so doing, they will get great salary and benefits. According to their employees, Overstock offers a generous health insurance plan. It also offers a 401K ("100 percent match up to 6% of contribution."). Finally, it offers a generous vacation package ("2-3 weeks is the standard offering."). Companies that offer generous benefits packages will attract and keep quality employees.

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How To Become An ETL Developer

There are many people who become ETL developers by happenstance or evolution. But there is a rising segment of developers who set out to become ETL developers by necessity. Others want to become an ETL developer but don't know where to begin.

Here's a step-by-step guide for those people.

1. Get a good education. To be precise, get a bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering. This degree provides the groundwork for the field. Focus on classes about building software. It's not required to write code, but having experience in doing will prove beneficial. Higher-level ETL development requires a master's degree in computer science or software engineering.

2. Understand ancillary ideas in the field you're in. This means having a basic understanding of what you're acquiring data on.

3. Gain the necessary work experience. This may mean interning at the company or take a lesser salary than you're worth.

4. Have a series of life skills that are necessary for every field. According to Zippia, every successful ETL developer has these types of life skills, and these life skills are good for every position. Additionally, developers must have good communication skills. It's not enough to know what a company needs, and neither is it enough for the developer to install those needs.

Rather, the developer must also be able to communicate those needs to the company in a clear, concise way. They must also be able to be responsive to issues that come up. They must communicate those issues to the client/customer in a clear and concise way. Finally, they must be creative, detail-oriented, and have team-building and problem-solving skills. No computer programmer works in a vacuum, and working as an ETL developer is no exception.

One of the biggest benefits of being an ETL developer, of course, is all the cool perks that come with the job. Many companies, too, offer interesting perks that often amaze and wow employees. Employee perks are always a great investment. It shows your team that you care and makes them feel valued.

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11 Amazing ETL Jobs 

Now that you understand the basics of being an ETL developer, have a look at 11 amazing ETL jobs. Brush up your resume and start applying!

1. Datastage Developer, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, NY). This is the perfect position for a developer that can integrate all his/her experience. Memorial Sloan Kettering is the premier cancer research hospital in New York. That makes this position very prestigious.  

2. ETL Consultant, HALO Consulting (Auckland, NZ). This is an opportunity of a lifetime! Where else can you not only work in New Zealand, but for a company ranked third-best in the country?  

3. Watson Health/ETL Developer, IBM (Chicago, IL). If you’ve ever wanted to work for one of the largest computer companies in the world, this is your chance. This position also has a remote option, making it perfect for parents and newlyweds. Best of all, it’s located in Chicago, one of the most popular cities to live, and work, in the United States.

4. Senior Data Warehouse Analyst, NBC Universal (Universal City, CA). The greater Los Angeles area thrives on the entertainment industry. As such, ETL developer offerings also center around “the business.” That includes this position at NBC. The six-figure salary is nice, too.

5. ETL Developer, Chevron (Houston, TX). This is the perfect position for those who prefer to live in the South. And this is perfect for a Houston native. Texas is the home of the American oil industry. So, it’s no surprise that this position is in the oil industry, as well.

6. Senior ETL Developer, Alaska Airlines (Seattle, WA). Looking to work in the airline industry? Looking to work for a well-known and well-respected company? Look no further than this position at Alaska Airlines. This is one of the most popular airlines in the Pacific Northwest, so your position will be secure here.

7. Programmer, University of Miami (Miami, FL). Florida has year-round sunshine and white beaches. It also has this ETL developer position at a prestigious university. Consider this position at the University of Miami if the Florida life is for you.

8. Business Intelligence Data Modeler, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Arizona (Phoenix, AZ). Do you specialize in the insurance industry? Are you looking for a position where you’ll be helping people every day? Then this job at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Arizona is for you.

9. Unit ETL Programmer, RELX (Portland, OR). RELX handles 23 of the 25 major airlines in the United States. What’s more, it’s located in the trendy, burgeoning city of Portland. If you’re looking for a job that provides work/life balance, with stability, consider this one.

10. ETL Developer, Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA). The Dana Farber Cancer Institute is both beloved and prestigious. This ETL developer position is a good fit for a Boston native. It's also located in the heart of the city.

11. ETL Developer, Deloitte (Atlanta, GA). One of the best-known companies in the world has now become one of the best-loved companies in world. That’s because they emphasize a positive work-life balance, with volunteerism. This culture, with an attractive starting salary, makes this position desirable.

About is a cloud-based ETL solution providing simple visualized data pipelines for automated dataflows across a wide range of sources and destinations. The company's powerful on-platform transformation tools allow its customers to clean, normalize and transform their data while also adhering to compliance best practices. We offer a free, no obligation consultation for businesses like yours!