What is an ETL Developer?

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Click to learn more about author Edwin Lisowski.

What is ETL?

To begin with, ETL stands for extract, transform, and load. ETL allows businesses to collect data from various sources into one database. The process consists of three stages:

1. Reading data from a database
2. Converting the extracted data into a form that can be analyzed
3. Lastly, the data must be written into the target database

What Does an ETL Developer Do on the Day-to-Day Job?

An ETL developer is responsible for the process of collecting and processing data. They also design data storage solutions for organizations. Besides those tasks, there are other duties that they’re responsible for, such as:

  • Analyzing the company’s data needs
  • Designing and coding the data warehousing system, adjusted to the company’s specifications
  • Maintaining and improving the existing ETL processes
  • Controlling preliminary testing of the warehousing environment before extracting data
  • Ensuring that the data system works efficiently once the data is transferred
  • Working with Data Management teams on delivering the needed data

The tasks can vary depending on the company, the characteristics of the job, or the branch.

When it comes to the salary, the national average wage for an ETL Developer in the U.S. is $82,865 per year or $40 per hour. Gaining experience and continuous training translate into higher earnings and work possibilities.

Additional information on this role can be found here.

What is the Learning Path of an ETL Developer?

There is no designated direction to become an ETL developer, but some patterns have emerged. Generally, a bachelor’s degree is a good recommendation. Employers respect finished studies, so the higher the degree, the better. Of course, this doesn’t apply to every case.

Usually, ETL developers pursue degrees in computer science, electrical engineering, or information technology. Most primarily have a bachelor’s degree, but around 30 percent have a master’s. The internet is a treasure trove of various courses, so future ETL developers should look around for those that are most beneficial. Completing courses gives one the opportunity to acquire practical knowledge.

What Skills are Required?

There are certain skills that ETL developers should have. Both technical and soft skills are crucial because they enable them to lead the IT team in building the data warehouse.

Usually, there are a few core skills that an ETL developer needs:

  • Understanding of database structure and big data technologies
  • Command of reading, analyzing, and transforming data
  • Ability to create the best ETL design
  • Experience in pulling data from various data source types
  • Ability to learn new data tools
  • Management and organization skills
  • Capability to troubleshoot and manage debugging processes

ETL developers use various tools to efficiently perform data warehousing operations. An applicant can distinguish themselves with the following instrumental and technical skills:

  • Knowledge of at least one ETL tool (SSIS, Informatica, Talend, Pentaho, etc.)
  • Comprehension of SQL/NoSQL data storage mechanisms
  • PL/SQL Oracle development experience
  • Knowledge of scripting languages like Python, Perl, or Bash
  • Experience with programming languages (C++, Java, or JavaScript)

What an ETL Developer Should Know

If you are looking to gather experience in the ETL processes, there are many places to find good information.

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