When I talk to friends or when I talk to people that work at the same company that I do, I often get the same question of how can I do what you do. When I tell them about how they can study, install and practice they usually lose interest. As a matter of fact as I look back on all the people that have asked me this question I can only think of one person that has really put forth the effort to learn SQL Server.
The most popular question I get when I am at an event speaking or when someone e-mails me a question from an article that I have written is, “How much money do you think I should make”. I am never sure how to answer this question. Normally I do not know what this persons skill set is and even if I know where they live, I doubt that I have the knowledge of the economy in that area. I just did some research on a site that I have been looking at recently called odinjobs and I found that the national average DBA makes $85k a year. Remember this is a national average. In California it may be much higher, but in some cities where the economy is not as robust as California it may not be much less.
But for an accurate representation of where you live I would recommend you check out the site yourself at: