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Oracle Certification Simplified

Oracle certification for DBAs can seem rather complicated but the process is quite straightforward - you take the required exams and the required courses (if any) and if you pass the exams you gain the qualification.

Let's look at this in more detail. There are three levels of certification:-

  • Oracle Database Administrator Certified Associate (OCA)
  • Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (OCP) 
  • Oracle Database Administrator Certified Master (OCM)
and three releases on which you can gain certification:
  • Oracle 9i
  • Oracle 10g
  • Oracle 11g

Oracle Certification Upgrade Paths

If you already have Oracle certification as a DBA you can upgrade to a later release by taking one Oracle certification exam.

The Oracle dba certification upgrade paths and required exams are:
  • Oracle7.3/Oracle8 to Oracle 9i OCP via Oracle9i DBA New Features for Oracle7.3 and Oracle8 OCPs (1Z0-035)
  • Oracle 8i to Oracle 9i OCP via Oracle 9i New Features for Administrators (1Z0-030)
  • Oracle 8i to Oracle 10g OCP via Oracle 10g DBA New Features for Oracle8i OCPs  (1Z0-045)
  • Oracle 9i to Oracle 10g OCP via Oracle 10g New Features for Administrators (1Z0-040)
  • Oracle 9i OCP to Oracle 11g OCP via Oracle 11g DBA New Features for Oracle9i OCPs  (1Z0-055)
  • Oracle 9i OCM to Oracle 10g OCM via a 1 day practical exam

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Oracle Certification From Scratch

If you have no certification currently,  then there are a few more exams to pass depending on what level you want to attain. The first level is Oracle Certified Associate.

Oracle Certified Associate

This is the foundation/junior DBA qualification.

Although you can still qualify on Oracle 9i, if you haven't yet started on the certfication path, then you will save yourself time and money by going straight to Oracle 10g or 11g as Oracle 9i is being phased out.
To attain the level of Oracle 10g OCA  you have to pass just one exam: Oracle Database 10g: Administration 1 (#1Z0-042)
For Oracle 11g OCA certification you have to pass 2 exams - one of the following:-  
  • Oracle Database 11g: SQL Fundamentals 1 (#1Z0-051)
  • or Introduction To Oracle 9i SQL (#1Z0-007)
  • or Oracle Database SQL Expert (#1Z0-047)
And this exam: Oracle Database 11g: Administration 1 (#1Z0-052).

Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)

The next stage in Oracle certification, once you've attained OCA level,  is to become an Oracle Certified Professional (OCP).

For the Oracle 10g OCP certification, once you've attained the Oracle 10g OCA level, you have to take one Oracle 10g DBA hands-on course either with Oracle or with one of their approved education partners and pass the Oracle Database 10g: Administration II (#1Z0-043) exam

Similarly with the Oracle 11g OCP certification, you must have already attained the Oracle 11g OCA level and you must take one Oracle 11g DBA hands-on course (again with Oracle or with one of their approved education partners) and pass one further exam - Oracle Database 11g: Administration II (#1Z0-053).

Oracle Certified Master

Once you've qualified as an Oracle Certified Professional on Oracle 9i, 10g or 11g the next stage is to become an Oracle Certified Master.

To qualify for this you need to take at least 2 advanced dba courses from Oracle University and then pass a 2-day practical exam which tests you on subjects such as database configuration, network configuration, Enterprise Manager set up and configuration, using RMAN (recovery manager), creating a standby database, recovering from errors, etc.

You're not allowed to take in your own notes or "phone a friend" - you're on your own! But they do provide you with a complete set of the Oracle documentation. The pass mark is in the region of 70% and if you fail you have to do the whole lot over again.

For more help see our article on Oracle certification resources.

Full details of the certification requirements for each level and version of Oracle are available in the Oracle certification section on Oracle's web site.

If you're looking for instructor-led Oracle training courses to help you prepare for certification then contact us. With our partners we provide the full range of Oracle training courses at a number of training centres in the UK.