Monday, October 16, 2006

Find out the Second (2nd) Highest Salary ...

For past 15 days I am actively participating in the discussion forums of dotnetspider. Yesterday there was a question relating to SQL Server which seems to be asked in interviews very often. i.e., How to find out the 2nd highest salary of an employee?

Thought I would give out an sample for those who are yet to find an answer for this. For that purpose I have given a table structure with few sample records inserted to it.

-- Table Structure
Create table employee
[Name] varchar(20),
Sal int

-- Populate Sample Records
Insert into employee values ('Vadivel', 80000)
Insert into employee values ('Vel', 70000)
Insert into employee values ('xxx', 40000)
Insert into employee values ('Sneha', 60000)

The Solution:

Select top 1 [Name], Sal from
Select Top 2 [Name], Sal from employee order by Sal Desc
) AS A1 Order by Sal

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Anonymous said...

why dont u try this:

FROM Employees
FROM Employees
ORDER BY Salary Desc

Vadivel said...

Anonymous :) your query won't work for the schema which I have defined in this post. If you have noticed I don't have a "Surrogate" or "Natural" key in the table.

Though the othe alternative to my query is,

Select Min(Sal) From Employee Where Sal IN
Select Top 2 Sal From Employee Order by Sal Desc

More over i feel my query is better for displaying "Name" as well as "Sal" column together without much complexity.

If we need to display "name" too in ur query it won't work directly ..unless or until u introduce a "Group By" clause somewhere!

Madhivanan said...

Many more methods

smitaM said...

select top 1 salary from emp where (salary<(select max(salary) from emp ))ORDER BY salary DESC

rajsonu said...

select min(salary) from h_salary where salary in(select top 2 salary from h_salary order by salary desc )

Matt Campbell said...


This also good for getting 2nd-highest value:

SELECT MAX(col_name) FROM table_name WHERE col_name < MAX(col_name)

Want to to mention that this may not work when you are dealing with a SQL engine that rejects queries with aggregate functions on the right-hand side of comparison operators. In that case, use this form of the query:

SELECT MAX(col_name) FROM table_name WHERE col_name < (SELECT MAX(col_name) FROM table_name)

Anonymous said...

The solutions using Top will not work if there are employees receiving the same salary (which is common in an organization). I think the solution with Max is a better solution.

Vadivel said...

If there are duplicates the query doesn't work properly. I have provided an updated solution here -