What Is Data Type of Time in SQL?


Heather Bennett

Data types are an essential concept in SQL as they define the kind of data that can be stored in a particular column of a table. When working with time-related data, such as recording events or scheduling tasks, it is crucial to understand the data type of time in SQL.

What is the Data Type of Time in SQL?

In SQL, the data type used to store time values is called TIME. The TIME data type represents a specific time of day without any date information. It stores the hours, minutes, seconds, and optionally milliseconds.

Creating a TIME Column

To create a column with the TIME data type, you need to specify the column name and its data type in the CREATE TABLE statement. Here’s an example:

    task_id INT PRIMARY KEY,
    task_name VARCHAR(50),
    start_time TIME

In this example, we have created a table called “tasks” with three columns: “task_id,” “task_name,” and “start_time.” The “start_time” column is defined with the TIME data type.

Inserting Time Values

Once you have created a table with a TIME column, you can insert time values using the INSERT INTO statement. Here’s an example:

INSERT INTO tasks (task_id, task_name, start_time)
VALUES (1, 'Task 1', '12:30:00');

In this example, we are inserting a new row into the “tasks” table with a task_id of 1, task_name of ‘Task 1′, and start_time of ’12:30:00’.

Retrieving Time Values

To retrieve time values from a TIME column in SQL queries, you can use various built-in functions such as HOUR(), MINUTE(), SECOND(), and TIME_FORMAT(). These functions allow you to manipulate and format time values according to your requirements.

Here’s an example of retrieving the hour, minute, and second from a TIME column:

SELECT task_name, HOUR(start_time), MINUTE(start_time), SECOND(start_time)
FROM tasks;

This query will return the task_name along with the hour, minute, and second components of the start_time column.


In SQL, the TIME data type is used to store time values without any date information. It allows you to accurately represent specific points in time and perform various operations on time-related data. By understanding this data type and its usage, you can effectively work with time-related data in your SQL databases.

Remember to always consider the specific requirements of your project when choosing the appropriate data type for storing time values.

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