How To Join 3 Tables In Sql

Joining multiple tables in SQL is a powerful technique that allows you to combine data from different sources to gain valuable insights. I’m excited to share my insights on how to join 3 tables in SQL and provide some personal commentary along the way. Let’s dive into the details!

Understanding the Basics of SQL Joins

Before we explore joining 3 tables, let’s quickly recap the basics of SQL joins. Joins are used to retrieve data from multiple tables based on a related column between them. The most common types of joins are:

  • Inner Join
  • Left Join (or Left Outer Join)
  • Right Join (or Right Outer Join)
  • Full Join (or Full Outer Join)

Joining 3 Tables Using SQL

When joining 3 tables in SQL, it’s essential to understand how to structure the query to retrieve the desired data accurately. Let’s consider an example where we have three tables: employees, departments, and salaries.

To join these tables, we can use the following SQL query:

FROM employees
JOIN departments ON employees.department_id = departments.department_id
JOIN salaries ON employees.employee_id = salaries.employee_id;

Understanding the Query

In this query, we start by selecting the data we want using SELECT *. Then, we specify the tables we want to join using the JOIN keyword, along with the joining condition using the ON keyword. It’s crucial to specify the relationship between the tables accurately to get the desired results.

By joining the employees table with the departments table, and then joining the result with the salaries table, we can retrieve a unified dataset that incorporates information from all three tables.

Adding Criteria and Optimizing the Query

When working with multiple table joins, it’s often necessary to add specific criteria to filter the results. For instance, we might want to retrieve data only for employees in a particular department or within a certain salary range.

To optimize the query, we can utilize indexing on the join columns and ensure that the tables involved in the join are appropriately indexed. This can significantly enhance the performance of the query, especially when dealing with large datasets.


Joining 3 tables in SQL opens up a world of possibilities for retrieving comprehensive and interconnected data. It’s a skill that comes in handy when working with complex databases and striving to extract meaningful insights. By mastering the art of joining multiple tables, you can elevate your SQL proficiency and leverage the full potential of relational databases.