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Data Scientist Salary: How Much Can You Make?

Paul Larkin - December 29, 2020


Big data is the future. In business, the public sphere, your private life— you’ll find big data everywhere. Today, whenever you engage in an activity of any kind, be it buying gas for your car or choosing a television show to watch, you produce a torrent of information that paints a picture of you and your likes and dislikes. Big data allows companies to better target their products and marketing, and it enables governments to make their money and efforts go further. Thanks to big data’s rise, data science and analysis is a lucrative field to enter. But, just how profitable are we talking here? What’s the average salary you should expect to make as a data scientist?

In our guide, we look at average data scientist salaries under several conditions. We’ve consulted the Burtch Works Study on Data Scientist Salaries , and we pass that information on to you. We show you data salary ranges based on experience level and company size, and we give a good idea of which sectors pay the best. With our help, you’ll be well informed and ready to decide your future based on hard information. Let’s get ready to science some data!

Data Scientist Salaries Depend on Experience

Almost every job field has a salary curve based on experience, which makes sense, right? The longer you’re at a job and the more practice you have in the position, the more reliable you’ll be and the more responsibilities you’ll be able to handle. Data science plays by the same rules. Data scientists with more experience have higher average salaries than their rookie counterparts.

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Not that an entry-level data scientist salary is anything to be unhappy about, mind you. Data scientists fresh out of training and no prior experience can expect to make an average of $95,000 a year. Mid-level data scientists get a nice jump and should see salaries of around $129,000. Experienced data scientists get a great deal— if you have lots of data science experience, you’ll make about $160,000. And, if you opt to move into data science management? You’ll pull down a cool $250,000 a year.


1 U.S. dollar banknotes
That’s not nothing, folks.

How Large is Your Employer?

Not all data science jobs pay the same. Different industries offer different salaries— cloud services, social networks, and banking firms pay the highest salaries across the board, and sectors such as nonprofits and education pay the lowest. You’ll even see a fair amount of salary movement within the same industry. While there are regional salary differences based on changing factors like local cost of living and job competition, you’ll find that the company you work for factors heavily into your pay rate.

More than any other factor, company size has an impact on what you can expect to take home every year. Roughly speaking, the larger the company, the higher the average salary. Data scientists employed by enterprise-level companies such as Google make over $150,000 on average, while those working at smaller companies might see ⅔ that rate. As a general rule, don’t expect to make more than $100,000 as a data scientist unless your company has more than 1,000 employees.

And there you have it. In this guide, we’ve looked at data scientist salaries and what you can expect to make depending on experience, sector, and company size. Every job position is different, of course, and you might find a data scientist position with a salary far outside of our average range. You now know what to expect, though. Armed with the knowledge we’ve provided, you can make an informed career decision and start cashing in on big data.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Paul Larkin

About the author: Paul Larkin has years of experience in the tech industry and writes about cybersecurity and future of work.

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