A data science career provides great work opportunities and high incomes. If you’re interested in these opportunities, you probably have questions. How much do data scientists make? How much do data scientists make per hour? Is it possible to freelance as a data scientist? How much do freelance data scientists make? Such questions help aspiring data scientists determine whether a career in data science is worth it.
You might be pursuing a degree in data science and want to know if the time, effort, and money spent will be worth it. You might be trying to advance in the field and increase your income, or perhaps you’re simply looking to change careers. Whatever your situation, this article will shed some light on how much data scientists make and help you make your decision.
Data Scientist Salary: An Overview of How Much Data Scientists Make
- Average Salary: $97,004
- 10th Percentile Salary: $68,000
- 90th Percentile Salary: $158,060
The above figures reflect the average base salaries for data scientists across all industries. While the average data scientist salary is about $97,051 annually according to PayScale, your salary potential will depend on factors like how many years of experience you have, where you work, what your job title is, and whether you have certain technical skills.
Data scientists who know how to use Python, understand machine learning and artificial intelligence, and have cyber security skills earn more than their counterparts. PayScale data suggests that cyber security expertise alone can increase a data scientist’s annual salary by 42 percent. With the right set of skills and tools, you could qualify for senior roles such as lead data scientist, data scientist manager, or data scientist director.
How Much Do Data Scientists Make Per Hour?
According to PayScale, data scientists make about $36.61 per hour on average. The ZipRecruiter estimate, however, places the average salary for data scientists at $57.41 per hour. The discrepancy between these sources can be explained, at least in part, by the fact that data scientist roles in different industries earn different amounts per hour.
Someone in a senior data scientist role, for example, can expect to make a higher hourly wage than an entry-level data scientist. According to PayScale, professionals holding job titles such as data science manager, senior data scientist, and lead data scientist would earn $59.26, $66.29, and $89.00 per hour, respectively.
Do Data Scientists Make Good Money?
Yes, data scientists make good money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that in 2020, the annual median pay for data scientists was $98,230. Additionally, the total annual take-home pay of data scientists usually includes extra money from commissions, bonuses, and profit sharing. A six-figure income is the gold standard for success in an array of industries.
A data science career offers a lot of room for growth and wage advancement. Data science professionals can usually increase their earnings by furthering their education, getting advanced degrees like a Master’s Degree in Data Science or a PhD in Data Science.
How Much Do Data Scientists Make? A Salary Breakdown by Location, Experience, and Skills
Salaries of data scientists are influenced greatly by skill level, experience, and location. By understanding how these factors affect how much data scientists make, you will be better able to manage your salary expectations.
Data Scientist Salaries by Location
Salaries vary from state to state, as well as within a single state. In California, for example, data scientist salaries in the top cities range between $130,796 and $146,989 per year, according to ZipRecruiter. And as shown below, the states paying the most for data scientists are New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, California, and Idaho.
|Location||25th Percentile Salary||Median Salary||75th Percentile Salary|
Data Scientist Salaries by Level of Experience
Data science professionals also earn more or less depending on their level of experience, meaning the number of years they have worked in the field. An entry-level data scientist salary is the lowest, but you can look forward to an upward salary trajectory as you gain experience. Below is a breakdown of salary estimates by years of experience.
|Experience Level||10th Percentile Salary||Median Salary||90th Percentile Salary|
|Entry-Level (0-1 year)||$61,000||$85,206||$118,000|
|Early-Career (1-4 years)||$68,000||$95,865||$131,000|
|Mid-Career (5-9 years)||$80,000||$110,216||$148,000|
|Experienced (10-19 years)||$82,000||$121,122||$172,000|
|Late-Career (20+ years)||$87,000||$134,267||$196,000|
Data Scientist Salaries by Skill
Acquiring a wide range of relevant skills can increase how much a data scientist makes. Some data scientist skills are almost a default requirement for this career path, while other specialized skills are in high demand but not mandatory everywhere. The table below shows how acquiring certain skills might affect how much you’ll earn in a data scientist position.
|Skill||10th Percentile Salary||Median Salary||90th Percentile Salary|
How Much Do Freelance Data Scientists Make?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average wage for freelance data scientists is $100,349 annually. The compensation in terms of hourly wage is $48 per hour, while overall salaries range between $22,500 and $182,000 annually. Statistics show that those in the 25th percentile earn about $52,000 annually, while those in the 75th percentile take home about $140,500.
Data Scientist Job Outlook
Projections made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that employment for data scientists is set to rise by 31 percent between 2020 and 2030. This shows that the demand for skilled data scientists will continue to grow, and employers will have to compete for the best in the field.
Keep in mind that those with specialized training can look forward to higher wages, and upskilling and reskilling will be necessary if you want a chance at landing the best jobs. That being said, data science is an ever-growing field with a positive outlook. This is true whether you are starting out fresh or transitioning careers.
Is Data Science a Good Career?
Yes. As we have seen, regardless of the type of data science position you want, there is room in the field for newcomers. You can look forward to high pay, additional perks, and rewarding work. Best of all, you do not need a data science degree to get started. To begin your high-paying career in data science, check out the best data science bootcamps.
How Much Do Data Scientists Make? FAQ
Data scientist bonuses differ in relation to the position one holds in a company. According to PayScale, data scientist bonuses range from $2,000 to $20,000. Many businesses pay out higher bonuses to data scientists with more seniority.
Yes. According to statistics by PayScale, data scientists enjoy commissions that range from $983 to $7,000 on average. Additionally, data scientists in more senior positions can expect to collect higher commissions.
Yes. Data scientist careers have many benefits, including profit sharing. While this is unlikely to happen at the entry-level and early-career stages, it is definitely something to look forward to later in your career. Someone in a more senior data science job could accrue between $997 to $25,000 in profit-sharing money, according to PayScale.
The demand for data scientists varies by location. According to ZipRecruiter, cities in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area have the highest demand for data scientists and offer some of the highest salaries.
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