Data Scientists Salary Data
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 05 October 2022

Salary data reveals that data scientists in the United States can expect to earn over $100K. Work in this capacity for one of the FAANG companies and the median salary is $187K. If you get to to a senior position you stand to earn over $400K each year.

 

Pay might not be the main motivation for developers and data scientists employment decisions, but it is always going to be a factor so having up-to-date information about what data scientists in the US can expect to earn, how much the top tech companies pay data scientists and how data science salaries vary according to location is all useful grist to the data mill.

Back in 2019 we reported that Glassdoor had found Data Scientist to be the best paid entry level job in the US with a salary of $95,000, a full $5K higher than the second job in the list, Software Engineer. One explanation for the high starting pay was that employers had high expectations:

First jobs they might be, but in the case of Data Scientist employers are looking for applicants with a post graduate degree, either a Masters or a doctorate.

Looking for more recent salary data, US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median pay for Data Scientists in 2021 as $100,910 with a Bachelors degree being the typical entry level educational requirement.

data scientist USB facts

The good news from this source is the optimistic jobs outlook - there is expected to be high demand for this skill over the next few years.

It is generally the case that the salaries for tech jobs are higher in the US than in other countries. As far a Data Scientist is concerned Switzerland could be the highest paying country to work in. A report from INSAID (International School of AI and Data Science) which describes itself as India's leading online school for professional education identifies Geneva as the place you'll find the biggest pay packet for data scientists. Elaborating:

The mean salary of a researcher starts at 180,000 Swiss Fr (Franc) and a Chief Data Scientist can earn as much as 200,000 Swiss Fr with an average bonus ranging between 9,650–18,000 Swiss Fr.

Currently there is nearly parity between the Swiss Franc and the Dollar.

data scientist insaid

Pointing to San Jose as typifying Silicon Valley, the report notes:

... the average salary of a Chief Data Scientist [in Silcon Valley] is estimated to be $132,355 per year. 

Despite Bengaluru, India, being the most promising place in the country, with the state government, analytics startups, and tech giants contributing substantially to the overall development of the sector, salaries remain much lower than in the US and Europe and the average is estimated to be equivalent to less than $15K at the current exchange rate. 

Turning to another source, Mikkel Dengsee's Inside Data column and an analysis of 2022 salaries at the top tech companies - Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (FAANG) which have offices across the world, the median salary in the US exceeds that in Europe by more than 40% and that in the rest of the world by over 50%.

data scientist worldmap

Dengsee's analysis is based on over 6000 salary data points from sources such as levels.fyi and otta.com of which over 4000 were for the US:

 

data scientist FAANGUS

Commenting on this chart Dengsee singled out Netflix as having the highest remuneration but a comment on the article from a former Netflix manager suggested that when employees total compensation, including perks, stock grants and bonuses, things evened out:

Netflix pays all cash, which is why it appears distorted on most charts (such as the base comp data points you posted above). When it all nets out, you don't get paid more at Netflix than other places. You likely will get paid equivalent to what you could get at other top companies.

As you would expect, the more senior the more pay as this analysis of the same data shows - though Netflix doesn't record seniority data and therefore not included:

data scientist seniority

Bear in mind this doesn't include the very top echelons and is salary rather than total compensation.

Adding in the other 2000 data points reveals a big divide between the US, Europe and Elsewhere 

data scientist world

It now becomes clear why there are currently so many opportunities to earn a Masters degree in Data Science, both on campus and fully online. Employers increasingly recognize "micro credentials" such as Coursera's MasterTracks and Udacity's Nanodegrees which can fit more easily into your schedule. There is obviously a good return on investment for getting such accreditation and enrollment is currently open in online courses we've covered previously. 

More Information

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Best Countries to Work as a Data Scientist

Data salaries at FAANG companies in 2022

Related Articles

Data Scientist Best Paying Entry-Level Job Says Glassdoor 

What is a Data Scientist and How Do I Become One? 

It Pays To Get Certification

Get Certified, Earn More

New Data Science Masters On edX

Data Scientist or Data Engineer? Choose Your Path On Udacity

MasterTracks and Professional Certificates in Data Science on Coursera

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 October 2022 )