2023 Salary Guide to Careers in Data Science
The prevalence of the field of Data Science is often underestimated, as the necessity for this analytical skill set spans every industry in some capacity. Stemming from the undeniable success of companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google that thrive on data, organizations across the board believe that future growth is reliant on the success of their analytics. And in that search for corporate gold, data science professionals hold the metal detector. They are capable of collecting, sorting, and analyzing millions of grains of sand to uncover key trends that are integral to the future success of a company.
The growing need for data science professionals is expected to create 40,500 jobs by 2031 in the US alone according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
A 2020 report by DICE showed significant salary increases for multiple roles, including systems architects, data architects, data engineers, data scientists, and business analysts. According to BLS data, the median salary for all data scientist positions is $100,910 as of 2021. Bonuses, raises, commissions, and profit-sharing can add even more to this already attractive salary.
Data scientists are one of the keystone posts of the entire data science and analytics (DSA) complex, and perhaps the crux of why tech-related salaries seem to be growing steadily. In their report on the state of the American tech industry in 2021, DICE identified which cities had seen the most tech salary growth since the previous year:
- Pittsburgh, PA (14% growth)
- Atlanta, GA (13.9% growth)
- Chicago, IL (12.6% growth)
- Miami, FL (11.4% growth)
- Seattle, WA (11.2% growth)
Other top-ranking cities in this category were Philadelphia, Tampa, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Portland. In addition to the traditional “tech hubs” this list includes a number of emerging cities.
Taking a broad look at the many data science careers in our full guide exploring current trends, career development, growth projections, required skills and qualifications, and related degree programs, you’ll notice a great deal of fluidity, with overlapping backgrounds and credentials. A number of these positions also migrate into one another as those within the data science sphere progress in their careers. The takeaway is not to fixate on title and instead focus on the experience necessary for each individual job posting and the skills that can provide an edge in salary negotiations.
Here you’ll find a more complete salary breakdown of several data science career paths.
- Data Scientist
- Data Analyst
- Data Architect
- Data Engineer
- Business Analyst
- Market (Research) Analyst
- Data Mining Specialist
- Machine Learning Engineer
- Database Administrator
- Database Developer
- Data and Analytics Manager
- Business Intelligence Analyst
Earning one of the top three spots on Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America five years running, data scientists play an integral role in the field of data science and analytics (DSA).
By combining knowledge of statistics, business logic, and computer programming, data scientists design, create, and implement programs that make sense of complex data to inform corporate goal planning and decision making. Advancing technologies and the recognition by corporations of the value of their data has resulted in exponential growth in the need for skilled data scientists.
Salary Trends: Data Scientist
Ranking sixth in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Top 20 Fastest Growing Occupations, employment numbers for data scientists are expected to increase 36% by 2031. Data Scientists also topped the charts at US News and World Report, placing second in Best Technology Jobs, sixth in Best STEM Jobs, and eighth in a roundup of the 100 Best Jobs.
As of the BLS’s 2021 survey, the median annual wage for data scientists is $100,910. The lowest earners brought home around $59,430 while the highest 10% saw salaries of about $167,000 and above.
Experience and Salary Growth: Data Scientist
In data science, experience and education are increasingly important, especially as it correlates to salary and career growth.
As stated in a 2020 projection by Burning Glass, “Technologies change quickly. This reality requires a new type of workforce and attitude from both employers and employees around continuous learning and mastering skills that will enable employees to be prepared for not-yet-arrived jobs of the future. New graduates alone will not close this gap.” An estimated 88% of data scientists earn their master’s degree while 46% obtain PhDs in fields such as statistics, mathematics, engineering or computer science.
While there are exceptions and an advanced degree isn’t required to be hired at the entry-level, it can give candidates an edge in the hiring process and become essential as you advance your career . A growing workforce, 72% of data scientists have less than 10 years of experience, so while there is a need, there is simultaneously a plethora of competition.
Whether an employee is a manager or individual contributor also factors into earnings according to a 2018 Forbes article. By their estimates, data scientist managers often earn more the more direct reports they have. If the managerial track is not for you, another way to earn a higher salary is by gaining expertise and finding a niche.
According to Burtch Works annual salary report, there has been a notable shift where employers once sought candidates who could do it all to finding applicants with background in a particular area. As data scientists are tasked with translating data into a digestible story, often in laymen’s terms, that can then be implemented to achieve corporate goals, strong communication skills and an understanding of the industry is essential.
By BLS statistics, the top-paying industries for data scientists as of 2021 include:
- Computer parts manufacturing
- Electric component manufacturing
- Information services
- Data hosting, processing, and similar services
- Payroll, accounting, and bookkeeping
Geographic Variations in Salary: Data Scientist
In addition to education and experience, location plays a big role in salaries.
General cost of living and economic conditions vary across the United States, from state to state and city to city. These variations have a consistent impact on pay scales in nearly all career categories, with few exceptions.
The Burtch report found that employment opportunities that were once centered on the West Coast have now expanded nationwide, branching out beyond the tech industry to a myriad of industries from education and agriculture to health and law enforcement.
While the data science industry is increasingly experiencing labor shortages, salaries for data scientists tend to fluctuate geographically in near lockstep to average salaries across all job descriptions. Find national cost of living changes by geography.
As of May 2021, the BLS says these fives states have the highest mean wages for data scientists:
- New York
- New Jersey
It is worth noting that each of the top ten highest paying companies are based in either New York or California and it’s important to factor the cost of living in a city into the equation when looking at earnings.
Industry Need: Data Scientist
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of data scientist has proven to be not only recession-proof but thriving.
The top industries expected to need data science professionals include healthcare, technology, financial services, and government. With the right education, targeted experience, and continued curiosity, data scientists will have opportunities in a wide range of industries and command lucrative salaries for years to come.
Depending on the employer, data analysts are asked to bring sense and direction to accumulated data to help drive both short- and long-term decision making. It’s a key foundational position in data science, and one that is currently in tremendous demand. A full guide to data analyst trends, career development, required skills and qualifications, and future outlook can be viewed here.
Due to the overwhelming need for data analysis, and the shortage of job candidates as compared to demand, data analyst salaries are strong and expected to continue to rise.
Experience and Salary Growth
Though the BLS doesn’t track salary data for data analysts specifically, they do track it for operations research analysts — professionals whose duties overlap with those of data analysts. As of May 2021, the BLS says the median wage for operations research analysts is $82,360. Several factors affect salary, including educational level, years of experience, certifications, and involvement in professional organizations.
Data analyst salaries are highly dependent upon the experience level of a job candidate, particularly in the first ten years of a professional’s career. For example, the BLS reports that the lowest earning data analysts earn about $48,690 while more experienced top-earners can enjoy a salary of $160,850 and up. Burning Glass also reports that 90.2% of open data analyst positions ask for a bachelor’s degree, suggesting that an advanced degree isn’t necessarily needed for placement. For those who don’t pursue advanced degrees, specialized certifications are often helpful in salary negotiation and career advancement.
Versatility is also essential as a data analyst. Gaining expertise in a variety of tools and languages can warrant higher earnings. These include but are not limited to Postgresql, RapidMiner, Knime, Datawrapper, Tableau, SAS Sentiment Analysis, Google Fusion Tables, Apache Hadoop, as well as experience in R, SQL, and Python.
Geographic Variations in Salary
General cost of living and economic conditions varies across the United States. These variations have a consistent impact on pay scales in nearly all career categories, with few exceptions. While the data science industry in general, and data analysts in particular, are increasingly experiencing labor shortages, salaries for data analysts at present tend to fluctuate geographically in near lockstep to average salaries across all job descriptions. National cost of living changes by geography can be viewed at moneygeek.com.
Top Paying Cities for Data Analysts (Operations Research Analysts) Per the BLS:
|San Jose, CA||$164,730|
Examples of higher-paying employers (SalaryList.com):
In 2020, the World Economic Forum ranked data analysts (as well as data scientists) first among the top 20 job roles increasing in demand, just above AI and Machine Learning Specialists. BLS estimated employment in this field to grow 23% between 2021 and 2031. This is unsurprising as according to a recent survey from Sisense, 49% of companies are using data analytics “more or much more” than before the pandemic, with 45% reporting they are using it to predict business outcomes.
According to the BLS, the three highest paying industries for data or operations research analysts are in the federal government, manufacturing, and professional, scientific, and technical services sectors. Comparatively, the industries with the greatest need are information technology, healthcare, finance, insurance and professional services.
Career Paths and Salary Impact
One of the big advantages of a career in data analysis is that there are so many different directions a data analyst can professionally migrate. Moving into more niche areas of data analytics in specific industries is an easy progression. Popular specialties today are social media data analytics, insurance underwriting and actuarial analytics, business product analytics, and fraud, credit or sales analytics.
Springboard recommends taking on freelance projects in addition to garnering in-house experience, and suggests frequenting platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Kaggle, and Toptal to search for projects. The basis for this recommendation is that supplementary work could provide you with the experience needed to enter the traditional job market at a more senior level and aid in negotiating a higher salary.
Another lucrative option is to leverage data analyst skills into more technically sophisticated roles. Learning to conceptualize, design and write the programs that create the data pools will give a data analyst career a significant financial boost. Data scientists and advanced analysts, for instance, have been found by Burning Glass to make about 25%-35% more than data analysts.
Climbing the corporate ladder to data analytics management positions could be an even more lucrative career path for data analysts. For instance, the BLS reports that computer and information systems managers (who direct a company’s tech goals and staff) earn a hefty median income of $159,010.
Overview: Data Architect
The role of a Data Architect is to design, develop and manage an organization’s electronic databases, determining how it will be collected, processed, stored, and accessed. They are responsible for creating the framework that will be utilized by the company at large.
Learn more about becoming a data architect here.
Salary Trends: Data Architect
The median salary for data architects, who the BLS groups broadly with database administrators and architects, is $96,710 as of May 2021. The lowest-earning professionals in this category often have salaries of around $48,880. The highest earners often enjoy salaries of $151,400 and up.
Experience and Salary Growth: Data Architect
Entering into the field of data architecture requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and an advanced degree is preferred for many senior level positions. The most common are master’s degrees in computer science or data science. Data architects can expect to earn higher salaries with 10 or more years of experience. Specific areas of technological fluency also tend to result in higher earnings. Data architects at the top of the pay scale typically have expertise in Cloud Computing, Amazon Web Services, NoSQL, Apache Spark and Hadoop. Most companies also require experience with Oracle, SQL, and operating systems such as Unix, Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Solaris.
Geographic Variations in Salary: Data Architect
Across the country, data architects typically earn more than the national average. The highest-paid data architects are in the New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco metropolitan areas according to BLS data.
Top 5 States that Employ the Most Data Architects (2021 BLS Employment Survey):
|California||7,730 data architects|
|New York||4,420 data architects|
|Virginia||4,340 data architects|
|Texas||4,100 data architects|
|Pennsylvania||2,530 data architects|
Top 5 Highest Paying States for Data Architects By Mean Salary (2021 BLS Employment Survey):
Industry Need: Data Architect
As technology evolves, so will the role of data architects. The BLS projects employment to grow 9% between 2021 and 2031, faster than average. Top candidates may be those who continue their technological education and stay up to date on the latest systems and languages. Businesses across a array of industries recognize the importance of a data architect’s ability to provide structure to the mass amounts of data streaming into their systems daily.
Top Employment Opportunity Industries (2021 BLS Employment Survey):
|Computer Systems Design and Related Services||Employs 29% of data architects|
|Finance and Insurance||Employs 13%|
|Company and Enterprise Management||Employs 7%|
|Administrative Support||Employs 6%|
|Consulting Services (management, scientific, and technical)||Employs 5%|
Top Paying Industries By Median Annual Salary (2021 BLS Employment Survey):
|Insurance and Finance||$102,930|
|Enterprise and Company Management||$101,400|
|Computer Systems Design||$101,000|
|Education (private, local, and state)||$77,340|
Overview: Data Engineer
Data Engineers are essential as companies intake increasingly more structured and unstructured data. In this role, they build and manage the infrastructure that will store, clean and archive data that Data Scientists and others within the organization can analyze and interpret to gain valuable business insight. This task continues to grow in complexity as data is collected from countless sources, including IoT devices, wearables, and POS dashboards.
Learn more about becoming a Data Engineer here.
Salary Trends: Data Engineer
Current trends suggest that data engineers now earn more on average than their data scientist colleagues. According to the 2022 DICE Tech Salary Report, data engineers enjoyed an average salary of $117,295 in 2021 — a sum that could indicate steady demand across the many industries that make up the economy.
As with other data science roles, years of experience, location, industry and skills set all factor into a candidate’s salary negotiation.
Experience and Salary Growth: Data Engineer
Data engineering is often a field that rewards experience and talent. DICE’s 2022 report says 61% of all surveyed technologists got raises based on merit. 10% reported raises due to promotions.
High-paid data engineers have often honed their expertise in programs such as Python, SQL, Scala, Apache Hadoop, Java, as well as Extraction Transformation and Loading (ETL). Other notable skills include Data Warehouse Processing, Relational DataBase Management System (RDBMS), ElasticSearch, Apache Impala, and Apache Oozie.
Geographic Variations in Salary: Data Engineer
DICE’s 2022 salary trend data doesn’t include which cities paid data scientists the most specifically, but the top-paying locales for technologists overall is full of usual suspects like Silicon Valley, Seattle, and New York City. Like with other jobs, it’s important to consider how an area’s demand for data professionals and cost of living drive salary expectations.
Industry Need: Data Engineer
In 2023, Data Engineers have emerged as one of the “hottest” roles in data science. The 2022 Dice Tech Job Report says that from 2021 to 2022, data engineer job postings have increased by 42.2%, making it the sixth most in-demand role in the DSA sector.
Likewise, many data engineering skills are seeing an increasing demand amongst employers. Between January 2021 and October 2022, Dice reports that there has been an increase in job postings asking for candidates experienced in Java, Python, SQL, and with managing various operating systems.
As businesses place increasingly more value on data-driven decision making, the role of Statistician has been solidified as an essential part of any successful technology team. In 2022, U.S. News and World Report ranked Statisticians among the top ten in their rankings of Best Business Jobs (#3), Best STEM Jobs (#7), and Best Jobs across all industries (#8). Responsible for analyzing and interpreting vast amounts of data from start to finish, Statisticians pinpoint a problem and determine what data is needed to solve it. Choosing the appropriate method(s) of data acquisition and designing collection tools, carrying out data collection, preparing data for analysis and finally interpreting and identifying trends in the data are all part of this process. Learn more about beginning a career as a Statistician here.
Salary Trends, Experience and Growth
With a median salary of $108,100, the BLS reports that statisticians often make anywhere from $61,760 to $169,500. Salary will ultimately depend on a number of factors. A typical Statistician holds a master’s degree in statistics or mathematics. However, as the role has branched out into the private sector, many statisticians are also expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of the industry they will be analyzing. Above-average pay may also correlate with expertise in machine learning, data modeling, data mining, and the programming language Python.
Geographic Variations in Salary
Top-Paying States for Statisticians (BLS):
Top-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Statisticians (BLS):
|San Jose, CA||$155,320|
|San Francisco, CA||$129,620|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$125,860|
The importance of quality data analysis is ubiquitous, placing qualified statisticians in high demand in businesses and organizations across all industries. In their May 2021 survey, the BLS determined that median annual wages for statisticians were highest in the research and development sector at $114,770.
Statisticians working for the federal government typically earn a little less with a median annual wage of $114,050, but this is still higher than the national average. Insurance companies, healthcare and social assistance providers, and colleges also ranked high according to BLS data.
Top paying industries for Statisticians by Mean Annual Wage (BLS):
|E-commerce and Mail-order Services||$135,880|
|Electromedical, Navigational, Measuring Instrument Manufacturing||$127,710|
|Aerospace Parts Production||$122,570|
Between 2021 and 2031, the BLS expects statistician employment opportunities to grow by an astounding 31%. This translates to about 11,200 new job openings in the same time period. As companies search for new and innovative ways to interpret the vast amounts of data available to them to meet and exceed goals, statisticians will remain an integral part of this process.
A Business Analyst serves different functions depending on the organization, but the typical role entails working as a liaison between a company’s corporate side and the IT department.
As the power of information becomes increasingly evident and is held in higher regard by today’s organizations, those with the knowledge and skills to translate data into sound business decisions have become more valuable. As a result, business analyst salaries have been on the rise.
A full guide to business analyst trends, career development, required skills and qualifications, and future outlook can be viewed here.
Salary Trends: Business Analyst
According to the BLS, the base pay for a business analyst (classified under management analysts in BLS data) ranges from $50,190 to $163,760, with a median of $93,000 depending on experience.
An estimated 90.2% of business analyst jobs require only a bachelor’s degree, which indicates that employers are focusing on finding candidates with the right experience rather than advanced education. In fact, Burning Glass found that 71% of new job openings for business analysts required at least three years of experience. Salaries are also highly dependent upon level of experience, particularly in the first ten years of a professional’s career. That said, specialized certifications can set a candidate apart from other applicants as well as aid in raise and bonus negotiations. According to a 2020 survey by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), Business Analysts who held at lease one certification earned 13% more than non-certified respondents, and 12% higher than average.
In an interview with DICE, Jim Johnson VP of Tech and IT Staffing Solutions Specialist at Robert Half Technology, said that the most popular certifications were those from big names like Microsoft, Hadoop, and Oracle, but that the core certifications are Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) and Certified Data Science (CDS).
Median Salary by Education:
Industry Need: Business Analyst
The BLS projects 11% job growth for management analysts through 2031. That could mean about 101,900 job openings for this position every year for the next decade.
Industries that employ the highest number of business analysts (BLS):
- Professional, scientific, and technical services
- Self-employed professionals
- Company and enterprise management
Top Paying Industries by Annual Mean Wage (BLS):
|Metal Ore Mining||$148,130|
|Engine and Power Transmission Manufacturing||$124,620|
|Investments (commodity contracts, securities, and other services)||$123,690|
|Accounting, Payroll, and Tax Preparation Services||$120,880|
Geographic Variations in Salary: Business Analyst
According to the BLS, the top-paying metro area for business analysts is Dothan, Alabama, with a mean wage of $135,020.
Other Top Paying Cities (BLS):
|San Francisco, CA||$125,250|
|San Jose, CA||$124,490|
|Barnstable Town, MA||$123,540|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$121,230|
Career Paths and Salary Impact: Business Analyst
Although business analysts don’t appear high on the corporate ladder, these are often key positions in companies that take business data and operational improvement seriously, particularly smaller companies. Because the role of a business analyst is so integral to understanding the key aspects of any business these positions can be, and usually are, used as launching pads, migrating to more advanced analytical roles is typical, as is moving up the corporate ladder into management roles. The one caveat to the business analyst role in modern business is that technology is evolving so quickly, particularly in data mining and artificial intelligence, that the traditional business analyst may be at risk of becoming irrelevant. As long as business analysts are still in high demand, and they still are, advice to current and incoming entry-level analysts would be to advance their analytical and/or programming skills as quickly as possible. This will enable transition to more technically advanced roles with less risk of long-term obsolescence.
Market Analyst (Market Research Analyst)
Joining the ranks of data scientists and statisticians, Marketing Analysts (or Market Research Analysts) are listed among the top 100 Best Jobs by U.S. News and World Report and ranked third in the Best Business Jobs category. This role is essential as companies seek to define their target audience, focusing on sales trends, consumer demographics and buying habits.
Learn more about becoming a marketing or market research analyst here.
Salary Trends: Experience and Growth
The median salary for a market analyst as of May 2021 is $63,920/year. Salary will ultimately depend on years of experience as well as location (see below) and personal skill set. While many entry-level jobs do not require an advanced degree, job prospects may be better for those with master’s degrees in market research, marketing, statistics, or business administration.
Certifications can also help a candidate’s resume stand out and can assist in salary negotiations. One of the most popular is the Professional Research Certification (PRC) exam. Specific skills can warrant higher salaries, including proficiency in SAS, Competitive Intelligence, Statistical Analysis, and SQL.
Companies across all industries understand that in order to be competitive, they must engage in market research through data-driven analysis. As a result, market research analysts remain in high demand. The BLS projects 19% employment growth for this role between 2021 and 2031, adding an estimated 99,800 jobs. This growing need for experienced analysts is primarily driven by research companies, academic institutions, and government agencies.
Top Paying Industries by Mean Annual Wage (BLS):
|Natural Gas Pipeline Transportation||$112,180|
|Electronic Parts/Semiconductor Manufacturing||$108,720|
Geographic Variations in Salary
States that Employ the Most Market Analysts (BLS):
Top Paying States by Mean Annual Salary (BLS):
|District of Columbia||$84,340|
Top Paying Metropolitan Cities (BLS):
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||$119,180|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||$108,370|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$91,580|
|Durham-Chapel Hill, NC||$86,800|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||$84,110|
Top Paying Nonmetropolitan Areas (BLS):
|Southwest New York||$72,890|
|West Central-Southwestern New Hampshire||$68,170|
|Capital/Northern New York||$67,910|
|Central East New York||$67,750|
Career Paths and Salary Impact
BLS data suggests that marketing analysts have a lot of potential for salary growth. While the lowest-earning 10% earn around $50,190, the highest 10% earn upwards of $163,760. Even though the BLS doesn’t identify the highest earners as the most experienced, it’s likely that experience and a more defined skillset can contribute to higher salary potential.
Common career path for someone entering market research is to move from analyst into the title of Market Research Manager, Senior Market Research Analyst , or Data Analyst with the ultimate goal of becoming a Market Research Director, Research Director, or Director of Consumer Insights. Exact titles will depend on individual companies and industries.
Data Mining Specialist
Data Mining Specialists search for patterns within large quantities of data and attempt to make connections and uncover trends in order to advise business strategy and predict future outcomes. The ultimate goal in this role is to develop a deep understanding of consumer behavior in order to offer actionable insights that will minimize cost and risk while increasing revenue.
Learn more about the role of a Data Mining Specialist and the qualifications necessary to enter the role here.
Salary Trends, Experience and Growth
The BLS doesn’t track salary data for data mining specialists, but they report the salary range for data scientists as $59,430 to $167,040 with a median wage of $100,910. Considering data mining specialists often work under data scientists, their salaries may fall somewhere between the low end and the median. However, experienced data mining specialists and managers may increase their earning potential.
Required skills will vary by employer, however the top-paid data mining specialists have strong skills in SAS and SQL. Other popular tools utilized in data mining include RapidMiner (Java), Weka, KNime, Apache Mahout and Hadoop, Oracle, TeraData, and Orange (Python).
According to the BLS, employment for data scientists is expected to grow by an astonishing 36% through 2031. As an integral part of almost any data science team, data mining specialists may see similar demand in the coming years.
Likewise, data mining specialists may want to explore the industries that employ the bulk of their data scientist colleagues. These industries include computer system design, corporate management, insurance, and scientific/technical consulting services.
Career Paths and Salary Impact
Due to exponential growth in data collection by businesses there is an increasing demand for those with strong analytical skills within the tech industry and beyond. While salary does increase with experience, Data Mining is often viewed as a springboard into other areas of Data Science, and those who enter into this role may eventually move into other, more lucrative, areas of the field.
Machine Learning Engineer
Considered the bridge between data science and software engineering, Machine Learning Engineers design automated software that gives machines the ability to create predictive models. According to Burning Glass’s 2020 Skills of Mass Disruption report, machine learning roles have “high projected growth and high hardness to fill.” That could very well put machine learning engineers in the driver’s seat of the automated economy.
Learn more about entering the field of Machine Learning here.
Salary Trends: Experience and Growth
In BLS data, machine learning engineers fall under the umbrella of computer and information research scientists. The median wage for this group is $131,490 as of May 2021. The lowest-earning computer and information research scientists bring home around $74,210 annually.
However, the top 10% can earn more than $208,000 per BLS reports. Experience and education may help new machine learning engineers reach this number. Specifically, fluency in Python and Deep Learning may also result in above average salaries. In addition to Python, gaining expertise in coding languages R, Java, and C++ as well as an understanding of big data and analytics, Computer Vision, NLP, and Image Processing can aid in salary negotiations.
From 2021 to 2031, the BLS projects computer and information research scientist employment to increase by 21%. This demand translates to about 3,300 job openings in the field every year.
Burning Glass’s Skills of Mass Destruction report, though, estimates that demand for machine learning skills will increase by 71% by 2025. The report’s authors predict that the professional services, finance/insurance, and manufacturing sectors will have the biggest demand for machine learning experts.
Geographic Variations in Salary
Salary as a machine learning engineer depends primarily on location, however it is important to factor in cost of living when comparing salaries in different areas. The cities with the greatest demand for machine learning engineers include New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, Washington, DC, San Jose, CA, Seattle, WA, Boston, MA, Los Angeles, CA, Chicago, Il, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, and Atlanta, GA. Within these markets, the top paying cities are San Francisco, CA ($197,910), Cupertino, CA ($190,731), San Francisco Bay Area, CA ($186,378), Austin, TX ($168,818), and New York, NY $166,093).
Career Paths and Salary Impact
Skills of Mass Destruction predicts software developer, data analyst, and network engineer roles to require machine learning knowledge in the near future. Therefore, it is not unlikely that machine learning would eventually be integrated as a standard tool for many data science and IT roles. The role of a machine learning engineer is also similar to that of a data scientist and many applicants will come to find that at larger organizations these two roles are collaborative while smaller organizations tend to blend the two positions. Therefore, utilizing the skills honed as a machine learning engineer opens a natural migration into other areas of data science.
Placing in the top 10 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Technology Jobs 2023 and among their top 100 Best Jobs of 2023, Database Administrators (or DBAs) are in high demand across a variety of industries. These information technology professionals are responsible for utilizing specialized software to organize and store data. To ensure optimal database performance as well as seamless and secure access, these professionals are often tasked with designing the systems they maintain from the ground up and/or integrating old data into a new system. Find a complete career overview here.
Salary Trends, Experience and Job Growth
The annual wage of a database administrator ranges from $48,880 to $151,400, with a median income of $96,710 per BLS statistics. Entry-level employees may expect to earn close to the lower end of that range, with potential salary increases based on level of education, certifications held, personal skill set, and number of years of experience. Database Administrators usually hold a bachelor’s degree in information driven areas like computer science, and companies will typically seek candidates with advanced degrees in computer science, information systems or information technology, often with a focus on data or database management. Additionally, certifications in specific database systems, such as Structured Query Language (SQL), are highly desirable and may be required by some companies.
Geographic Variations in Salary
States with the highest mean database administrator salaries (BLS):
Metropolitan areas with the highest paying data administrator positions:
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||$121,430|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||$120,280|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$119,470|
Industry Need: Database Administrator
The need for qualified database administrators is expected to grow 9% by 2031, a rate much faster than the average occupation. This anticipated growth is driven by the increased data needs of companies across all industries as well as the increasing popularity of database-as-a-service providers (DBaaS) such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and IBM Db2, where a third party is responsible for hosting, processing, and organizing a company’s data.
At small to medium-sized companies that don’t necessarily employ their own information technology (IT) team, data administrators at cloud computing firms such as Microsoft Azure and Salesforce are also in high demand. While demand is increasing, so is the shortage of qualified candidates, so depending on geographic area and level of experience and expertise, those with the right qualifications will be aggressively recruited.
Database developers, also referred to as database designers or database programmers, are responsible for the design, programming, construction and implementation of new databases, as well as modifying existing databases for platform updates and changes in user needs. Discover what it takes to become a successful Database Developer here.
Salary, Experience and Growth
The role of database developer nets between $63,260 and $169,500 depending on skill set, industry and experience. The mean annual salary among those in this role is $121,840 as of the BLS’s May 2021 survey.
Beyond years of experience, expertise in specific tools and languages can result in higher salaries. For example, those with experience with Oracle or Informatica may see more growth potential. Overall, database developers with expertise in SQL, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) tend to earn more than their counterparts without these skills. Many database developers have earned a master’s degree.
Geographic Variations in Salary: Database Developer
Top Paying Cities for Database Developers/Architects by Mean Annual Salary (BLS):
|San Jose, CA||$187,000|
|San Francisco, CA||$161,830|
|Boise City, ID||$140,900|
Industry Need: Database Developer
Due to increasing demand across a number of industries, the BLS projects demand for database developers and administrators to grow by 9% between 2021 and 2031. This equates to about 11,500 job openings every year.
Data and Analytics Manager
A Data and Analytics Manager is responsible for the coordination of an organization’s data science team, understanding the nuances of each team member’s expertise and liaising between departments to oversee different projects. Typically considered a senior administrative position, those in this role tend to have 7-10 years in the field, and higher salaries are reflected in this experience.
Follow the path to becoming a data and analytics manager here.
Salary Trends, Experience and Growth
The BLS’s occupational survey doesn’t include salary data for data and analytics managers specifically. However, they report the median annual salary for computer and information systems managers as $159,010. Given how data-centric IT roles are becoming, this may be a helpful insight.
Experience in SQL, Big Data analytics, SAS, and AI can result in higher earnings. Outside of the mathematical scope, those with strong leadership skills may net more. This is due to the fact that in order to be successful, data and analytics managers must navigate the complexities of running a large team of highly specialized individuals.
Industry Need: Data And Analytics Manager
Between 2021 and 2031, the BLS projects 16% job growth for computer and information systems managers. However, this group may include other types of IT managers, as well. But once again, data is becoming more and more central to all sectors of IT from cybersecurity to market research.
Geographic Variations in Salary: Data and Analytics Manager
The highest-paid data and analytics managers are in San Jose, California, per BLS data. San Francisco, New York City, and Seattle also have higher than average annual mean salaries for computer and information systems managers.
Career Paths and Salary Impact: Data and Analytics Manager
Many begin their careers as data analysts or database developers, transition into data management after 1-5 years before ultimately taking on the role of data and analytics manager. Considered a mid-level position, those in this role may advance to titles such as Director of Analytics, VP or SVP of Analytics. Moving into this next career phase, salaries have the opportunity for a large increase.
The BLS says the top 10% of computer and information analytics managers earn over $208,000 every year. Those in Director of Analytics, Vice President, and Senior Vice president roles may fall into this group.
Business Intelligence Analyst
A Business Intelligence Analyst’s ultimate goals are to improve market position, increase efficiency, and grow profit margins. By examining a company’s data against its primary competitors and the industry at large, Business Intelligence Analysts are able to offer guidance in how to leverage data to achieve corporate goals.
Salary Trends, Experience and Growth
Dice’s 2022 salary report lists the average salary for business intelligence analysts as $101,497. Unfortunately, the BLS doesn’t track salary data for this position. However, O*Net online, a career resource website developed by the US Department of Labor, gives the median salary for this role as $100,910 — a number drawn from BLS stats about data scientists that comes pretty close to Dice’s calculations.
Earning potential may increase with proficiency in highly sought-after skills. According to O*Net, business analysts often need to be proficient with:
- Database management software
- Development software
- Data mining
- Web platform development
More specifically, business intelligence analysts often use Google Analytics, Oracle, Microsoft PowerShell, and various Apache tools like Hadoop and Kafka.
While advanced degrees are not typically required for entry-level employment, holding an advanced degree can impact both advancement within the field and earning potential. Certifications may also prove advantageous in salary negotiations as a verification of experience in specific in-demand skills.
Dice’s 2022 Tech Job Report says job postings for business intelligence analysts increased by 45.9% from 2021 to 2022. This is unsurprising due to increasing demand in a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, and online retail.
Geographic Variations in Salary
Though Dice doesn’t list which cities offer the highest average salaries for business intelligence analysts specifically, Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York City, and Boston top the list for tech salaries overall according to their tech salary report.
However, business analysts work for companies outside of the IT domain. According to BLS data, operations research analysts (a role similar to that of a business intelligence analyst) have the highest mean wages in Virginia, Alabama, Maryland, and Hawaii.
Management analysts (professionals who focus more on a business’s internal operations) have the highest mean salaries in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Washington.
Career Paths and Salary Impact
Experience is an important factor in salary growth, as those with 10-20+ years in the industry can average between 20-32% more than those just entering the field. The typical career trajectory for a business intelligence analyst is similar to other areas of data science, where, as individuals garner experience they eventually move into other areas of the field.
Professionals who achieve titles like senior business analyst, business intelligence developer, or business intelligence director may have higher salaries than their less-experienced counterparts. Like with any career, managerial roles in business intelligence often require strong leadership and interpersonal skills — skills that could translate into higher earning potential.
While this guide covers many of the most popular roles in data science today it is important to note that as a developing field, new roles are frequently emerging as the existing roles simultaneously evolve.
Continue exploring your Data Science career options with our Data Science Career Guide.
2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for data scientists, operations research analysts, database architects and administrators, statisticians, management analysts, market research analysts, and computer and information research scientists reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed January 2023.