Compared to the number of brain cells they burn trying to make sense of otherwise useless data, data scientists are massively underpaid. With the ever-increasing demand for data scientists, you can tell most companies and startups are starting to understand their value.
The fact that data scientists are poorly compensated shouldn’t prevent you from pursuing it as a career. Data scientists earn massively, compared to the average US company employee, and studies show that their salaries will continue to rise consistently.
If you want to know exactly how much data scientists make, this is the right post for you. Here, I’ll outline the average salary for data scientists, both across the United States and in a select few states. Then, I’ll list some of the companies that pay the most to data scientists to help you set your goals.
Data Scientist Salary
Data scientists with the same job descriptions may end up having wildly different roles depending on where they work. Naturally, there’s also a variation in their salaries to reflect what they do, and how much work they’re doing exactly.
According to Glassdoor, the average data scientist in the United States makes a base salary of $117,212 annually, calculated by the aggregate of over 18,000 salaries. When you compare this to the $51,000 national average, you’ll notice that data scientists earn better than most workers in the US.
While $117,212 is the average, you may get offers for data science jobs paying as low as $80,000. Evaluating that pay objectively, it’s better than most salaries in the United States, but it’s rock bottom for most data scientists.
Extended experience as a data scientist should see you climb up the career ladder, leveling up to a senior data scientist with the potential of earning up to a $140,000 base salary. Getting a place in one of the top tech firms in the United States or Canada is one of the most certain ways to earn decently as a data scientist.
If you’re looking to choose data science as a career, however, you’re looking at long years of education ahead. Around 9 of every 10 professional data scientists have a Master’s Degree, making that the minimum requirement to make yourself competitive in the data science job market.
Highest Paying Companies for Data Scientists
Before crafting personalized application letters to different companies, you should be confident that your efforts are worth the potential results. Nobody wants to sit through an interview for a data science job that only pays $50,000 annually.
To avoid wasting your time with companies that pay ridiculously low, I’ve helped you compile the best-paying companies. Here are some of the top working destinations for data scientists in the United States, and maybe Canada.
Amazon can be referred to as the dream destination for every data scientist in 2022, thanks to the insanely high salaries that they pay. The organization uses the input of its numerous data scientists for ads optimization, analytics, fake reviews detection, and supply chain optimization.
Therefore, Amazon is constantly seeking the brightest minds in data science to help complete these tasks effectively. If you possess sufficient skills to get employed by Amazon, you could be in for a $160,000 salary for a start, with the potential to earn up to $217,000.
With Apple’s foray into AI with Siri, there is a need for many data scientists to work with machine learning specialists to help the AI assistant function better. That aside, many other departments at Apple require data scientists for most of their projects, explaining Apple’s need for these professionals.
The average data scientist at Apple makes around $158,000 yearly as base salary, a figure that may increase significantly with experience. The bonuses you get for working at Apple are also unmatched, explaining why most beginner data scientists almost always want a job at the Cupertino company.
Highest Paying Cities for Data Scientists
The average salary you make as a data scientist depends partly on where you live in the United States or Canada. Since most of the highest paying companies are located in specific cities, it’s only natural that those cities are ranked the best for data science professionals.
If you’re aspiring for a career in data science, here are some of the top cities to live in for higher chances of getting the jobs that pay the most.
California was always going to top this list since Apple has its headquarters in this state. While it isn’t the state with the most data science jobs in the United States, it tops the list of states with the highest median salary, thanks to the abundance of high-paying tech companies in the state.
Asides from Apple, some other companies that pay data scientists highly in California include Google, Oracle, Cisco, and Uber. While it’s admittedly difficult to get a job in any of these companies, you’ll thank yourself for trying if you eventually succeed.
While California has the highest-paying data science jobs objectively, Washington isn’t very far behind, since Amazon is headquartered in this state. In addition to Amazon, Washington houses many other top companies hiring data scientists like Microsoft. There are also branches of Facebook, Google, and Apple in the state, even as these companies are based primarily out of the state.
Before taking up a job in Washington, you may want to consider the average cost of living in the state. While it’s way more expensive than the national average, it’s still modest, compared to alternatives like California and New York.
Data scientists are magicians that make sense of data and help other programmers turn the data into useful computer programs. Being a data scientist requires having excellent analytical, mathematical, and problem-solving skills.
If a tech job appears to be this demanding, you’ll naturally expect it to pay decently, and it does. The data scientist salary decently standing around the sum $120,000, it’s hard to categorically state that data scientists are poorly compensated, even if they are.