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How Much Do Big Data Engineers Make?

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Businesses in every industry today are leveraging massive amounts of data to make smarter decisions and save time. So who’s behind the scenes helping businesses identify patterns, insights, and recommendations? Big Data Engineers.

If you’re interested in a career in data engineering and wondering how much you’d make as a Big Data Engineer, the good news is that you can likely look forward to a six-figure salary. That’s because Big Data Engineers, like other development and tech professionals, are in demand all over the country and across almost every industry.

But many factors can influence how much you’ll earn. Let’s take a look at them, as well as some ways to increase your earning potential.

What factors determine a Big Data Engineer’s salary?

According to recent findings from ZipRecruiter, Big Data Engineers can expect to make an average yearly salary of $130,674. Along with that, Data Engineers in the U.S. report an average of $5,000 per year in cash bonuses, as well as other benefits like retirement account contributions, paid time off, and expense reimbursements. But in some cases, Big Data Engineers can expect to earn even more than this. So what influences how much you can make?

Location

As a Big Data Engineer, you’ll be able to find work all over the country, not to mention the world, so you have a lot of flexibility if you’re not sure where you want to live. Living in a major city is almost always more expensive than living in a small town, and this difference in cost-of-living will likely be reflected in your salary.

So which cities have the highest average Big Data Engineer salary? Here are the top eight, according to Indeed:

Location 

Average Big Data Engineer salary

1

San Francisco, CA

$148,750

2

McLean, VA

$143,400

3

Los Angeles, CA

$141,250

4

Plano, TX

$137,500

5

Austin, TX

$135,500

6

New York, NY

$129,400

7

Boston, MA

$124,750

8

Chicago, IL

$120,250

Field

It’s not just the software and tech fields where demand is high for Big Data Engineers. Finance, healthcare, telecommunications, and entertainment also need professionals who can work with large data sets and produce insights and recommendations. But some fields pay higher than others.

For example, according to Indeed, Data Engineers working in the e-commerce field at eBay earn $182,568 on average, while Capital One, a financial services company, pays their Data Engineers $168,214 on average. So this is something to keep in mind when you’re deciding which field you want to work in. That said, it’s not a perfect science and can vary from job to job.

Education & skills

If you specialize in a particular hard skill, you might earn a higher salary. For example, if you know the Akka toolkit, that could qualify you for a salary bump around 40%, according to Indeed. Do you know the Play Framework? That could also give you a 40% increase in salary.

Big Data Engineers who know certain programming languages might also earn higher salaries. Java and Ruby could earn you 10% or more, and C++ could bump your salary up by more than 8.5%. These are, of course, averages, but they’re good to keep in mind as you set yourself up for a successful career as a Big Data Engineer.

It’s not just about the salary

It’s exciting to look forward to a six-figure salary, but keep in mind that your salary is just one part of your compensation package. When you’re going over your offer, you want to look at other benefits like health, dental, and vision insurance and retirement benefits. You might also find a sign-on bonus, performance-based bonuses, stock options, and a relocation stipend offered to you as well.

With the increase in remote work over the past few years, you should also pay attention to workplace policies. And don’t forget to review how much paid time off you’ll get each year.

Becoming a Big Data Engineer can offer job security

Big Data Engineers will likely be in demand for years to come because companies will continue to leverage data to make smarter business moves. Fortunately, that means that comfortable salaries, along with great benefits, have become the norm. It also means it’s safe to assume that job security won’t be a problem.

If you’re new to the workforce or switching careers to data engineering, our Data Scientist Career Path will help you gain the skills you need to land your first big data engineering job.


Data Science Courses & Tutorials | Skillacademy

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February 15, 2022

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