If you’re interested in a career in data science, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s one of the fastest-growing fields. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Data Scientists as one of its top 20 occupations, with a job market expected to rise by 31% by 2029.
Not only are Data Scientists in high demand, but they’re also paid handsomely, with the average Data Scientist making 6 figures. Read on for an overview of data science, what Data Scientists do, and how factors like experience and location can influence their salaries.
What is data science?
You can think of data science as an amalgamation of statistics, probability, and programming. In essence, data science involves using methods from these disciplines to gain insights from data — but it also has other applications like natural language processing, machine learning, and more.
Modern businesses generate large amounts of data, such as transactions, consumer behaviors, and engagement levels across platforms. Data science allows these companies to make the most of their data by pulling out meaningful information that can improve their decision-making. In another post, we take a closer look at what data science is.
What do Data Scientists do?
Data Scientists are responsible for interpreting large amounts of raw data. Although they often work alongside other IT professionals, they aren’t exclusive to technology companies. Most businesses can benefit from data science, so you’ll find Data Scientists in almost every industry.
One of the main goals of a Data Scientist is developing and implementing a set of techniques or applications for data analysis. It’s important to note that while data science does include data analytics, there’s a big difference between Data Scientists and Data Analysts. Data Scientists generally have a wider range of responsibilities, including reporting, performing predictive analysis, and building machine learning models.
Catherine Z., who manages our data science team, sheds more light on a Data Scientist’s role and responsibilities.
How much do Data Scientists make?
If you’re pursuing a career in data science, you’re probably wondering how much Data Scientists make. According to Indeed, the average salary for a Data Scientist is $119,916 per year in the U.S. Still, factors like your experience, location, and management level will influence your earnings.
Data Scientist salaries based on experience
Your experience in the field is typically categorized as entry-level, mid-level, or senior-level. Entry-level Data Scientists usually have up to 3 years of experience and are responsible for basic modeling and analytics.
Mid-level Data Scientists have between 4 and 8 years of experience, take on more advanced projects, and train Data Analysts.
Senior-level Data Scientists are typically considered subject matter experts who support staff through mentorship and training and have at least 9 years of experience.
The following figures show what you can expect for a median base salary range based on your experience:
- Entry-level Data Scientists: $75,000 – $90,000
- Mid-level Data Scientists: $97,000 – $110,000
- Senior-level Data Scientists: $125,000 – $145,000
Data Scientist salaries based on location
Along with your experience, your location will also influence your income as a Data Scientist. For example, research indicates that Data Scientists in the Northeast tend to earn higher salaries than those in the middle regions of the U.S.
Here’s a breakdown of how the median salary for entry-level Data Scientists can vary based on location:
- Northeast: $100,000
- Middle U.S.: $92,000
- West Coast: $102,500
Data Scientist salaries based on management level
As a Data Scientist, your specific job title can impact your salary. According to LinkedIn, the top job titles in the field include Data Scientist, Data Science Specialist, and Data Management Analyst. The salaries for these jobs range between $100,000 to $130,000.
You can also make a higher salary if you have the word “manager” in your job title. For example, the median salaries in 2020 for non-manager Data Scientists ranged from $95,500 to $165,000. On the other hand, Data Scientist Managers ranged from $150,750 for entry-level management and up to $250,000 for managers with the most experience.
Working in the data science field can be a fulfilling career path that helps you drive meaningful, actionable change for any organization. As a Data Scientist, you can work alongside IT professionals and fuel your passion for problem-solving through data analytics.
If these possibilities excite you, our Data Scientist Career Path can help you achieve your goals. We’ll teach you all the skills you’ll need to excel in your future career — including data analysis and visualization, programming, building machine learning models, and more. We’ll even help you build a portfolio that’ll help you stand out in your job search!
If you’d prefer to take it step-by-step, start out by learning the popular programming languages used in data science, like SQL and Python. Check out our data science career guide to learn more.