6 Factors Affecting Data Scientist Salary in USA.

6 Factors Affecting Data Scientist Salary in USA.

This article discusses on “Data Scientist Salary in USA”. How various factors affect data scientist salary is mentioned in this piece of information. It is compared with other cities and states in the USA to find accurate ideas. To maximize data scientist salary in USA we have considered different factors for example, data testing tools, industry, location, roles, experience and degree, negotiation, etc.

A statement said by Albert Einstein that “compound interest” was considered the “most powerful force in the world”. It is regretful to say that most of the data scientists are greatly data-driven to their projects, they are so about compensation which follow the same strong force of yearly growth. If you start with low and un-optimized view about repayment meaning data scientists are frequently less working than they worth. If you do not re-assess, you will get a sub-optimal data scientist salary.

As discussing about data-driven people, we thought what would be if you well optimized career of data scientist for maximum data scientist salary possible.

It has been decided to analyze some factors that can be related. It started with tools used by data scientists and ended with checking of demographic traits decided their career pathway to data science. We have looked in more specific aspects for example, cost of living, however, we primarily targeted to how to get repayment up as maximum as possible for data science salary in USA.

We have noticed that to apply for data science roles than data analyst post may vary of $50,000 in basic salary. We have learned that if you utilize big data tools for example, Scala and Spark may take your salary high by $15,000. It is also noticeable that negotiation for salary leads to a 7% boost in salary, but even 18% of the employees never do negotiation for their salary. If you need to maximize your salary for data scientists, please read this article.

Don’t consider this as an indictment of anything that pays less but might be more fulfilling; it is a simple information to maximize the salary you can get as a data scientist, and how one can have the most “powerful force in the world” work for your benefit.

How to Optimize a Data Scientist Salary.

It is good to start for analysis is O’Reilly’s Data Science Salary Survey. This survey has over 600 respondents from various industries, and contains analysis of which attributes pay high for data scientists.

The research determined that the method of basic salary of data scientists was nearly $80,000 (USD) (Consider that for the rest of the article it will be USD for comparing, unless specifically mentioned otherwise) –a large amount surely, but may be not what one would anticipate from “best job of the 21st century.”

However, some of the respondents (nearly 1%) reported a basic salary over $240,000 and for junior level salaries for some organizations more than $100,000, therefore, it is common that level of seniority is not only the factor.


Tools Used

The tools used by data scientists are mostly a pride of point for technical discussions, but they might make lots of difference in the repayment you receive. We need to see that which tool benefit you the high lift to your median salary- here are the outcome.

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Data Science Survey of O’Reilly points out the tool that adds the highest to your salary: Apache Spark. Another language is Scala also demanded as well. Learning the two languages might help increase salary up to $15,000,

Learning a Javascript visualization library D3, is only significant tool for data visualization to have an impact on your salary with $8,000 correlation positive boost.

Your salary will also go high if you are familiar with cloud computing, with respondents uses Amazon Elastic Mapreduce get as high as nearly $6,000 in salary.

It is also noted by O’Reilly that people use 15 or more tool can earn up to $30,000 more than people who used 10 to 14. There is specifically a premium related to expertizing a variety of tools.

 The noting point from the study of O’Reilly is there are nine groups of tool used by data scientists for general use, starting from Hadoop ecosystem to open source environment surrounding Python, to closed Microsoft SQL group.

People who tend towards closed Oracle and Microsoft tools will earn less, while those who flock to open source clusters will tend to earn more.

People tend to closed Microsoft and Oracle tools would get less salary, while the people tend to open source groups would earn more.

It is notable that, O’Reilly’s people inclined to one of open source learners, because the O’Reilly ecosystem is targeted to supporting and highlighted new technologies. Considering that in mind, these results hold up well.

Finding in san Francisco with keyword as Python and Data Scientist came 31% average of anticipated salary (below $105,000), whereas, search with the keyword “Scala and Data Scientist showed no expected salary below $105,000.

How to get the best data scientist salary in USA basis on tools used by you:

  1. Learn D3.
  2. Learn Spark and Scala.
  3. Get into open source tools and stay away from proprietary ones.
  4. Get easy withcloud computing, especially Amazon Web Services.
  5. Learn a whole lot of tools (aim for 15+).


It is also important factor that your salary is determined by where you work in different aspects. Different industries have specific data challenges and abilities to pay for high data science salary. Ensure you are not limiting yourself by working for an organization where you can capture your incomplete value.

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Figures are approximate

The salary survey of O’Reilly noted that data scientist earn the best salaries in Social Networking, that is meaningful to the amount of valuable data those types of organization for example, Google, Facebook, etc. Great numbers of people’s interactions are captured on their platforms and find reasonable conclusions.

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Based on 44 employee salary, the Facebook data science salary is median of $133,000 annually. While Google has median salary of $145,000 annually, for data scientist.

Payscale consider salary of technology companies for example, Amazon that pays nearly $150,000 as an average data scientist salary and compares with consultants companies i.e. Booz, Hamilton, Allen and their median salary for data science is not over $100,000.

Based on 26 employee’s salaries, an experienced data scientists earn the median salary of $157,000 a year at Linkedin.

It is noticeable, that some organizations like, Linkedin and Facebook also offer stock incentives bonuses, which leads to nearly $40,000 to $50,000 extra in terms of repayment.

The startups companies often has numbers of jobs and indicates that in future, the salaries will be increased. Whereas, it has been found only 3 data scientist posts from the hardware startup organizations and salaries are more than $100,000.

How to get the highest data scientist salary in usa basis on industry

  1. Search, above all else, to work in social networking or search company like Facebook or Google.
  2. Consider the trends in startup company salaries for data scientist because they might spread to industry.
  3. Search for finance, hardware and software companies if you do not want to work for social networking or search companies.


Working in specific areas of top talent and reputed companies with target has some great benefits. The Salary Survey of the O’Reilly indicates that USA has best average salary and range for data science. It is up to the person to search for high paying area in the nation.

Lots of people consider the Silicon Valley as the right pick, and it seems to hold up. Payscale indicates 23% uplift for Mountain View (Linked and Google headquarters). The O’Reilly reported that living in California is worth for extra $16,000 income as salary.

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It is not the complete story, though. It has not been considered of living cost or state tax rates.

We have listed the high paying regions in terms of data scientists salary in USA and also compared to living cost indices for cities so that right picture can be understood. It has been subtracted the tax rate from the average salary for data scientist then we got the following chart.

Data Scientist Salary in USA.

Some key points:

  1. San Francisco is not indeed where you can earn more as a data scientist; neighboring San Jose with low living cost and high salary. Actually adjusting living cost and state taxes, Seattle comes out over San Francisco city.
  2. Los Angeles and Austin Cities seem as bad deals in terms of considering how much lower base salary that data scientists get, but in reality the low living costs and for Austin’s case, zero state taxes, makes them more beneficial.
  3. Go for to the West Coast area over the East Coast in terms of data science salary.
  4. Data scientist salary in NYC is showing least benefited.

 How to get the best data scientist salary in USA basis on the location:

  1. Search for work in the USA.
  2. Search for the West Coast of the USA.
  3. Think of living cost and state taxes: optimize for San Jose.


Many people conflate data analyst to data scientist and data engineers, it led us to write immensely about the role difference.

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Ranges basis on sourced at this primer by Data Jobs, median sourced from Indeed. It is noticeable that ranges taken are sourced as blending of junior level and seniority ranges for data engineers and data analysts.

Data scientists have more salary than other two types of roles, particularly the entering roles of data analyst.

Roles in practice:

How to make out difference between the roles? Often it will be mentioned in job title, but if you need to know more specifically, what type of role an organization has, consider their skills and work.

If the role has Excel and SQL needs and the job description, looks like your work is to query data mostly but not for building data systems, then it is clear that your role is data analyst. If it is required to have programming knowledge but not algorithms and statistics, probably you are applying for data engineer post. If managing data scientist projects and implement skill of communication, business, algorithms and programing, it is probable that your role is data scientist.

Select the data science role for better data scientist salary.

How to get the highest data scientist salary in USA basis on the role you select:

  1. Ensure that you apply for data science roles, and not data engineer or data analyst role.

Experience and Degrees

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O’Reilly’s survey states, if added Master’s degree without Ph.D. is correlated with nearly $1,000 yearly rise in data scientist salary. If added a Ph.D. degree is correlated with $9,000 yearly rise in data scientist salary.

As per Payscale, 5-10 years of experience is worth $20,000 high in per year salary, 10-20 year of experience is worth $30,000 and over 20 years of experience worth $55,000.

Study states that data scientist in San Francisco mentioned 42% for data scientist earn salary over $100,000, whereas, 68% of experienced data scientists earn $100,000 and over. Experience is important for data science.

It is required an advance technical degree to get your foot at door.

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Data Scientist Job Requirements / Data Scientist Job Description

  1. Bachelor/Master in quantitative discipline: Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Statistics, Operations Research, Engineering, etc.
  2. Skill in applied statistics.
  3. 1+ year experience working for great amount of real data.
  4. Communication skills for searching both technical and non-technical people.
  5. Able to transform business plans to analysis.
  6. Expertise in SQL.
  7. Skills in at least statistics software package, preferably R.
  8. More skills in script language for example, Python, etc.

  Preferred Qualification.

  1. A Ph.D. degree in quantitative discipline: Computer Science, Operation research, Engineering, Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Economics, etc.
  2. 3+ years experience, working for great amount real data.
  3. Expertise in C++/Java.
  4. Skills in Hadoop or other associated language to MapReduce paradigms.

Although, Ph.D. can become an intensive time investment and in that duration, if your plan is to get data scientist experience for minimum 5 years, you will receive double return on yearly salary. However, you can’t expect more salary for data scientist without Ph.D.

How to get the highest data scientist salary in USA basis on experience and degrees:

  1. Get Master’s or Ph.D. that gets your foot in the door.
  2. Target for more years of experience in data science.


At the time of initial job offer, hirer always expect some space for negotiation. An initial salary will be anchor for future pay, therefore, make sure to negotiate good in order to increase your salary. O’Reilly salary survey states, that employees who rated their negotiation skills bad, get disadvantage range from $25,000 to $50,000 compared to those who rated negotiation skills good.

18% of employees never done negotiation for salary, while employee’s salary raised by 7% who negotiate.

One can develop their negotiation skills even they are introvert.

How to get the highest data scientist salary in USA basis on negotiation skills:

  1. Practice for negotiation
  2. Always negotiate for salary.

Demographic Traits

This part is dedicated to unearthing and uncomfortable fact in terms of data scientist salary: data science similar to other career, has some inclination in terms of demographic traits. The O’Reilly Salary Survey states that female employees earn $8,000 less than male employees, even after adapting organization’s location and size.

It is debate about whether or not there is gap of gender in technology. There is also noticeable discussion on diversity in technology across gender and racial lines. It will impact the hired employees and get high salary.

This inclination can’t be improved easily and individually and need to consider systematically. It is important to know that lots of same forces are responsible for biases in recruitment in different industries will be reflected to data science as well.

We have discussed almost all the points which affects your salary as a Data scientist. Here’s a quick graphical recap of what we have discussed to maximize your salary as a Data Scientist.

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You will require to follow the above listed steps, to tackle the “most powerful force in the World” –compound growth –and receive best salary possible for data scientist.

For more job search blog and latest data scientist jobs in USA, please visit at jobrino.com.