Data Scientist Salary-The Ultimate Guide for 2021

Data Scientist Salary-The Ultimate Guide for 2021

What’s the real average salary for a data science pro in 2021? Well, a quick Google search might be able to tell you. However, you will find the data science salary figures ranging from $90K to as high as $200K. WOW. That’s a pretty sizable range for the salary of a data scientist. The guise of median data scientist salary is sometimes super misleading because there are outliers that skew data like crazy and it varies based on multiple factors. If you are thinking about becoming a data scientist, and wondering what is a data scientist salary you could expect to earn, the short answer is “it depends”. When it comes to the data science industry, much is made of the huge shortage of skilled talent. Overlooked is how this can translate to a huge potential for professionals. In this article, we break down the data science salaries for today’s data workforce based on which company they are working for, years of experience, specialization of data science tools and technologies, location, and other factors.

Data Scientist Salary

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Data Scientist Salary: What to Expect

According to Robert Half Salary Report for 2021, the data scientist median salary is $129,000.A data scientist has a very comprehensive job. Unlike other kinds of data specialists who specialize in a specific task (such as data engineers, data analysts), data scientists tackle the end-to-end lifecycle of a data science project right from data acquisition to model optimization to communicating insights to stakeholders. Because of this data scientists are required to have a versatile skillset and they pull down a pretty significant salary. This data scientist salary guide will help you understand how experience, location, skills, and industry impact the salary of a data scientist and some recommendations to negotiate a better big data scientist salary.

If you look at Glassdoor, there are currently around 32K data scientist jobs open in the US.

Data Scientists Jobs in US 2021 


A quick search on shows over 11K data scientist jobs and LinkedIn jobs show more than 22K results.

Data Scientist Jobs on Indeed

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Data Science Jobs on LinkedIN


Data Science Projects

Data Scientist is the best job in America for the 5th year in a row (4 job satisfaction rating, 4.7 job score)  and worth paying attention to in 2021 and beyond. Glassdoor report ranks Data Scientist job as the “Best Job in America ” based on career opportunities rating, number of open data science jobs, and average salaries earned by data scientists.  Business media from Forbes to The New York Times have had many headlines about the increasing demand for data scientists, high salaries for data scientists, and the skill sets required to become a data scientist. It does not come as a surprise that data science is one of the fastest and hottest technology trends of 2021 and beyond.

According to LinkedIn’s 2021 Report for Jobs on the Rise, hiring for data scientist and machine learning job roles grew by 44% and 32% respectively since 2019.  Incoming data scientists and machine learning engineers can expect higher data scientist salary in line with the increasing demand for skilled talent in 2021, as organizations accelerate their digital transformation process in the post-COVID-19 recovery to hire more data science and machine learning practitioners across diverse sectors. Every company has an online presence these days and each one needs a competent data scientist who can help them store and manage their data for profitable decision making. With growth on track, six-figure salaries are the new normal for data scientists and these continue to rise based on experience levels, skills added, job titles, location, and other factors.

50+ Data Science and Machine Learning Projects


Without much ado, let’s dig down a bit further to understand the data science salary trends across the world based on the following factors –

1) Data Scientist Salary – By Experience

2) Data Scientist Salary – By Industry

3) Data Scientist Salary – By Location

4) Data Scientist Salary – By Companies

5) Data Scientist Salary – By Skills

Data Scientist Salary Infographic

1) Data Scientist Salary – Based On Experience

How much you can expect to earn as a data scientist with different levels of experience? We all know that the more the number of years of experience you have been doing data science, the higher your data scientist average salary is likely to be. As you advance through various levels of experience as a data scientist, so will the data science salary, growth opportunities, perks, and other benefits unlock on the path. The salary of a data scientist usually increases in the first few years, but afterward, it can prove difficult to obtain raises without broadening your skillset on diverse data science tools and technologies. For this reason, many data scientists start working on diverse data science projects across various business domains to broaden their skillset on novel data science tools, which justifies a pay increase.

 Based on the years of experience, the data scientist salaries have been categorized below -

Entry-Level Data Scientist Salary

Entry-level data scientists are people who have just entered the data science industry and have less than one year of experience working on real-time data science projects. They are usually students who have just completed their graduation and looking for some lucrative entry-level data science jobs. They are industry newcomers and the average starting salary of a data scientist at entry-level is $85,338, according to PayScale.

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Junior Data Scientist Salary

Junior data scientists are professionals with 1 to 4 years of experience in the industry and have already worked on a few data science projects as freelancers or on full-time data science roles. They often need to be paired with a senior data scientist or a mid-level data scientist who can check on them once a day on the tasks assigned. According to PayScale, the average junior data scientist salary in the US is $94, 787.

Data Scientist Salary By Experience

Mid-Level Data Scientist Salary

Mid-level data scientists are professionals with 5 to 9 years of experience in the industry and also have all the required data science skills to do their job. They know how to get things done, how to easily slide one data science method into another, and what short-cuts to take. They hardly need to be checked on by a senior data scientist to get their tasks done. They are the people who are both tech-savvy and business-savvy who understand the business and types of analytics technologies. According to PayScale, the average mid-level data scientist salary is $108,887.

Senior(Sr.) Data Scientist Salary

These are professionals with either a Ph.D./Master’s degree and have 10+ years of experience in the industry. They know how to build well-architected data science products. They mentor mid-level and junior data scientists and are also answerable to the management and stakeholders on any business questions. Whether it is preparing perfectly clean data for a model, writing reusable code,  building a  resilient data pipeline, building a reproducible machine learning pipeline, or revisiting high-performing systems- senior data scientists have it all. According to PayScale, the average senior data scientist salary is $135,521.


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2) Data Scientist Salary- By Country

Not all countries present equal job opportunities for professionals, and data scientist jobs are no different. The salary of a data scientist varies based on the country and state. Let’s be real – a data scientist based out of Charlotte, North Carolina is not going to make as high as someone in New York. The reason is pretty simple because the costs of living just don’t add up. The top 12 states in the US hiring for data science and machine learning roles include Massachusetts, Florida, California, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, Colorado, Washington, Maryland, New York, Texas, and Michigan. United States holds an upper hand in offering the greatest opportunities for data scientists with lucrative data science salaries followed by India, Canada, UK, and Europe, this fact is true for both entry-level and senior data scientist positions’ leaders worldwide are in fierce competition to hire skilled data specialists and would not hesitate to pay whatever it takes to hire the best data science talent.

Data Science Salaries Across The World

According to PayScale, here’s a breakdown of the top-paying countries for data science salaries as of January 27, 2021 -

  • Data Scientist Salary in USA - $96,289
  • Data Scientist Salary in Australia – AU$92,376
  • Data Scientist Salary in India – INR 817,657
  • Data Scientist Salary in Canada – C$ 78,948
  • Data Scientist Salary in the UK - £ 49,954 
  • Data Scientist Salary in Europe - €55475
  • Data Scientist Salary in France -€45385

A Breakdown of Data Scientist Salaries In USA

Data Scientist Salary California

Data Scientist Salary California

Data Scientist Salary NYC

Data Scientist Salary NYC

Data Scientist Salary Boston

Data Scientist Salary Boston

Data Scientist Salary Chicago

Data Scientist Salary Chicago

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3) Data Scientist Salary – By Top Industry

Data science salaries depend a lot on having experience and the specific skills desired by employers. However, choosing the right industry to work in is critical to earning a handsome salary because not all industries pay equally to data scientists.  If you do a quick google search for “data science jobs” or “data scientist jobs”, you will come across data scientist job opportunities in every industry. There is a need for data scientists across all industries, however, some industries like Retail and Consumer goods, Banking and Finance, IT services, Travel,  Transportation, Real-estate, and Manufacturing are experiencing higher demand and offer increasingly competitive salaries for skilled data scientists. According to LinkedIn, the top 5 industries for data scientists in the US are Consumer Goods, Transportation, Recreation, IT Services, and Real Estate.


Data Scientist Salary -By Industry

Top Paying Industries for Data Scientists

  • Data Scientist Salary in Finance & Insurance: $114K

  • Data Scientist Salary in Professional Services: $107K

  • Data Scientist Salary in Manufacturing: $106K

4) Data Scientist Salary -By Company

It is obvious that technology firms like Netflix, Spotify, Uber, and Amazon, have data science teams but the job role of a data scientist has now also filtered down to non-tech companies like GAP, Nike, Neiman Marcus, Clorox, and Walmart. These companies are looking to hire the brightest professionals with expertise in Math, Statistics, SQL, Hadoop, Java, Python, and R skills for their own data science teams. Today, data scientists are useful in almost every industry.

You may have your sights set on working for your dream organization during your data science career. Data science salaries vary greatly from company to company, so it’s always best to research your own desired data scientist job. As far as the size of the company is considered, the larger the company, the higher is the data scientist job salary. For example, a data scientist working for a top MNC with over 50K employees is very much likely to earn a higher data scientist median salary than a data scientist working at a start-up with just over 500 employees.To give you an overview of what is the average salary of data scientists at some well-known companies, we’ve put together a list of data science salaries for some popular tech companies.

  1. Google Data Scientist Salary - $139K
  2. Facebook Data Scientist Salary - $125K
  3. Capital One Data Scientist Salary - $124K
  4. Apple Data Scientist Salary - $125K
  5. Amazon Data Scientist Salary - $122K
  6. AirBnB Data Scientist Salary - $111K
  7. Booz Allen Hamilton Data Scientist Salary - $83K
  8. Wayfair Data Scientist Salary-  $100K
  9. IBM Data Scientist Salary -$114K
  10. McKinsey Data Scientist Salary -$107K
  11. Tesla Data Scientist Salary - $115K
  12. Walmart Data Scientist Salary - $93K

Whether you are a data scientist speculating how your salary stacks up with your peers or you are an individual planning to pursue a career in data science - this detailed data scientist salary report that gives information about the data science salary range and average data scientist salary at some of the top tech companies will help you in your career choices. This data scientist salary report will help you get an approximation of the big money one you expect to earn from various data science jobs.

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5) Data Scientist Salary – By Skills

Candidates interested to pursue a career in data science have often asked this question - “What skills are most employers looking for while hiring data scientists?”  Data scientists are a rare breed as they are required to have high quality specialized knowledge and a myriad skill set but there are few skills that every data scientist must know. A data scientist must have in-depth knowledge of technologies used to tame big data and should always be willing to learn the merging ones. It is known that machine learning (deep learning, NLP, clustering techniques) , python programming, and statistics are the must-have skills for data scientists in 2021. SQL, Machine Learning, Data Visualization, know-how of big data tools like Hadoop or Spark, and Programming with Python, R, or Java are the most desirable skills employers are looking for and are willing to shell out big money for candidates with expertise in these skills. Other data science skills that one must consider adding under their belt include SQL, Hadoop, Spark, AWS, Data Visualization, Database knowledge, and other in-demand cloud skills.

Here’s a breakdown of the data scientist average salary based on the skills –

Median Data Scientist Salary based on Skills


Skills That Can Get You A Higher Data Scientist Starting Salary


Skills That Can Get You A Higher Data Scientist Starting Salary

Apart from the technical skills, data scientist jobs require you to have curiosity, leadership skills, communication skills, and good business acumen. Having these skills greatly affects the salary of a data scientist.

Data Science Skills Must-Haves for 2021

Master the Must Have Data Science Skills for 2021

According to CrowdFlower analysis of 3490 postings for data science job roles in LinkedIn, the most in-demand skills for data scientists are -

  • Programming in Python is one of the most important skills which recognizes the fact that data science is not just about statistics. Data science involves cleaning, preparing, and enriching data- Python has a great toolset for this. Python programming language helps data scientists get data into a form so that it can be analyzed. 39% of the job postings on LinkedIn mention Python as a critical skill for data scientists. According to O’Reilly Data Science Salary Survey – Python is among one of the top tools used by 51% of the data scientists.
  • 57% of data science job postings mention SQL as the most in-demand skill for a data scientist. With an increase in SQL-on-Hadoop initiatives by various companies –SQL has become one of the most needed skills for data scientists.
  • Hadoop is also one of the most in-demand skills as it helps data scientists store and create high-quality reference data that is used to train analytical models. 49% of data science job postings mention Hadoop as a must-have skill for a data scientist. Other Hadoop-related tools that are in-demand for data scientists include MapReduce (22%), Pig (16%), and Hive (31%).

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  • R is the language of choice for doing data analysis. 32% of the job postings on LinkedIn mention R programming language as a skill requirement for data scientists.

Get Started working on your R programming skills for data science now!

  • Java is also on the list of most ‘in-demand’ skills for data scientist job requirements, though it might not be a great language for doing data analysis. The fact that Java has been highlighted in 37% of data scientist job listings is because Hadoop is written in Java.

How to negotiate your first data scientist salary?

Being new to the data science industry may leave you wondering what is the salary to expect when applying for your very first data science job. Do not set your expectations too high on the compensation but that does not mean you negotiate for too little. Data science skills are valuable at all levels in the industry, so before your first data science job interview, make sure you do some research on the company you are being interviewed for, consider your auxiliary skills, and discuss with peers in the industry.

  • Do Your Homework -The best way to ensure that you are negotiating for a  fair associate data scientist salary do some research into what other data scientists at your level with similar levels are earning. You might also want to look for the average data science salaries within the companies you are applying for, the country, and years of experience.
  • Develop Your Data Science Skills – If you still feel like you are finding your sea legs in the data science industry, see how you can broaden data science skills and at the same time build a job-winning data science portfolio. ProjectPro’s end-to-end solved data science and machine learning projects are a great place to start. With over 50+ novel wealth of ideas for data science projects, you will develop a professional-grade data science portfolio that will help you land a top data science gig. Your initiative to practice diverse data science and machine learning projects demonstrates a passion for learning and is likely to give you an edge over others in your data science interview. This shows employers that you don’t just learn new data science skills but also know how to apply them in innovative and creative ways to real-world business problems.
  • Ask Peers – Ask other data scientists in the industry (could be mentors, colleagues, friends, or recent classmates) for a rough estimate on how much salary to expect. You might feel strange to ask about the salary but it’s ok because you’ll be able to get some quick guidance on what sort of compensation you can receive based on your skills.

As the industry continues to see an increased salary trend for data science jobs, it is evident that the industry highly values the contributions of these data specialists. 2021 is the best time to learn data science and make a career switch. 

Disclaimer – All salaries listed above have been collated from Glassdoor, Indeed, PayScale as a reference.



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