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Data Scientist Salary in San Francisco, CA

If you look at data science salaries by city, San Francisco stands out as the highest-paying city in the U.S. and one of the top globally. In fact, the average starting base salary for data scientists is just over $142,000, which is $7,000 better than the next closest city (Seattle) and $20,000 more than the average salary for all data scientists.

San Francisco’s proximity to Silicon Valley, as well as the numerous FAANG companies and startups, creates an environment with plenty of job opportunities for data scientists. Twitter, DoorDash, Square, and Uber, some of the highest-paying companies in tech, are all headquartered in the city.

Bottom line – San Francisco is the undisputed capital of data science, and the city offers numerous high-paying jobs for skilled workers.

Here’s a look at average base salaries for data scientists in San Francisco:

$144,348

Average Base Salary

$239,312

Average Total Compensation

Min: $92K
Max: $200K
Min: $50K
Max: $462K

Normalized Data Scientist Salaries in San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is also one of the most expensive places to live in the United States, and that’s a key reason for the high average base salaries for data scientists. Yet, even when adjusted for cost of living, salaries in SF rank higher than 80% of cities around the world.

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The average base salary for Data Scientist in San Francisco, CA is in the top 100% compared to all other cities salaries.

The average base salary for Data Scientist in San Francisco, CA is $144,348 while the average Data Scientist base salary is $122,694.

If we normalize the salaries in San Francisco, CA by the cost of living, then the average base salary for Data Scientist in San Francisco, CA is in the top 84% compared to all other cities.

Data Scientist Salary in San Francisco, CA by Seniority Levels

Another reason data science is so lucrative in San Francisco is the access to opportunities. There’s a clear career ladder to climb here, and many make the jump from entry-level positions to management or senior data science roles.

With a $40,000 gap between entry- and senior-level positions, data scientists can progress to top-paying roles in as little as six years, although many senior data scientist positions require 6-10 years of experience (and an advanced degree).

$106K
$240K
$109K
$225K
$105K
$190K
$84K
$175K

Seniority can increase the pay of a Data Scientist in San Francisco, CA. Here are the base salaries of a Data Scientist in San Francisco, CA grouped into 4 seniority categories.

Data Scientist Salary in San Francisco, CA Compared to other Positions

Numerous roles fall under the umbrella of data science, and there is a strong hiring demand for all of them in San Francisco. Compared to all other positions, like product manager (top-paying) and business analyst (bottom-paying), data science ranks No. 4 overall.

For many, analyst roles are their first foray into data science. Progressing from analyst to data scientist results in a $46,000 lift in base salary. Here’s a look at salaries by role:


Most data science positions fall under different position titles depending on the actual role.

From the graph we can see that on average the Product Manager role pays the most with a $181,037 base salary while the Business Analyst role on average pays the least with a $98,267 base salary.

Data Scientist Salary in San Francisco, CA Compared to other Cities

Globally, San Francisco is one of the best cities for average base salary. According to our data, only Sydney, Australia offers a higher average starting salary, with Tel Aviv and Zurich coming in just behind SF. In the U.S., San Francisco’s closest rivals are Seattle, Los Angeles, and Colorado Springs.


The Data Scientist salary in Sydney, Australia is the highest paying salary with a $172,500 average base salary. The Data Scientist salary in Warsaw, Poland is the lowest paying salary with $45,000 average base salary.

Top Companies for Data Scientist Salaries in San Francisco, CA

Some of the world’s top tech companies are headquartered in San Francisco, or have offices within the city. Twitter is one of the best known, as are DoorDash, Uber, and Lyft. Yet, some of the best starting salaries are at companies like Netflix, Roblox, Instacart, and Wish.

$125K
$600K
$112K
$285K
$155K
$259K
$170K
$242K
$102K
$260K
$146K
$210K
$144K
$230K
$160K
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$130K
$233K
$130K
$215K
$140K
$205K
$140K
$208K
$95K
$232K
$115K
$238K
$158K
$195K

The Data Scientist at Netflix salary is the highest paying salary with a $295,492 average base salary. The Data Scientist at SRI International salary is the lowest paying salary with $62,525 average base salary.