Entry Level Data Scientist Salary

Entry Level Data Scientist Salary

Overview

One reason data science careers draw so much interest is: the compensation. Data science salaries regularly top 6 figures. And that’s true for professionals far advanced in their careers, all the way down to entry-level data scientists.

Chances are, if you’re nearing the end of a Bachelor’s or Master’s program, you’re starting to think about compensation. You’re probably wondering: How much do entry-level data scientists make?

$100,005

Average Base Salary

$136,769

Average Total Compensation

Min: $60K
Max: $155K
Base Salary
Median: $90K
Mean (Average): $100K
Data points: 838
Min: $20K
Max: $286K
Total Compensation
Median: $131K
Mean (Average): $137K
Data points: 348

The average base salary for entry-level data scientists is around $100K and it increases to $137K in average total compensation.

Does that mean you are guaranteed that much money fresh out of college?

Not necessarily. Depending on your skills, location, and company, you could end up making anywhere from around $60,000 to more than $130,000 per year.

Entry Level Data Scientist Salary Compared by Seniority

Interested in how quickly you can advance in your career? Typically, data scientists are considered mid-level with 2-5 years of experience, and mid level data science salaries are $30,000 higher. After six years, you can expect to be paid as a senior data scientist, which results in a nearly $50,000 increase in salary.

$115K
$304K
Executive
Median: $190K
Mean (Average): $191K
Data points: 13
$77K
$220K
Manager
Median: $138K
Mean (Average): $142K
Data points: 822
$85K
$214K
Senior
Median: $140K
Mean (Average): $145K
Data points: 4,482
$77K
$180K
Mid-Level
Median: $139K
Mean (Average): $134K
Data points: 4,191
$60K
$155K
Entry Level
Median: $90K
Mean (Average): $100K
Data points: 838

Entry Level Data Scientist Salary Compared to other Positions

Entry-level data scientists earn 1.85 times the national average (which is about $56,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Yet, even compared to similar tech career paths, the starting pay for data scientists is among the highest on average. For example, the average pay for a software engineer (entry-level) is about $110,000, while average pay for entry-level data engineers was about $101,000 per year.

$74K
$180K
Machine Learning Engineer
Median: $126K
Mean (Average): $127K
Data points: 139
$70K
$176K
Business Intelligence
Median: $105K
Mean (Average): $114K
Data points: 11
$63K
$153K
Software Engineer
Median: $114K
Mean (Average): $111K
Data points: 4,787
$70K
$150K
Product Manager
Median: $110K
Mean (Average): $110K
Data points: 174
$52K
$145K
Data Engineer
Median: $101K
Mean (Average): $101K
Data points: 146
$60K
$155K
Data Scientist
Median: $90K
Mean (Average): $100K
Data points: 838
$61K
$110K
Growth Marketing Analyst
Median: $95K
Mean (Average): $91K
Data points: 23
$50K
$125K
Data Analyst
Median: $84K
Mean (Average): $86K
Data points: 64
Product Analyst*
$53K
$110K
Product Analyst
Median: $82K
Mean (Average): $82K
Data points: 2
$52K
$115K
Business Analyst
Median: $70K
Mean (Average): $75K
Data points: 403
$50K
$110K
Research Scientist
Median: $62K
Mean (Average): $70K
Data points: 1,470

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

From the graph we can see that on average the Machine Learning Engineer role pays the most with a $126,521 base salary while the Research Scientist role on average pays the least with a $69,914 base salary.

The skills you bring to the table increase your worth. More specialized skills result in higher starting salaries. (This is one reason master’s and PhD programs increase your value; they help you build specializations.)

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

From the graph we can see that on average the Machine Learning Engineer role pays the most with a $127,722 base salary while the Research Scientist role on average pays the least with a $69,903 base salary.

Top Cities for Entry Level Data Scientist Salaries

It’s no surprise that location affects pay. Most would expect to earn more in Silicon Valley than they would in Kansas City. One reason: Cost-of-living. There’s a clear correlation between tech hubs with high costs of living and average starting pay.

High-cost cities tend to pay entry-level data scientists more:

$140K
$190K
Omaha, NE
Median: $150K
Mean (Average): $156K
Data points: 5
$139K
$145K
Memphis, TN
Median: $143K
Mean (Average): $142K
Data points: 8
$84K
$175K
San Francisco, CA
Median: $120K
Mean (Average): $124K
Data points: 165
$80K
$160K
Seattle, WA
Median: $120K
Mean (Average): $122K
Data points: 49
$67K
$155K
New York, NY
Median: $103K
Mean (Average): $108K
Data points: 105
$82K
$131K
Denver, CO
Median: $100K
Mean (Average): $105K
Data points: 8
$79K
$142K
San Diego, CA
Median: $95K
Mean (Average): $100K
Data points: 15
$72K
$121K
Portland, OR
Median: $110K
Mean (Average): $97K
Data points: 7
$82K
$110K
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Area, AR
Median: $94K
Mean (Average): $95K
Data points: 12
$73K
$136K
Philadelphia, PA
Median: $85K
Mean (Average): $94K
Data points: 14
$60K
$138K
Boston, MA
Median: $85K
Mean (Average): $92K
Data points: 51
$69K
$118K
Raleigh, NC
Median: $83K
Mean (Average): $89K
Data points: 6
$63K
$128K
Washington, DC
Median: $89K
Mean (Average): $89K
Data points: 86
$80K
$99K
Phoenix, AZ
Median: $85K
Mean (Average): $89K
Data points: 7
$82K
$94K
Pittsburgh, PA
Median: $90K
Mean (Average): $88K
Data points: 5

The Data Scientist salary in Omaha, NE is the highest paying salary with a $156,000 average base salary. The Data Scientist salary in Stockholm, Sweden is the lowest paying salary with $45,000 average base salary.

But before you pack up and move to San Francisco, be sure to first consider salary vs. cost of living.

In the Bay Area, you can earn six figures and still struggle to pay rent. So one metric we looked at was the power of your salary by city (the average salary compared to the city’s cost of living index / rent index). Essentially, cities with high salaries and moderate costs of living, an entry-level salary will go much further.

Some of the best cities with high salary powers are:

Top Companies for Entry Level Data Scientist Salaries

When you jump into salary data, it’s clear that company size affects average starting salaries. That’s not too hard to believe. You can make more at a FAANG company than you could expect at a start-up.

Here’s a look at entry-level salaries for data scientists by company:

$116K
$162K
Meta
Median: $153K
Mean (Average): $143K
Data points: 14
$90K
$178K
Google
Median: $140K
Mean (Average): $138K
Data points: 11
$71K
$180K
Amazon
Median: $141K
Mean (Average): $135K
Data points: 38
$109K
$136K
Microsoft
Median: $121K
Mean (Average): $123K
Data points: 15
$84K
$150K
Jpmorgan Chase & Co.
Median: $120K
Mean (Average): $119K
Data points: 19
$107K
$125K
Spotify
Median: $119K
Mean (Average): $118K
Data points: 6
$87K
$180K
Walmart Global Tech
Median: $102K
Mean (Average): $115K
Data points: 17
$77K
$124K
Booz Allen Hamilton
Median: $90K
Mean (Average): $100K
Data points: 7
$89K
$113K
Zurich Insurance Company Ltd
Median: $95K
Mean (Average): $99K
Data points: 7
$51K
$131K
Ibm
Median: $105K
Mean (Average): $96K
Data points: 10
$72K
$142K
Capital One
Median: $89K
Mean (Average): $94K
Data points: 156
$88K
$100K
Akamai
Median: $90K
Mean (Average): $93K
Data points: 5
$81K
$96K
Catalina Marketing
Median: $90K
Mean (Average): $89K
Data points: 7
$70K
$103K
Ford Motor Company
Median: $85K
Mean (Average): $87K
Data points: 5
$85K
$91K
Brunswick Corporation
Median: $85K
Mean (Average): $87K
Data points: 7

The Data Scientist at Lyft salary is the highest paying salary with a $203,500 average base salary. The Data Scientist at Internet Brands salary is the lowest paying salary with $43,056 average base salary.

There’s a clear implication that larger companies pay better. At a FAANG company like Google (140,000 employees), entry-level data scientists make about $139,000 on average, and similarly at Facebook, junior data scientists earn about $143,000 per year in base salary.

Comparatively, a smaller company like Credit Sesame offers about $95,000 per year to entry-level employees.

One reason: FAANG companies tend to hire professionals with advanced degrees. And that reveals a truth about starting pay: A data science master’s or PhD instantly increases your worth (and skills/expertise), and thusly, the starting salary you can expect to make.

Estimating Your Starting Salary

It’s a challenge to predict what you’ll earn in an entry-level data science job, because there are many variables that will affect what you can expect to earn.

Here are a few tips: Salaries are highly dependent on location; if you want to earn more you might consider a change of scenery (while considering cost of living, of course).

More importantly, though, starting pay is dependent on the value you can add to a company. The more specialized your skills - whether if you’ve completed an online data science course, have earned a PhD, or have in-depth Python experience - the more you expect to earn.

This is why practicing data science interview questions are so important. A strong technical interview helps you convey your competency with a specialized skill - like Python coding or statistics - and that gives you leverage when it comes time for salary negotiations.

Bottom line, if there’s one thing you can do to earn more when starting in data science, it’s leveling up your technical skills and learning how to showcase those skills on your resume and in interviews.