As the total number of tech companies continues to grow, along with the startup scene, the need for data science grows too. With massive amounts of data going around, the data scientist career path has grown into advanced roles like the senior data scientist. Data scientists make good money, but what’s the average senior data scientist salary today?
Keep in mind that the data scientist profession is different from that of a software engineer, data analyst, or data engineer. However, that doesn’t mean their roles and duties don’t overlap.
You can say that a senior data scientist has to understand the roles of all data professionals to succeed. And that’s what justifies the senior data scientist salary.
In this article, we’ll go over the average senior data scientist salary, along with some frequently asked questions.
Let’s dive right in.
How Much Do Senior Data Scientist Make?
When we consider the data scientist salary, it’s already above the average US salary bracket. And the common senior data scientist salary is usually higher than most data scientist salaries, irrespective of the cost of living.
In addition to a hefty base salary, senior data scientists also enjoy a lot of perks and benefits.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average salary for data scientists and mathematical science occupations in the US is $103,930 per year. Since the BLS usually combines all data scientist roles, this number may be slightly less than what the senior data scientist salary can be.
To help you get a better idea, we have data sets provided by the industry and anonymous senior data scientist employees. Let’s take a look at the salaries listed on various recruitment platforms and websites.
Glassdoor is one of the most renowned platforms for getting information regarding salary, job, and company reviews. They also have details about salary, benefits, and employee information pertaining to most jobs and industries. As a result, their directory only gets bigger as more people provide reports.
According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for senior data scientists is $139,254 per year.
The typical salary range starts from $101,000 and caps at around $192,000.
This estimate is based on 3,186 salary reports collected from senior data scientists working in various companies from all over the US.
You can check out the average data scientist salary based on various factors too. Glassdoor lets you filter your results based on your industry, company size, and total years of experience. It would help paint a more accurate figure for the senior data scientist salary according to your requirements.
According to the reports, an entry-level data scientist with 0-1 years of experience earns around $86,672. A typical data scientist can earn around $115,276 on average. Some companies even pay a data scientist intern up to $100,000.
Furthermore, the following are some of the senior data scientist salaries at top tech companies in the US:
- Amazon – $145,659
- Microsoft – $206,384
- Facebook – $184,049
- LinkedIn – $170,194
- IBM – $144,979
Currently, Glassdoor doesn’t have any information on the average additional cash compensation values. However, you can make an educated guess based on the recent senior data scientist salaries uploaded by various people.
Keep in mind that these salary figures are subject to change. As new salary reports are generated, more companies come into the fold. And since the economy changes, so does the average senior data scientist salary.
Indeed is another online platform that works as a recruitment site for the most part. However, it also has a massive library of information on salaries, job descriptions, resume samples, cover letter samples, and much more.
According to the salary reports on Indeed, the average yearly salary for senior data scientists is $149,651 in the US.
The figure is calculated based on the 1,100 reports submitted on the platform by various anonomys people.
If you want to know how much that translates per hour, the hourly wage would amount to $64.13.
Moving on, Indeed also shows the most common benefits for senior data scientists across all industries. They include the following:
- Commuter assistance
- Stock options
- Food provided
- Referral program
- Gym membership
- Vision insurance
- Unlimited paid time off
- Health insurance
- 401(k) matching
- Dental insurance
Furthermore, Indeed also shares what cities have the highest-paying jobs for senior data scientists.
Currently, most of the high-paying cities are in California, including Cupertino at number one with an average yearly salary of $193,698. That’s followed by San Francisco at $193,618/year, Palo Alto at $186,419/year, Foster City at $175,881/year, and Bellevue at $159,821/year. Other high-paying cities include Austin, New York, and Seattle.
Additionally, the top three companies that offer the best pay to senior data scientists include Netflix ($322,272/year), Wish ($239,960/year), and eBay ($213,594/year).
PayScale is a dedicated salary information provider that has one of the most in-depth information on job compensations. Their pricing breakdown helps people differentiate between the base salary and additional benefits.
According to PayScale, the average base salary for a senior data scientist is $126,937 per year. The salary range is between $95,000 and $161,000.
Furthermore, the site also provides information on bonuses and profit-sharing. For senior data scientists, the average bonus is between $5,000 and $24,000. The average profit-sharing is between $2,000 and $25,000. That brings the average total compensation somewhere between $99,000 and $176,000, depending on the base salary.
All of these figures are based on 1,537 salary profiles by anonymous senior data scientists.
Other than that, PayScale also lets you include filters like location, employers, experience level, and more to get a slightly accurate salary figure.
Additionally, according to the site, senior data scientists with less than one year of experience tend to earn around $106,000, while the ones with 20 years of experience or more can earn up to $144,000.
Wrapping It Up
If you’ve worked in the data science industry for a considerable while, there’s a good chance you’ll get a salary that’s on the upper end of the salary range.
Furthermore, the senior data scientist salary also depends on things like your specialization and duties. For example, if you specialize in machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), or deep learning, you’ll get a much higher salary.
Similarly, if your duties include data analytics, business intelligence initiatives, and data engineering, you’ll get a better salary.
The ideal candidate for the senior data scientist job is some who has experience with all forms of data-related jobs. Keep in mind that some companies have different job titles for a senior data scientist; that’s why some data analytics salaries may overlap.
Regardless of that, your senior data scientist salary should be among the salary figures above, and you should have all the basic benefits like healthcare, 401ks, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does it take to become a senior data scientist?
Typically, it takes around 1-2 years of learning and experience to become a data scientist. Once you’re there, becoming a senior data scientist can take somewhere between 3-5 years. It mostly depends on your educational background, expertise, specialization, and the projects you’ve worked on.
What does a senior data scientist do?
The senior data scientist tends to oversee the activities and progress of data scientists and junior data scientists. They provide their knowledge on big data, computer science, statistical concepts, and mathematical models to both data scientists and the analytics department.
That doesn’t mean that senior data scientists don’t work on their own projects. They tend to be experts in programming languages like Python, R, and Java. Other than that, they have a strong command of database languages like SQL.
Data scientists use their knowledge and expertise to develop machine learning models, run deep learning programs, and create artificial intelligence networks.
Other than that, they use their data science knowledge and their analytical skills to drive better decisions throughout the organization. Data scientists are usually the ones who have to develop the final reports on all the trends, patterns, and actionable insights derived from data. They then have to present the findings to the chief data scientist or directly to upper management, depending on the organizational structure and hierarchy.
Do data scientists make a lot of money?
Compared to the national average salary in the US, data scientists tend to make a lot of money. If they have an advanced quantitative degree, they can get hired on extremely high salaries, going into six figures.
However, even if a data scientist doesn’t have a degree, they can complete certifications and get passive experience to end up earning around $80,000/year at the start of their professional career.
Experienced data scientists will earn above $100,000 per year. Furthermore, if you work at a high-profile company that deals with massive amounts of data, you can easily earn more than $200,000 per year as a senior data scientist.
How much does a chief data scientist make?
The average yearly salary for a chief data scientist in the US is $180,393. The average salary range is between $114,000 and $287,000. Other than that, they tend to have several bonuses, profit-sharing opportunities, and stock options.
That can bring the yearly average total compensation to around $200,000. However, there are usually only a couple of chief data scientists at any given company, regardless of how big it is. That means their workload is always overbearing, but they get paid accordingly to it.
How much do data scientist managers make?
The average base pay for data scientist managers in the US is $157,389. The salary range is between $121,000 and $205,000.
Data scientist managers tend to be working above senior data scientists but below the chief data scientist. They usually manage all the senior data scientists and report back to the chief data scientist.
However, many organizations circumvent the job and don’t hire a data scientist manager. They usually give the duties of the data scientist manager to the senior data scientists or the chief data scientist.