What to Expect at Different Levels of Experience

Earnings in data analytics are well above the median income of $47,000 for a full-time U.S. worker, but actual salaries change dramatically based on experience level.

Zippia reports that the average entry-level business / data analyst salary for someone with up to two years of experience and a bachelor’s degree is $54,000. After two to four years on the job, you can expect an average salary of $70,000. A senior analyst with around six years of experience commands a higher salary of about $88,000, but a specialization can make the data analyst salary soar past the $100,000 mark. (Zippia analyzed its own data plus salary information from the U.S. Labor Department, PayScale, and

Data analyst salaries increase steadily over the first five to 10 years, but afterward, it can prove difficult to obtain raises without broadening your skill set.

For this reason, many data analysts end up switching to careers in data science or data engineering. As demonstrated by the differences between data analysts and data scientists described here, data scientists tend to have more specialized skills in advanced programming, data modeling, and machine learning, which justify a pay increase.

According to the University of Wisconsin, the average data scientist earns $113,000, with salaries typically starting between $50,000 and $95,000. (It’s important to note that there continues to be some fluidity when it comes to data-related job titles. Analysts may decide to apply for both data analyst and data scientist job postings, depending on their skills and knowledge. It’s wise to pay more attention to the job requirements than the title itself.)

Data science positions may specify knowledge of languages and programs like Java, Python, predictive modeling algorithms, R, Business Objects, Periscope, ggplot, D3, Hadoop, Couch, MongoDB, and Neo4J. O’Reilly’s Data Science Survey shows that knowledge of Spark and Scala can add a $15,000 salary boost, while mastery of D3 results in an extra $15,000. PayScale predicts that five to 10 years of additional experience in data science is equal to $20,000 more in annual salary, 10 to 20 years of experience translates into $30,000 in additional salary, and more than 20 years of experience results in a $55,000 pay boost over time. Hard work definitely pays off in the long run.

Another career path for people interested in building data pipeline architecture and infrastructure is that of a data engineer. On Glassdoor, data engineers report salaries between $110,000 to $155,000, with average salaries nearing $138,000. Skills, ranging from software development to Scala, result in anywhere from a 2-17% salary boost, according to PayScale data.

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