Data Scientist Is Still a Hot Job and Pays Well Too

According to Burtch Works, a recruiting agency, data scientists typically have some fluency in one or more programming languages used for doing statistical analysis and deploying prediction models in a software ecosystem.

Languages such as Python and R are favorites of data scientists, according to Kaggle, a platform for data science competitions.

But they also use a slew of other technical tools like Hive, BigQuery, AWS, Spark, and Hadoop, among several others.

Many data scientists’ formal education is in a discipline like computer science, statistics, or a quantitative social science.

Nearly all data scientists have some training in statistical modeling and machine learning, as well as programming.

A mixture of rigorous theory and software craft.

Houston, San Francisco offer best salaries for data scientists The typical data scientist earns a high salary.

The top cities for data scientists are Houston and San Francisco, with average cost-of-living-adjusted salaries of just over $120,000.

In the ultra-expensive San Francisco area, in real terms this translates to an average data scientist salary of $167,000.

San Francisco pays well both in absolute and relative terms for data scientists.

Whereas in cheaper Houston, the actual average salary is about $138,000.

Boston had the greatest number of qualifying postings in 2018, with the New York metro area second and San Francisco third.

For comparison, the average wage nationwide for Computer Programmers was $88,000 in 2017, according to the BLS.

Yet it was $107,00 for Software Developers, Applications.

The table below lists the metro areas with at least 50 qualifying job postings in 2018 for a data scientist: Job postings and searches on Indeed.

com were taken from December 1, 2016 to January 1, 2019, and calculated as a share of all postings and searches.

Postings were identified by having “data” and either “science” or “scientist” in the job title.

Searches were identified by having any version of “data science” or “data scientist” in the search query.

Data scientist salaries are grouped by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) according to the location of the posting and averaged.

The local cost-of-living adjustment was done using data from the U.


Bureau of Economic Analysis regional price parities for 2016, released in May 2018.

This cost-of-living data reflects local differences in the price of housing, other services and physical goods.

About the Author Andrew Flowers is an Economist at Indeed.

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