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Data Scientist Salary: Career and Earning Potential in 2021

Data is everywhere and we create more and more of it every day. Data scientists identify trends and potential challenges through studying large datasets, making them crucial to organizations for decisions and growth. What’s more, the field of data science is predicted to grow by 31 percent from 2019-2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you’re considering expanding your existing skill set or are new to the field, understanding what you can expect for a data scientist salary is the first step. Here’s what you will need to know. 

What Can You Expect for a Data Scientist Salary

If you’re looking for a career with advancement opportunities, a job in data science offers many paths. The range for a data scientist salary is quite wide as it includes everything from data analyst roles up to managerial positions. 

Glassdoor reports the average base salary for data scientist roles in the U.S. is $106,261 with $81,000 on the low end and $139,000 on the high end. Salaries in the field can be even higher, depending on your education and skills. 

According to, the highest paying cities for data scientist salaries can range anywhere from $124,385 to $158,349. San Francisco, New York City, Austin, Los Angeles, San Diego and Chicago have the highest concentration of jobs.

Skills and Careers for Data Scientists

Employers often look for candidates with a strong background in statistics, machine learning, predictive modeling, Python, SQL, data visualization and Tableau. 

Besides being curious about their environment, data scientists must also have interpersonal skills to communicate with their team, clients and stakeholders. Many data scientists start their careers as statisticians or data analysts. Here are some other data science careers paths to explore.

The higher level of skill you have, the higher your data scientist salary is likely to be. The demand for individuals with these skills will continue to rise as more businesses understand the impact that data has on the bottom line.

Acquire the Skills to Land a Role with a Top Data Scientist Salary 

Data science careers are in high demand across many fields, from private businesses to the government and more. To be successful, organizations must rely on big data and this trend will not be slowing down any time soon.

If you’re looking to land the data scientist role you’ve always wanted, check out Udacity’s School of Data Science for a complete list of online offerings you can take on your own time in the comfort of your home.

The Data Scientist Nanodegree gives you the skills you’ll need to succeed as a data scientist. With real-world projects designed by  industry leaders and technical mentor support, you’ll learn data science essentials including running pipelines, building models and A/B testing.

Monique Roberts
Monique Roberts
Monique enjoys traveling, photography, and connecting with Udacity students around the world in addition to writing about digital transformation, career upskilling, and innovative technologies.