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How Much Is a Data Scientist’s Salary?

The average data scientist salary is $100,560, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The driving factor behind high data science salaries is that organizations are realizing the power of big data and want to use it to drive smart business decisions. And because the supply of data professionals hasn’t yet caught up with demand, starting salaries for these positions remain high, especially for those who have an advanced degree in data science or a related field. 

How Much Can You Make as a Data Scientist?

It’s no secret that data scientists can bring an immense amount of value to the table. Yet finding one person who can do all the tasks required of a data scientist is challenging, and competition over hiring these professionals is fierce. As a result, employers are willing to pay talented data scientists top salaries.

A data scientist’s salary depends on several factors:

Data Scientist Salary by Experience

According to O’Reilly’s2016 Data Science Salary Survey, experience is one of the most important factors in a data scientist’s salary. For every year of experience, data science professionals make an average of $2,000 to $2,500 more.

A 2020 Burtch-Works study of data science salaries reported the latest salary trends based on experience:

Entry-level data scientist salary. Despite a recent influx of early-career professionals, the median starting salary for a data scientist remains high at $95,000.

Mid-level data scientist salary. The median salary for a mid-level data scientist is $130,000. If this data scientist is also in a managerial role, the median salary rises to $195,000. 

Experienced data scientist salary.The median salary for experienced data science professionals is $165,000—while the median salary for experienced manager-level professionals is considerably higher at $250,000.

2020 Data Science Salaries

Data Scientist Salary by Job Title

In O’Reilly’s data science salary report, 45 percent of those surveyed said they hold the title of “data scientist.” Another 31 percent said they are upper management; an engineer, developer, or programmer; or other. In general, the more a data science professional engages in managerial tasks—such as leading team projects, identifying business problems to be solved with analytics, or communicating with external parties—the higher the salary.

data scientist salary

Data scientist
Those with the job title of “data scientist” are generally experienced, expert-level professionals in data-driven organizations, according to
Salary range: $85,000-$170,000

Data analyst
Data analysts work hands-on with data and tend to be at a point in their careers when they are focused on building up data science tools and skill sets.
Entry-level salary: $50,000-$75,000
Experienced salary: $65,000-$110,000

Data science/analytics manager
These professionals have one to three direct reports, sharp technical and quantitative skills, and strong leadership and business aptitude.
Salary range: $90,000-$140,000

Big data engineer
Engineers can solve problems and drive business value by building the platforms and applications that data scientists use to perform data analytics.
Junior/generalist salary: $70,000-$115,000
Domain expert salary: $100,000-$165,000

Data Scientist Salary by Industry and Company Size

The industries with the highest median data science salaries are:

  1. Cloud services, hosting, and CDN
  2. Search and social networking
  3. Banking and finance

It’s important to note that only 12 percent of data scientists surveyed by O’Reilly in 2016 worked in these three industries. Nearly 30 percent worked in either consulting or software (SAAS, web, and mobile).

data scientist salary

Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the highest paid data scientists work at leading tech companies. Here are average salaries at several high-profile organizations:

Google: $152,856
Apple: $145,974
Twitter: $135,360
Facebook: $134,715
PayPal: $132,909
Airbnb: $127,852
Microsoft: $123,328

As far as company size, the larger the organization, the larger the salary. For example, in a company with at least 10,000 employees, a data scientist would likely earn a higher income than the same role at a company with less than 1,000 employees.

data scientist salary

Data Scientist Salary by Region

Data scientists’ salaries depend greatly on the region in which they live. The highest salaries are in California, which is also where the majority of data scientists surveyed by O’Reilly work. The Pacific Northwest has fewer data scientists than most regions of the country, but it boasts the second highest salaries.

data scientist salary

Data Scientist Salary by Education

Data scientists are rare, especially when it comes to having the right combination of education and skills. At the most basic level, data scientists must know how to write code. In fact, the highest data scientist salaries belong to those who code four to eight hours per week; the lowest salaries belong to those who don’t code at all.

Data scientists also need to wield the technologies that tame big data—and be able to learn the new and emerging ones—as well as open-source tools, cloud computing, and data visualization. It’s not enough to simply know how to use these tools, however; it’s crucial that data scientists know how to use them to derive actionable insights that will improve their organization.

Additionally, data science positions require sharp business acumen, scientific curiosity, and strong leadership and communication skills. Having them will greatly affect salary. 

Data scientists tend to have advanced degrees in quantitative disciplines such as data science, applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, economics, or operations research. A data science master’s degree will give you the precise education you need to be ready for a career in data science. Not ready for a full master’s degree? A data science certificate can help you keep pace in the rapidly evolving field. 


What’s Next?

University of Wisconsin offers an online Master of Science in Data Science and Graduate Certificate in Data Science.

Start your journey.

Curious about what you’d learn in UW Data Science courses? See the curriculum.

Have questions about University of Wisconsin Data Science? Contact an adviser at 608-262-2011 or [email protected]


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Facebook Data Scientist Position Guide

Find out what it means to be a data scientist at Facebook!

Facebook Data Scientist Position Guide

Facebook, Inc. is a social media conglomerate that “gives people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” It includes the social media platforms Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, as well as other products such as Giphy, Mapillary, and Oculus VR. Founded in 2004, the company now has over forty thousand employees across the United States, with a user base of over 3 billion people worldwide.

As of 2021, Facebook has over 1 billion stories and 100 billion messages shared among its users every day, not to mention the over 200 million businesses on their platform. This means Facebook has one of the richest data sets in the world, with a massive volume of information on user activity and interactions built on top of a robust global infrastructure. Data roles at Facebook create actionable insights for business, marketing, and engineering products.

Find more information about working at Facebook on their Careers page. Learn more about Facebook’s Data & Analytics teams here. Be sure to also check out Facebook’s Career FAQs.

Salaries of Facebook Data Positions

Here's a quick overview of the types of data positions at Facebook and their respective salaries, with a comparison to the national average.

National SalaryFacebook SalaryRequired experience
Data Analyst43k ~ 95k (average 62k)average 114kData Analyst roles at Facebook generally require a bachelor's degree and three or more years of experience
Data Scientist83k ~ 154k (average 113k)average 159kData Scientist roles generally require a bachelor’s degree with four or more years, or an advanced degree (masters or PhD’s) with two or more years of experience
Data Engineer72k ~ 158k (average 103k)average 157kData Engineer roles generally require a bachelor's degree with five or more years of experience

Total compensation at Facebook also includes health & dental insurance, life insurance, 401k with company match, stock RSUs, and bonuses.

Let's take a look at additional qualifications for these roles.

Facebook Data Analyst Risk Operations Position
Data Scientist Product Analytics Facebook Ecosystems Position
Facebook Data Engineer Analytics Domain Specialist Position

Roles and Required Experience for Data Positions at Facebook

Data AnalystData ScientistData Engineer
Minimum Qualifications3+ years of experience designing, running, and presenting data analysisBachelors/Masters Degree with 4+ years (or PhD with 2+ years) of experience working within an analytical role5+ years experience in the data warehouse space
2+ years of experience querying data (SQL or similar) or performing statistical analysis (R, Python, or similar)2+ years of experience communicating the results of analyses to leadership teams to influence the strategy5+ years experience in custom ETL design, implementation and maintenance.
7+ years experience with schema design and dimensional data modeling.
Collaborative ExperienceExperience working autonomously and collaborativelyExperience working independently and as a member of a cross-functional teamExperience managing and communicating data warehouse plans to internal clients
Experience explaining data analyses to cross-functional teams who are not focused on analytical workExperience in Tech industry leading large projectsExperience analyzing data to identify deliverables, gaps, and inconsistencies
Analytical ExperienceAnalytically driven with experience manipulating large data sets in SQL or equivalent, and drawing actionable insights from dataExperience in using SQL to query and manipulate large data sets for analysisExperience with large data sets, Hadoop, and data visualization tools
Experience with ML and statistical knowledgeExperience with data architecture, data modeling, schema design, and software development
Preferred QualificationsAdvanced degree6+ years of experience in all the above minimumsBachelor's degree in Technical Field, Computer Science, or Mathematics

Types of Data Positions at Facebook

Data Scientist teams perform a vital function to every team at Facebook, and there are many teams throughout the company at varying levels of the organization. This goes from the broader financial and operation analysts to a wide range of product-specific roles across Facebook's multitude of platforms. The responsibility and focus of a data role will vary depending on the department you are hired for.

These departments include:

Product Analytics

With Facebook’s reach across so many platforms, it’s only natural they have Data Science teams dedicated to each and every one. There are the most open data roles in this area, especially given all the different products that Facebook provides. For perspective, there are teams dedicated to Instagram stories, Instagram product performance, the Facebook app, Facebook Ecosystems, the Messenger platform, payment analytics, and more.

A data role in Product Analytics will:

  • Apply expertise in quantitative analysis, data mining, and the presentation of data, seeing beyond the numbers to understand how users interact with consumer and business products
  • Solve problems and identify trends and opportunities
  • Inform, influence, support, and execute product decisions and launches

Data Engineers primarily fall into this category, working cross-functionally to:

  • Architect build and launch new data models that provide intuitive analytics
  • Design and develop new systems and tools to enable folks to consume and understand data faster
  • Define problem statements, collect data, and make recommendations


Driving Facebook's largest source of revenue, advertising teams work to create meaningful impressions for over 1.5 billion people on Facebook products every day. Using cutting-edge Machine Learning algorithms, these teams create an impact at a global scale to improve the relevance and quality for both users and advertisers.

A data role in Advertising will:

  • Do market research and convert the research insights into building product strategy
  • Leverage data to inform the right business decision, such as designing how to evaluate the product performance and whether they should be launched
  • Influence product teams through presentation of data-based recommendations, communicating state of business and experiment results

Business & Finance

Business and finance teams play a unique role in Facebook, coordinating across a number of groups in the company in a highly cross-functional and partner-facing role. These teams deliver key financial insights and business trends to management and other teams.

  • Analyze and model the financial ecosystem, developing actionable insights to enable strong financial decision making
  • Influence the direction of the business by effectively communicating results to the rest of the team and company leaders
  • Assess market opportunities and analyze current business performance to extrapolate current and historical trends into forward-looking forecasts

Now that you know more about the roles and responsibilities of data teams at Facebook, here's how the interview process works.

Outlining the Data Scientist Interview Process at Facebook

Facebook has a fairly standard and extensive interview process, from the initial phone call screening through the hiring manager interview, and finally the on-site interview.

Application & Initial Screen

After the (obvious) first step of submitting your resume, there is an initial screening phone call with a recruiter. This is a short half-hour conversation where the recruiter explains the role and the upcoming interview process, with behavioral and product sense questions to briefly discuss your background and understanding of Facebook.

Hiring Manager/Team Member Call

Next up is an hour-long call with a hiring manager or team member, which will go more in-depth about your experiences and technical expertise. This will include scenario-based questions related to the role and a coding segment.

Full Day On-site Interview

Unlike some companies, Facebook does not do a take-home data challenge. Instead, there typically is a full day on-site interview. This includes meetings with a variety of team members you will (ideally!) soon be working with, including three rounds of technical interviews and a behavioral interview, with a lunch break in between.

Note: the interviews will be virtual and the interview format may vary for the duration of the pandemic.

Types of Data Scientist Interview Questions at Facebook

The data science interview questions at Facebook generally fall into the following categories. We’ve included some real examples of each, and have discussion pages and walkthroughs linked for some of the questions as well.

Behavioral Questions

Interviews always include the typical questions about your background and experiences, with many variations of "Tell me about a time where…"

  • What were you doing on your very best day at work?
  • What's your plan for the first sixth months?
  • What was the most difficult thing you experienced in a project?

We discuss how to approach behavioral questions in an interview here.

Product Sense & Business Cases

These questions help gauge your interest in Facebook as a company as well as your knowledge of Facebook products.

Data Analysis & Coding

This portion of the interview tests your coding ability, covering technical details of the code with specific examples, often sequential join questions that start off at a basic level and become more and more complicated.

  • What is the difference between a left join vs. a union vs. a right join?
  • What is the overall friend acceptance rate by date?
  • Write a query to calculate the distribution of comments by the count of users that joined Facebook between 2018 and 2020, for the month of January 2020.

Check out our post on the Most Common SQL Data Analyst Interview Questions by Facebook

Modeling Techniques

These questions cover practical applications of your coding ability and how you approach data problems. Don't forget the natural followup to any modeling question: "How can you tell that your model is working?" 

Quick Tips

  • Do your research about the role and interview process. (You're here already so that's a good start!)
  • Explain your thought process when doing coding questions. It’s important that your interviewer knows how you approach solving problems.
  • Spend some time to take stock of your skillset and assess what you need to work on, whether it be an area of SQL syntax or your interview skills.

Additional Resources

Remember to read up on Facebook’s Data & Analytics team and to explore the Facebook Careers FAQ. Check out our forum of Facebook’s Data Science interview questions here. We also write blog posts that walk you through how to solve specific Data Scientist interview questions from Facebook. Be sure to research the most recent interviews and salary information for the role on Glassdoor. also has up-to-date information on salaries and benefits.

Complete Data Science Career Guide with Former Facebook Data Scientist Joma

Facebook Data Scientist Salary in the United States

How much does a Data Scientist make at companies like Facebook in the United States? The average salary for Data Scientist at companies like Facebook in the United States is $107,369 as of September 27, 2021, but the range typically falls between $96,440 and $119,678. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, helps you determine your exact pay target.  View the Cost of Living in Major Cities

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Understand the total compensation opportunity for Data Scientist at companies like Facebook, base salary plus other pay elements

Average Base Salary

Core compensation

Average Total Cash Compensation

Includes base and annual incentives

These charts show the average base salary (core compensation), as well as the average total cash compensation for Data Scientist in companies like Facebook in the United States. The base salary for Data Scientist in companies like Facebook range from $96,440 to $119,678 with the average base salary of $107,369. The total cash compensation, which includes bonus, and annual incentives, can vary anywhere from $102,875 to $127,921 with the average total cash compensation of $114,897.
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What does a Data Scientist do?

Data Scientist in Menlo Park, CA
Develop advanced and predictive models such as customer segmentation, lead prioritization, churn prediction and assist sales teams in using these models.
Understanding product and cross-product ecosystems, user behaviors, and long-term trend.
Design and analysis of cryptographic algorithms and protocols, homomorphic encryption, secure multi-party computation, searchable encryption, and/or their application to data protection and privacy, authentication, payments, or digital advertising.
Facebook, Inc. is an American online social media and social networking service company. It is based in Menlo Park, California. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies along with Amazon, Apple, and Google. The founders initially limited the website's membership to Harvard students and subsequently Columbia, Stanford, and Yale students. Membership was eventually expanded to the remaining Ivy League schools, MIT, and h...
Source: Wikipedia (as of 04/17/2019). Read more from Wikipedia

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The Facebook Data Science Interview Questions


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