Which Industry Pays the Highest Data Scientist Salary? How To Make The Most Money As A Data Scientist

By Kathy Morris
Sep. 28, 2021

Find a Job You Really Want In

There are currently more than 66,000 open jobs for Data Scientists. This, coupled with a massive shortage of data talent and a high average salary of $97,953, make Data Science a promising career path.

However, Data Science is a wide, diverse field that spans nearly every industry. It leaves job seekers with many options. What are the most common industries for Data Scientists? Better yet, what industries pay Data Scientists the best? What skills do they need to succeed?

In this post, we answer all these questions and breakdown all the information you need to make the right career choices as a Data Scientist or aspiring Data Scientist.

Which industry pays the highest Data Scientist salary?  The highest-paid industry for Data Scientists is Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing with an average salary of $144,090

Highest Paid Industries For Data Scientist

While Data Science as a whole is a well-paid position, certain industries are more lucrative on average than others. Below you can see the five highest paid industries for Data Scientists, according to the BLS:

Source: BLS

Job seekers looking to maximize their earnings as a Data Scientist should prioritize job openings in these industries. More than that, however, job seekers should become acquainted with the different skills and requirements of Data Scientists in these lucrative industries.

For example, familiarity with a niche program or data analysis method might be all it takes to secure a spot in these moneymaking industries.

While these industries offer the highest paying jobs, they may be harder to secure due to their high pay and thus higher competition for available jobs. The majority of Data Scientists work in the following industries:

Most Common Industries For Data Scientist

Source: BLS

Keep reading to see how you can elevate your skills to land the most desirable Data Science jobs.

Most Valuable Data Scientist Skills

Source: IBM

Similar to how some industries are far more financially rewarding for Data Scientists, certain skills correlate with higher salaries.

Data Scientists, aspiring or established, can increase their earning power by acquiring these in-demand skills. These most lucrative analytical skills include advanced analytical and Big Data skills, such as MapReduce, Machine Learning, Apache Hadoop,
Data Science, and MongoDB, all of which have average salaries above $100,000,

Another area of opportunity for Data Scientists looking for an edge in the job market, is acquiring skills that employers struggle to find in Data Scientist candidates.

Hardest To Fill Data Scientist Skills

Source: IBM

The above chart highlights the Data Science skills that, according to IBM, are the hardest for employers to find. Across all analytics skills, those taking the longest for employers to hire include data infrastructure and management skills, such as Enterprise Data Management and Database Architecture; Big Data–related skills, such as Apache Hive and Pig; and Data Governance.

Data Science job listings with these skills remain open the longest, suggesting employers struggle to find qualified candidates possessing them.

Most Common Data Scientist Skills

Source: Zippia

Of course, we would be remiss to not highlight the most common Data Science skills. Any Data Science job seeker should expect to find these skills dominating the jobs listings.

In order to dominate the job market, some level of familiarity with Python, Data Analysis, R, Machine Learning, and other common skills will be needed.

Where Data Scientists Earn The Most

Finally, geography makes a difference in how much a Data Scientist can expect to earn. Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City feature the highest paying Data Science roles.

While cost of living, specific industry, skills, and personal preferences may make these cities less appealing to some individuals (or less lucrative), in general Data Science job seekers located in these financially rewarding cities should expect to receive the highest paychecks.

What career steps exist beyond Data Scientist?

Source: Zippia.com Zippia Logo

Of course, while your next job is important, so too is landing a job that allows you future career growth. As you can see from the above career map, Data Science is hardly a dead end career.

Data Scientists go on to advance their careers in multiple different paths.

Data Science Has A Lot To Offer Job Seekers

Data Science jobs offer bigger than average paychecks, with a high number of job openings for the available applicants.

There is a strong and growing demand for professional skilled in data, analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. According to IBM, Data Science jobs remain open 5 days longer than the average job listings.

Job seekers who wish to take part in this field will need to obtain certain skills to successfully land a Data Scientist job. Traditional 4-year programs, boot camps, and certificates all offer viable paths to starting a rewarding career in Data Science.

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Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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Topics: Study