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How Much Does a Computer Scientist Earn In The United States?

Computer Scientist Salaries
Updated December 31, 2020
Average Yearly Salary
$113,000
$79,000
$113,000
$161,000
Computer scientists in the United States make an average salary of $113,182 per year or $54.41 per hour. People on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $79,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $161,000. As most things go, location can be critical. Washington, Maine, California, Idaho, and New York provide the highest computer scientist salaries.
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Where Computer Scientists Earn The Most

The darker areas on the map show where computer scientists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary

How Much Do Computer Scientists Earn In Different Cities?

Throughout the U.S., the average salary for a computer scientist is roughly $113,182 per year, which boils down to $54.41 per hour. Interestingly enough, computer scientists have the highest salaries in Seattle, WA at about $136,077 per year. For those who are just starting out, the average entry-level salary in Seattle, WA is $89,000. Additionally, computer scientists make more than the average salary in San Francisco, CA, New York, NY, Washington, DC, Houston, TX, and Arlington, VA. On a more broad level, computer scientist salaries are highest in Washington, Maine, California, Idaho, New York, Oregon, and New Mexico. On the contrary, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Wisconsin offer the lowest computer scientist salaries.
Location
City
Average Salary

Seattle, WA

Salary Range109k - 169k$136k$136,077

San Francisco, CA

Salary Range98k - 172k$130k$130,486

New York, NY

Salary Range80k - 137k$105k$105,252

Washington, DC

Salary Range73k - 122k$95k$94,988

Houston, TX

Salary Range69k - 128k$95k$94,561

Arlington, VA

Salary Range71k - 118k$92k$92,117

Saint Paul, MN

Salary Range69k - 117k$91k$90,689

Chicago, IL

Salary Range68k - 116k$89k$89,384

Farmington, CT

Salary Range67k - 115k$88k$88,121

Boston, MA

Salary Range68k - 113k$88k$88,018
$54k
$172k

High Paying Computer Scientist Jobs

Which Companies Pay Computer Scientists The Most?

To earn a high income as a computer scientist, working for Intel or Microsoft might be your best bet, as they are the highest paying companies in this field. In addition, companies like Leidos and General Electric report highly competitive salaries for computer scientists.
Company
Company
Average Salary
Intel
Salary Range140k - 236k$182k$182,393
Microsoft
Salary Range136k - 233k$178k$178,148
Leidos
Salary Range134k - 231k$177k$176,602
General Electric
Salary Range130k - 226k$172k$171,760
Adobe
Salary Range127k - 222k$169k$168,577
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Salary Range132k - 171k$151k$150,983
BP America
Salary Range130k - 152k$141k$140,692
Palo Alto Networks
Salary Range123k - 139k$131k$131,303
Xerox
Salary Range115k - 147k$131k$130,530
Prescient Edge
Salary Range116k - 136k$126k$125,814
$104k
$236k

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

How would you rate the starting salaries for graduates in this field, as well as the salary prospects down the line as they advance in their careers?

Sheldon Logan Ph.D.

, University of California, Santa Cruz

Salaries are tricky since there is a vast range of starting salaries in the industries and their composition. In the tech field, wages are compromised of stock, bonus, and base salary. At the larger companies (e.g., Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.), the combination of those three might be up to 200k for a new grad, but it might be significantly less for smaller companies. These figures can grow into the half a million to the millions range as graduates advance in their careers as a larger portion of your salary becomes stocks. This is the situation now, and it's hard to predict where the industry will be 5 to 10 years in the future, especially as the field becomes saturated. As the supply of computer science/engineer grads increases (every school seems to have bigger and bigger classes each year), and efficiencies increase due to economies of scale (more companies moving to cloud-based solutions), with machine learning/AI improvements, etc., salaries might start trending down. Still, they might also trend up with a smaller cohort, etc.

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Computer Scientist Salary History

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

Location

    Recently Added Computer Scientist Salaries

    Location
    CompanyJobLocationDate AddedSalary
    Computer Scientist-EDA Researcher-Job Order 3066
    Computer Scientist-EDA Researcher-Job Order 3066
    Arlington, VA
    Arlington, VA
    01/30/2021
    01/30/2021
    $100,000
    $100,000
    01/30/2021
    Computer Scientist-GS/13, Pittsburgh Field Office/Pittsburgh, PA (FBI Only)
    Computer Scientist-GS/13, Pittsburgh Field Office/Pittsburgh, PA (FBI Only)
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Pittsburgh, PA
    01/17/2021
    01/17/2021
    $94,885
    $94,885
    01/17/2021
    Computer Scientist (Public Flyer Notice)
    Computer Scientist (Public Flyer Notice)
    Washington, DC
    Washington, DC
    01/14/2021
    01/14/2021
    $102,663
    $102,663
    01/14/2021
    Computer Scientist (Public Flyer Notice)
    Computer Scientist (Public Flyer Notice)
    Miami, FL
    Miami, FL
    01/14/2021
    01/14/2021
    $102,663
    $102,663
    01/14/2021
    Advanced Computer Scientist I
    Advanced Computer Scientist I
    Boulder, CO
    Boulder, CO
    12/19/2020
    12/19/2020
    $92,000
    $92,000
    12/19/2020
    Research Computing Associate/Computational Scientist
    Research Computing Associate/Computational Scientist
    Charlottesville, VA
    Charlottesville, VA
    12/02/2020
    12/02/2020
    $80,000
    $80,000
    12/02/2020
    Geological Survey
    Geological Survey
    Supervisory Computer Scientist
    Supervisory Computer Scientist
    Supervisory Computer Scientist
    La Crosse, WI
    La Crosse, WI
    11/29/2020
    11/29/2020
    $91,231
    $91,231
    11/29/2020
    Computer Scientist, Digital Design and Security, Remote-Job Order 3071
    Computer Scientist, Digital Design and Security, Remote-Job Order 3071
    Arlington, VA
    Arlington, VA
    11/21/2020
    11/21/2020
    $100,000
    $100,000
    11/21/2020
    Computer Scientist GS Counterintelligence Division, Washington, DC (External)
    Computer Scientist GS Counterintelligence Division, Washington, DC (External)
    Washington, DC
    Washington, DC
    11/12/2020
    11/12/2020
    $72,030
    $72,030
    11/12/2020
    Computer Scientist
    Computer Scientist
    Annapolis, MD
    Annapolis, MD
    11/11/2020
    11/11/2020
    $59,534
    $59,534
    11/11/2020