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Posted On: January 8, 2018 by Henry R. Steele

The following article discusses the career path of Data Scientist. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Data Scientists.

Job Duties

Data scientists work in the field of information technology (IT), where they mine complex data in order to provide the organization with important information. They focus on new IT topics and determine which ones to implement and how to further the organization. They work in partnership with all other members of the IT department in order to create need-based models and manage statistical data. Thanks to their advanced communication and analytical skills, they can take research information and translate it into an actionable strategy.

A data scientist must follow the guidelines as set by the state and federal government, their industry, and the company itself. There is a strong focus on data privacy, ensuring clients are satisfied and legal issues are avoided. Furthermore, they network closely with other professionals, both internally and through external organizations, in order to ensure the right data is available and that it is managed in the right way. They always have to keep their knowledge up to date in order to be able to deal with up to date technology, particularly in relation to computers and software applications.

Other job duties of data scientists are:

  • To create, build, and design new sets of data for production, data mining, and modeling purposes
  • To find new ways to create better search and data quality, as well as developing improved predictive capabilities
  • To complete product experiments and data studies and interpret this data to further the organization
  • To create custom analysis, predictive models, algorithms, proof of concepts, and prototypes

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 27,900 computer and information research scientists in 2016, a profession closely related to that of the data scientist.

See also How to Score a Career in Big Data

The largest employers of these professionals were:

  • Federal government, excluding postal service: 28%
  • Computer systems design and related services: 20%
  • Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences: 17%
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private: 8%
  • Software publishers: 6%

How to Become

A data scientist has to be highly experienced. In order to gain advanced knowledge of the various techniques involved in data mining, such as support vector machines, decision trees, regression analysis, and clustering, they are generally expected to hold an advanced degree such as a Ph.D. in computer science.

Education Requirements

A master’s degree or MBA is classed as the bare minimum for a data scientist, with exception of federal government, who will accept those with a bachelor’s degree depending on the position. More and more commonly, however, the Ph.D. is required in a field such as computer engineering or computer science. This is particularly important for those who work in specialized fields, such as biomedical applications.

Traits & Qualities

The most effective data scientists have the following traits to some degree or other:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Being detail oriented
  • Having ingenuity
  • Strong logical thinking skills
  • Mathematical skills

Minimum Education

Master’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Data Scientist was $130,297. This number is estimated from over 4,159,024 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $67.86 and monthly of $10,858.

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$45,000

$258,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Data Scientist salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, California had the largest quoted salary of $141,886 while Alabama had the smallest quoted salary of $15,151.

Alabama Iowa Minnesota Pennsylvania
Arkansas Idaho Missouri South Carolina
Arizona Illinois North Carolina Tennessee
California Indiana Nebraska Texas
Colorado Kansas New Jersey Utah
Connecticut Kentucky Nevada Virginia
DC Massachusetts New York Washington
Delaware Maryland Ohio Wisconsin
Florida Maine Oklahoma
Georgia Michigan Oregon
Alabama$15,151 Rank: 38th
The average salary ranks 38th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like World IT Solutions.

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$60.00

$94.70

Salary Distribution
Arkansas$110,209 Rank: 20th
The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders and Walmart.

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$46,000

$202,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$135,661 Rank: 4th
The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Technology, CyberCoders, Moxie Recruiting – Client, and VincentBenjamin.

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$42,000

$281,000

Salary Distribution
California$141,886 Rank: 1st
The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Intelletec, Netflix, Forrester Bradley International, and Roland and Associates.

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$53,000

$272,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$108,522 Rank: 22nd
The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Oracle, National Security Agency, Mental Health Center of Denver, and Aura Analytics LLC.

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$44,000

$201,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$112,793 Rank: 19th
The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Hartford Fire Insurance Company, All-In Analytics, GQR Global Markets, and JEG Search.

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$41,000

$218,000

Salary Distribution
DC$116,618 Rank: 15th
The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The Talent Solution, Mindbank, Selby Jennings, and Jobspring Partners.

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$41,000

$229,000

Salary Distribution
Delaware$114,671 Rank: 16th
The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Motion Recruitment Partners Prod and CyberCoders.

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$41,000

$223,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$101,742 Rank: 27th
The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Benton Search Assoc., Inc., Robert Half Technology, SysMind, and PF1Professional Services, Inc..

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$31,000

$213,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$108,217 Rank: 23rd
The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Infor (US), Inc., Careerbuilder, Rang Technologies Inc., and 360i LLC.

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$40,000

$207,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$90,746 Rank: 35th
The average salary ranks 35th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Technology, V Dart, Inc., and CyberCoders.

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$34,000

$175,000

Salary Distribution
Idaho$97,378 Rank: 33rd
The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders.

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$26,000

$213,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$125,187 Rank: 11th
The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Harnham, GQR Global Markets, Intl CPG Firm, Chicago, IL, and Motion Recruitment Partners Prod.

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$50,000

$232,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$98,590 Rank: 31st
The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Washington Frank, Pinnacle Partners, Inc, and Momentum LLC.

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$28,000

$210,000

Salary Distribution
Kansas$128,032 Rank: 8th
The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Data Sciences Gobal and CyberCoders.

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$39,000

$267,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$89,341 Rank: 36th
The average salary ranks 36th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Mesh Recruiting and University of Kentucky.

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$34,000

$169,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$125,633 Rank: 10th
The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Selby Jennings, Darwin Recruitment, Gables Search Group, and ICONSTAFF.

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$57,000

$219,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$105,522 Rank: 24th
The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like GMS Advisors, Washington Defense Corporation, Empiric, and CyberCoders.

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$31,000

$224,000

Salary Distribution
Maine$78,922 Rank: 37th
The average salary ranks 37th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Remedy Intelligent Staffing.

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$26,000

$159,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$99,350 Rank: 29th
The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Ford Motor Company, The University of Michigan, Quadrant Four, and Terminal Contacts LLC.

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$36,000

$192,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$97,432 Rank: 32nd
The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, University of Minnesota, Infinity Consulting Solutions, and Robert Half Technology.

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$36,000

$188,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$102,547 Rank: 26th
The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Frank Recruitment Group, MBCAA, All-In Analytics, and Washington Frank.

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$39,000

$196,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$118,094 Rank: 14th
The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Bertram & Associates, Burtch Works, 3coast, and Jim Crumpley & Associates.

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$29,000

$265,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$96,344 Rank: 34th
The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders.

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$29,000

$201,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$120,403 Rank: 12th
The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Access Staffing LLC, Selby Jennings, Roland and Associates, and Applefield Recruitment.

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$37,000

$251,000

Salary Distribution
Nevada$131,370 Rank: 6th
The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Technology and CyberCoders.

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$41,000

$272,000

Salary Distribution
New York$139,456 Rank: 3rd
The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Rinalytics Advisors, Venturi Group, GQR Global Markets, and Huxley Associates.

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$45,000

$285,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$98,703 Rank: 30th
The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like IBM, Ind Hr Solution, Harnham, and Emerald Resource Group.

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$36,000

$192,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$110,205 Rank: 21st
The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Fuse3 Solutions, Robert Half Technology, and Fidelis Secure Care.

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$29,000

$243,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$139,582 Rank: 2nd
The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like WSI Nationwide, Inc., CyberCoders, Acro Service Corporation, and Intel.

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$71,000

$230,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$113,257 Rank: 18th
The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TechInMotion, Analytic Recruiting, Harnham, and HDJ & Associates, Inc..

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$41,000

$220,000

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$103,894 Rank: 25th
The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like HireNetworks and CyberCoders.

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$51,000

$174,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$101,580 Rank: 28th
The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Alliance IT, Next Generation Recruitment & Staffing Agency, and CyberCoders.

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$36,000

$199,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$120,347 Rank: 13th
The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Forrester Bradley International, Systematic business consulting, Hire Horizons, and SearchStars.

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$39,000

$245,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$113,300 Rank: 17th
The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Utah, Harnham, ConsultNet, and CyberCoders.

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$46,000

$210,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$126,866 Rank: 9th
The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Zachary Piper Solutions, Piper Companies, Motion Recruitment Partners Prod, and Motion Partners.

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$48,000

$241,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$130,468 Rank: 7th
The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Smith Hanley Associates, LLC, Prime Team Partners, Cutting Edge Medical Diagnostics, and Facebook.

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$52,000

$244,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$134,969 Rank: 5th
The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Wisconsin–Madison, Relevante Inc, Workbridge Associates, and Ezra Penland Actuarial Recruitment.

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$39,000

$288,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Data Scientist. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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