Data Analyst Salary: Still Rising in a Hot Field, for Those with Skills

Over the past decade or so, the position of data analyst has only become more prominent within most organizations. C-level executives increasingly rely on the insights gleaned from massive datasets to make short- and long-term decisions; judicious use of data can mean the difference between company success and massive failure. This importance means the average data analyst salary has steadily crept higher and higher with every passing year.

Data analysts have a huge say in how companies govern and use data. In addition to solving business problems and providing insight, they can end up writing algorithms, figuring out how to transform unstructured data into something useful, and explaining the importance of data to the uninitiated. The profession offers quite a number of opportunities to specialize; for example, healthcare, banking, and market-research firms are all hungry for data analysts who know their respective industries’ nuances.

So how much can data analysts actually make? To find an answer, we relied on the Dice database, inputting a number of cities across the country. Here are the results:

What can we glean from this? Even junior data analysts can pull down healthy salaries, especially in major cities such as San Francisco and New York City (which also come with a high cost of living, alas). And keep in mind that this is the Salary Calculator’s “base” salary—as you add more skills, the average salary only increases.

For example, a data analyst with five years’ experience, and who lives in San Francisco, can boost their salary by quite a bit if they add data modeling and data governance to their skillset. Specializing in technologies such as Apache Hadoop can raise the dollar amount still higher.

Nor is a data analyst salary the only means of compensation. Many companies offer benefit packages that include equity, stock options, bonuses, and other forms of additional payment; still others, in lieu of money or stock, will dangle perks such as flexible hours or remote work. If you’re a data analyst, salary shouldn’t be your only metric when deciding whether to take a job; given the importance of the role, you can often negotiate for the things you want.

If you’re about to interview for a data analyst job, check out Dice’s interview questions; and keep in mind that specializing in certain skills will only boost your worth, especially if you’re hoping to analyze data in a highly unique industry such as healthcare.