Power BI Developer: Starting and Average Salary, and More

Software vendors constantly release new data-analytics software packages. With businesses everywhere more interested than ever in mining their databases for crucial insights, an effective data analytics package can mean the difference between strategic success and failure. Power BI, Microsoft’s business analytics platform, is one of the more established offerings in this segment, competing against Tableau and other types of business-intelligence software for corporate customers.

If you’re interested in any kind of data analytics or business intelligence job, chances are good that you’ll end up at an organization that uses Power BI as part of its analytics “stack.” No data analytics job will rely solely on Microsoft’s platform—nonetheless, knowing how it works can help you land jobs. In addition, how much does Power BI knowledge actually pay?

What is a Power BI developer’s starting salary?

For the purposes of this article, we’re using “Power BI developer” as a catch-all term for any job that heavily leans on Power BI as a tool for developing and maintaining analytics dashboards, visualizations, and reporting. In other words, it’s synonymous with, say, “Power BI analyst,” “Power BI consultant,” or other jobs you might find online.

Those with zero to two years of experience with this platform can earn a median salary of $70,000, according to Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass), which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. Again, no analytics job depends entirely on any one tool; jobs that require knowledge of the platform often ask for familiarity with a variety of analytics tools.

What is a Power BI developer’s average salary?  

Again, according to Lightcast, the median salary for jobs that emphasize Power BI skills is $86,000. This is unchanged from the last time we did this analysis in early 2021, suggesting that demand for this skill remains stable (and that’s a good thing!).  

How long does it take to learn Power BI?

If you’re the self-learning type, Microsoft offers extensive documentation and a learning portal for Power BI on its site. But your speed of learning may vary on your familiarity with data analytics; if you’re well-versed in analytics workflows, creating visualizations, and similar tasks, you might be able to learn this platform pretty quickly. (Each of Microsoft’s learning paths and modules for Power BI can take anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours to finish, depending on their complexity.)

Keep in mind that organizations everywhere want data analysts well versed in a number of tools and programming languages, including (but not limited to) knowledge of SQL, Tableau, data analysis, Python (which is a rapidly rising programming language within data analytics), data warehousing and visualization, and SQL Server. It can take years to master the intricacies of data analytics, but don’t let that discourage you—data and B.I. analysts can draw huge salaries and a great deal of satisfaction from their roles.

Are BI developers in demand?  

According to Lightcast, some 325,510 job postings over the past 12 months have cited Power BI skills. In addition, job-related growth is expected to increase 143 percent over the next two years. That suggests a strong level of demand—which is no surprise, considering the growth and popularity of business and data analytics.

What skills do you need as a Power BI developer?

Skills that appear alongside Power BI in job postings include SQL, Tableau, Python, data analytics, project management, data visualization, and knowledge of project management, data warehousing, and business intelligence. As we mentioned before, it can prove time-consuming to learn all the skills associated with data analytics—however, if you can convey to a recruiter or hiring manager that you have the ability to learn new things quickly, chances are good you can land a data analytics job even if you haven’t mastered all the relevant tools, languages, and platforms.