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How much do data scientists earn in Germany?

Since the dawn of the digital age, the amount of data available to businesses has risen enormously. With growing servers full of data, the demand for the skill to 1) build the required infrastructure and 2) understand and analyze the datasets has greatly increased. In 2012, Thomas Davenport and T. J. Patil were already advertising data science as “The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” in the Harvard Business Review. Their prediction has proven correct: The number of data science job postings has exploded over the last 5 years, and IBM predicts a 28% increase by 2020. How does this demand translate into salaries, and how much can data scientists expect to earn on the German market?

Data scientists earn more than EUR 50,000

In the workplace, salary figures are neither transparent nor openly discussed in most cases, and few reliable resources are publicly available. Glassdoor offers self-reported salary information by location and thus provides some insights into the salary structure of the job market for data science. Figure 1 shows the reported salaries in a Box plot. Data analysts (N=46) and data scientists (N=56) generally earn median salaries in the range of EUR 55,000. Senior roles (N=21) such as team leaders report salaries around EUR 100,000, but these roles often require years of experience in data science as well as management skills.

Figure 1: Data science salaries in Germany (Data source: Glassdoor)
 

Compared to gross salaries of average German university graduates, reported incomes in data science are high: In 2017, Absolventa reports an average entry salary of EUR 43,000 for university graduates. (total population average in 2016: EUR 33,396)

US salariesare significantly higher in expectation

According to datajobs.com, US salaries range from around USD 50,000 for entry level analysts up to USD 170,000 for experienced data scientists. Team leaders earn a substantial premium of up to USD 240,000. Some top data scientists at US tech companies may surpass this range by a large margin, though. While median US/German entry level salaries seem comparable, the right tail can thus be expected to be much larger in the US. On the other hand, living cost tends to be significantly lower in German cities than around the epicenter of the US tech industry in Silicon Valley.

 

Table 1: Data science salaries in the US (Source: datajobs.com)
Job Title Salary Range
Data Analyst – Entry-Level $ 50,000 - $70,000;
Data Analyst – Experienced $65,000 – $110,000
Data Scientist $85,000 – $170,000
Analytics Manager – 1-3 Direct Reports $90,000 – $140,000
Analytics Manager – 4-9 Direct Reports $130,000 – $175,000
Analytics Manager – 10+ Direct Reports; $160,000 – $240,000

 

German salaries are comparable to the rest of Europe

According to the 2016 O’Reilly Data Science Salary Survey, the median data scientist salary in Europe (except UK/Ireland) is USD 50,000 (EUR 44,000). Thus, German salaries are higher than in other parts of Europe, but lower than in UK/Ireland, Canada, Australia and the United States.  

Figure 2: Global salaries in data science (Source: O’Reilly Data Science Salary Survey 2016)

 

 

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