Data Engineering Salary: Your 2022 Guide

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Discover how much a professional in data engineering earns in different companies, cities, and with different levels of experience and explore whether this is the career for you.

[Featured Image]:  A male data engineer is wearing a blue shirt and dark jacket.  He is working  at his laptop, at his desk in an office with other team members.

As a data engineer, your role is to organize databases and data warehouses, so they're optimized for storing and retrieving data. Data engineers help companies make sense of big data with SQL, NoSQL, or hybrid infrastructures. 

It's easier than ever to collect, store, and analyze massive amounts of data. That has consequently increased the demand for database engineer skills and experience. Data engineers often earn an average of over $100,000 yearly [1]. In this guide, you’ll learn what data engineers do, what can affect data engineer salaries, and how you can get started on this exciting career path. 

What does a data engineer do?

Data engineers are responsible for the engineering behind the systems that store, extract, and process data. They build  and maintain applications' databases and manage the infrastructure that allows them to run. As a data engineer, you might be responsible for a SQL data store and a MongoDB NoSQL data warehouse, where you’ll take care of all the activities that have to do with ensuring that data is accessible.

Data engineers are also part of a team that includes software engineers and developers, data analysts, and designers. Together, these professionals have the expertise to collect and manipulate data others use to achieve critical business objectives.

Data engineer responsibilities vary widely by organization. As a data engineer, you may do some or all of the following:

  • Design indexes on data stores (where queries will be fast) 

  • Choose the best storage technology (SQL or NoSQL) 

  • Ensure that the datastore is up-to-date and replicating it across multiple machines 

  • Tune data warehouses 

  • Create query plans and validating results

  • Identify patterns in historical data 

  • Analyze and optimize database performance

In a career as a data engineer, you’ll combine cutting-edge technical skills with creativity and often do so in business-critical applications.

How much do data engineers make?

The average job in data engineering earns $113,762 per year [1]. The average salary for a senior data engineer is $141,570 a year. You can generally expect a consistently high salary when you become a data engineer.

Factors affecting salary

How much you’ll earn as a data engineer depends on your level of education, certifications, years of experience, company size, industry, and location. 

Education

Bachelor's degrees are often the minimum requirement for data engineering positions. Companies often require a master's degree or professional doctorate and are typically looking to hire senior-level data engineers with proven leadership skills and industry experience. Advanced degrees can increase your earning potential by elevating you more rapidly to senior roles. 

Certifications

Specialized certifications, such as Cloudera Certified Data Engineer, demonstrate specific skills employers seek. Certifications from IBM, Amazon, Google, Oracle, and Microsoft can also help you earn more and get jobs in specialist roles. Here are some data engineer certifications to consider:

  • Google Certified Data Engineer Certification

  • Data Engineer Certifications by Microsoft

  • SAS Certified Big Data Professional

  • Google Professional Data Engineer

  • Data Science Council of America (DASCA) Associate Big Data Engineer

  • Data Science Council of America (DASCA) Senior Big Data Engineer

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Data Analytics – Specialty

  • Cloudera Data Platform Generalist Certification

Level of experience 

As you gain more experience as a data engineer, your salary will likely increase. According to data from Payscale, data engineers with one to four years of experience make an average annual salary of $88,494 [2]. The average yearly salary for professionals with five to nine years of experience increases to $105,107. 

The average annual salary for professionals with 10-19 years of experience increases to $116,960. The average yearly salary for professionals with over 20 years of experience is $117,669. With experience, you can usually expect to move into more senior roles.

Location

There are around 6500 data engineers in the country. How much you'll earn differs by location. At least a part of the reason for salary disparity between regions is that it costs less to live in some areas based on a metric that measures the difference in cost of living in the US, called the real personal consumption expenditure (PCE). Here are the average data engineer salaries in cities around the US as of May 2022:

  • Austin, $121,951 [18]

  • Boston, $114,608 [7]

  • Charlotte, $115,665 [22]

  • Chicago, $118,203 [4]

  • Columbus, $124,142 [11]

  • Dallas, $115,223 [20]

  • Denver, $108,448 [16]

  • Detroit, $119,127 [19]

  • El Paso, $118,013 [23]

  • Houston, $113,896 [8]

  • Indianapolis, $108,915 [15]

  • Los Angeles, $115,389 [5]

  • Las Vegas, $118,248 [24]

  • Nashville, $122,600 [21]

  • New York, $115,506 [3]

  • Philadelphia, $114,668 [6]

  • Phoenix, $111,700 [13]

  • San Antonio, $112,280 [10]

  • San Diego, $107,998 [9]

  • San Francisco, $126,100 [12]

  • San Jose, $118,210 [14]

  • Seattle, $127,304 [17]

  • Utah, $102,018 [25]

Company size

Company size often  impacts data engineer salaries. Companies offering higher salaries tend to be more significant employers—such as IBM, Amazon, Meta,  and Google—and often have larger, more experienced data science teams.

Job title variations and salary

Data engineer job titles vary by company, tasks, and skills required. Here are some common titles that data engineers can have:

  • Cloud data engineer:  $114,435 [32]

  • AI engineer: $116,581 [26]

  • Big data engineer: $120,239 [33]

  • Data science engineer: $119,229 [29]

  • Database architect: $121,883 [31]

  • Enterprise data architect: $149,739 [28]

  • Hadoop engineer: $121,131 [34]

  • Information systems engineer: $104,359 [27]

How to become a data engineer: Next steps

To become a data engineer, you should work to build and demonstrate a solid competency base across database technologies and coding. Typically, data engineers need at least a bachelor’s degree, some certifications, and professional experience.

Getting started with data engineering

If you’re ready to take the next step in your data engineering career, you may want to consider the Data Engineering Foundations Specialization, offered by IBM, or the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate. These provide you with the opportunity to learn foundational knowledge in data engineering.

Placeholder

specialization

Data Engineering Foundations

Build the Foundation for a Data Engineering Career. Develop hands-on experience with Python, SQL, and Relational Databases and master the fundamentals of the Data Engineering ecosystem.

4.7

(634 ratings)

7,660 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 5 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Information Engineering, Python Programming, Extraction, Transformation And Loading (ETL), Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), SQL, Data Science, Database (DBMS), NoSQL, Data Analysis, Pandas, Numpy, Web Scraping, Database (DB) Design, Database Architecture, Postgresql, MySQL, Cloud Databases, Ipython

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professional certificate

IBM Data Engineering

Launch your new career in Data Engineering. Master SQL, RDBMS, ETL, Data Warehousing, NoSQL, Big Data and Spark with hands-on job-ready skills.

4.6

(1,676 ratings)

22,406 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 15 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Relational Database Management Syste (RDBMS), ETL & Data Pipelines, NoSQL and Big Data, Apache Spark, SQL, Data Science, Database (DBMS), NoSQL, Python Programming, Data Analysis, Pandas, Numpy, Extraction, Transformation And Loading (ETL), Information Engineering, Web Scraping, Database (DB) Design, Database Architecture, Postgresql, MySQL, Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), Cloud Databases, Ipython, Shell Script, Bash (Unix Shell), Linux, Database Servers, Relational Database, Database Security, database administration, Apache Kafka, Apache Airflow, Data Pipelines, Data Warehousing, Cube and Rollup, Business Intelligence (BI), Star and Snowflake Schema, cognos analytics, Mongodb, Cloud Database, Cloudant, Cassandra, Apache Hadoop, SparkSQL, SparkML, Big Data, Relational Databases

Related articles

Article sources

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2. Payscale, “What is the Pay by Experience Level for Data Engineers?https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Data_Engineer/Salary.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

3. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in New York City, NY?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/new-york-city-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,13_IM615_KO14,27.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

4. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Chicago, IL?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/chicago-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,7_IM167_KO8,21.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

5. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Los Angeles, CA?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/los-angeles-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,11_IM508_KO12,25.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

6. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Philadelphia, PA?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/philadelphia-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,12_IM676_KO13,26.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

7. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Boston, MA?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/boston-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,6_IM109_KO7,20.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

8. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Houston, TX?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/houston-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,7_IM394_KO8,21.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

9. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in San Diego, CA?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/san-diego-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,9_IM758_KO10,23.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

10. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in San Antonio, TX?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/san-antonio-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,11_IM757_KO12,25.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

11. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Columbus, OH?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/columbus-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,8_IM196_KO9,22.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

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13. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Phoenix, AZ?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/phoenix-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,7_IM678_KO8,21.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

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15. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Indianapolis, IN?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/indianapolis-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,12_IM407_KO13,26.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

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19. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Detroit, MI?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/detroit-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,7_IM236_KO8,21.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

20. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/dallas-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,6_IM218_KO7,20.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

21. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Nashville, TN?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/nashville-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,9_IM604_KO10,23.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

22. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Charlotte, NC?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/charlotte-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,9_IM162_KO10,23.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

23. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in El Paso, TX?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/el-paso-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,7_IM265_KO8,21.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

24. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Las Vegas, NV?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/las-vegas-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,9_IM477_KO10,23.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

25. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Engineer make in Utah, US?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/utah-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,4_IS255_KO5,18.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

26. Glassdoor, “How much does a Artificial Intelligence Engineer make?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/artificial-intelligence-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,32.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

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28. Glassdoor, “How much does a Enterprise Data Architect make?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-enterprise-data-architect-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,28.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

29. Glassdoor, “How much does a Data Science Engineer make?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-data-science-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,24.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

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32. Glassdoor, “How much does a Cloud Data Engineer make?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-cloud-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,22.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

33. Glassdoor, “How much does a Big Data Engineer make?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-big-data-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,20.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

34. Glassdoor, “How much does a Hadoop Engineer make?https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-hadoop-engineer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,18.htm.” Accessed May 31, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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