Data Scientist Salary Guide: What to Expect in 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

When you’re interested in a career as a data scientist, several factors can inform your salary expectations. Learn how your location, education, and experience can play a role in how much you can earn in this exciting career path.

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As data becomes increasingly important for businesses to use in making critical decisions, the demand for data scientists looks good. A career as a data scientist has many well-paid opportunities. Read on to learn what you can expect as a data scientist salary in Canada. We’ll also share strategies to help you boost what you ask for compensation. 

What is a data scientist?

Data scientists dig into the deluge of data available and identify problems that could be solved by data analytics. They also determine the correct data sets and variables to analyze and glean important insights. Decision-makers use this valuable information to steer their companies in the right direction. 

With big data helping businesses capitalize on the new digital economy, data scientists are in demand to make sense of all that data. You can dig into data from several sources to understand consumer behaviour, inform business decisions, and drive innovation. 

Benefit from a strong employment growth rate

Industry Canada predicts a “good” job outlook for data scientists in most provinces over the next three years. Prospects are “very good” in Quebec, “moderate” in PEI and “undetermined” in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories for the same period [1].


How much do data scientists make?

According to Glassdoor [2], a data scientist in Canada earns an average salary of $99,507. 

Because data scientists can bring tremendous value to organizations, they can often negotiate for higher salaries. Still, many factors can influence a data scientist’s salary. Here is a breakdown of some of those considerations.

How location affects salary

Salaries for data scientists can vary significantly from region to region. According to Glassdoor, here is a list of data scientist base salaries in various cities in Canada as of January 2023: 

  • Toronto, ON: $102,687 [3]

  • Ottawa, ON: $105,569 [4]

  • Calgary, AB: $99,722 [5]

  • Vancouver, BC: $101,816 [6]

  • Edmonton, AB: $96,115 [7]

  • Montreal, QC: $93,071 [8]

How education affects salary

To become a data scientist, you will most likely want to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or computer science. Many data scientists also obtain master’s degrees and PhDs. The higher your education level, the higher you can generally expect your income level. 

How experience affects a data scientist's salary

The more experienced you are, the more data scientist salary you can typically earn. As a general rule of thumb, data scientists can expect an additional $2,000 to $2,500 salary increase for every year of experience. Also, managers tend to make more than standard data scientists.

How your career path affects your salary 

Your career path can also significantly impact your earning capabilities as a data scientist. As a general rule of thumb, working for high-quality large companies will usually enable you to get a higher salary than working for a smaller company. For example, some of the highest-paying companies annual salaries for data scientists in Canada are [2]:

  • Telus: $110,339

  • Shopify: $126,457

  • Teck Resources: $104,846

  • Manulife: $104,981

  • Loblaw Companies: $99,859

  • RBC: $98,729

Moving up in roles can also increase your earning power regardless of your company. You can generally expect a salary bump every time you advance from a level 1 data scientist to a level 2 data scientist, and so on. Also, a data scientist manager typically requires supervising others and tends to pay more, with an average annual salary of $127,983 [9].

How to increase your data scientist salary

As mentioned above, data scientist salaries typically increase with your education level. If you don't yet have a degree, consider earning a bachelor's or master's degree in data science or a related field. Some higher-paying senior data scientist roles may require a PhD. Consider earning an advanced degree if you want to obtain an advanced role.

Several Canadian universities offer master’s degrees in data science. These include:

  • The University of British Columbia 

  • University of Waterloo

  • Carleton University

  • Ryerson University 

  • Saint Mary’s University 

  • Trent University 

  • Langara College 

  • Simon Fraser University 

  • University of Toronto 

  • University of Alberta 

  • Western University 

Skills impact salary, too.

The more skills you have as a data scientist, the more valuable you will usually be to a given organization and the higher the salary you can expect. 

Earning a bachelor’s degree in data science or a related field is a good start. However, mastering these related skills can also help: 

  • Machine learning

  • Programming

  • Risk analysis

  • Cloud tools

  • Software engineering skills

  • Statistical analysis

  • Data mining and cleaning

  • Big data, platform usage

  • Data warehousing and structures

Although all the technical skills are important to master, do not underestimate the value of workplace skills. Employers all consider communication, collaboration, and critical thinking important and highly valued.  

What are the next steps? 

To improve your chances of becoming a highly paid data scientist, focus on advancing your education and gaining practical experience. If you need help mastering the skills of a data scientist, consider one of the Professional Certificates offered on Coursera, like the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate.

Article sources


Industry Canada. “Job opportunities next three years: Data Scientist,” Accessed June 13, 2024.

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