Big Data Engineer Salary: What to Expect in 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Big data engineering is one of the fastest-growing technological jobs, with salaries to match the demand. Here’s a guide to what big data engineers can earn.

[Featured Image] Person reading data from two separate computer screens

It’s no secret that big data is the future—in fact, it is already very much integrated and needed in many of the products, services, and systems in our society today. That means there is huge potential to make big salaries as a big data engineer. 

Typically, a big data engineer is not entry-level, so it's a good idea to get your feet wet in other data professions before pursuing a big data engineer role. 

In 2022, Data Analytics India Magazine predicted huge job growth potential for data engineers. The market is set to grow to over USD 86 billion by 2027, with a projected growth rate of over 475 percent [1].

What is big data engineering?

Big data engineers are professionals responsible for developing, maintaining, testing, analysing, and evaluating a company’s data. “Big data” refers to the sweeping data sets companies collect in everyday business operations. A big data engineer interacts with data processing systems and databases to extract the data and transform it into workable sets that can be used to improve an organisation’s efficiency, profitability, and scalability. 

Data engineer vs data analyst vs data scientist: What’s the difference?

It is easy to confuse data engineers, analysts, and scientists, who all work with data differently. Data engineers build and maintain the systems that collect and extract data, while data analysts analyse this cleaned-up data to generate meaningful insights and solve business problems. Data scientists are the ones who build new algorithms to make predictions.

How much do big data engineers make?

According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for big data engineers in India is ₹8,37,834 [2]. However, various factors, including location, industry, and experience, can affect salaries. Below are additional salary estimates from popular job boards as of May 2024: 

  • Ambition Box: ₹10,70,000 [3]

  • SalaryExpert: ₹20,01,773[4]

  • Naukri: ₹8,50,000 [5]

Big data engineer salaries by location

Where you live (or where your company is based) can impact how much you can make as a big data engineer. Working from bigger cities or business hubs typically means a higher salary to accommodate higher living costs. However, as companies shift toward a more remote workforce, some may offer location-based salaries, while others remain commensurate with experience levels.

Here’s a sampling of big data engineer salaries in cities across India according to data from Glassdoor in May 2024:

CityAverage base salary (Glassdoor)
New Delhi₹10,85,000

Remote work vs digital nomad

Salaries may also differ depending on your nationality and the country you choose to work from.  In a Talent Tech Outlook 2022 study, data revealed that more than 82 percent of workers prefer working remotely, with 64 percent of respondents showing that they’re more productive and less stressed when working from home [7]. 

Hiring managers also need help finding workers willing to work full-time in person. Thus, it’s increasingly important for employers to offer remote work opportunities.

However, some workers want to work in a different country than their employer. These digital nomads may work for various countries, including the US. It’s always a good idea to check laws, such as which country you’ll pay taxes in when applying for positions.


Big data engineer salaries by industry

Nearly every industry today uses big data, so there is a huge demand for big data engineers to harness that data to drive decision-making. But not every industry pays the same. Knowing which ones pay more can be beneficial for your career. Tech companies are popular to work for because they tend to pay well. 

You can find big data engineering roles in many high-earning industries—finance and insurance, professional, scientific and technical services, information technology, management, and manufacturing.

Big data engineer salaries by experience

One of the factors that can influence your salary is your experience level. Generally, the more years of experience you gain as a big data engineer, the more you’ll earn. Here’s how experience can impact your salary, according to Glassdoor’s estimates as of May 2024 [2]. 

  • 2-4 years, Data Engineer: ₹5,00,000–₹16,00,000

  • 5-7 years, Lead Data Engineer: ₹17,00,000–₹31,00,000

  • 8+ years, Principal Data Engineer: ₹22,00,000–₹40,00,000

  • 8+ years, Senior Principal of Data Engineering: ₹30,00,000–₹35,00,000

In each of the roles above, “Senior” can be tacked onto the front of the job title and usually indicates a higher salary. Many big data engineers start in other entry-level positions, such as software engineers, business analysts, or data analysts. 

As you advance in your career, you might move into managerial positions or become a big data engineer, progressing as you gain experience.

Salaries for other big data and engineering professionals

Before and after you step into a role as a big data engineer, there are plenty of opportunities to work in big data and engineering. Here are a few of their expected salaries, according to Glassdoor, as of May 2024: 

  • Data analyst: ₹6,50,000

  • Business intelligence analyst: ₹8,80,000

  • Business analyst: ₹10,00,000

  • Database administrator: ₹8,50,000

  • Data engineer: ₹11,00,000

  • Software engineer: ₹9,40,000

  • Data scientist: ₹13,96,667

  • Machine learning engineer: ₹11,50,000

Job outlook for big data engineers

Big data is used across all industries, including manufacturing, government, and agriculture, to inform business decisions. More than 80 percent of companies surveyed in the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2020 report said they’d use big data by 2025. In the same report, a data engineer is ranked third for jobs with increasing industry demand [6].

Dive into big data engineering with Coursera.

Get started on a potentially lucrative and fulfilling career in big data engineering. Look at IBM’s Data Engineering Professional Certificate to master job-ready skills like SQL, ETL, Big Data, and Spark at your own pace.

Article sources

1. Analytics India Magazine. “State of Data Engineering in India 2022,” Accessed May 28, 2024.

2. Glassdoor. “Big Data Engineer Salaries in India,,5_IN115_KO6,23.htm?clickSource=searchBtn” Accessed May 28, 2024.

3. AmbitionBox. “Big Data Engineer Salary in India,” Accessed May 28, 2024.

4. Salary Expert. “Data Engineer Average Base Salary,” Accessed May 28, 2024.

5. Naukri Learning. “What is Big Data? A Beginner Guide to Big Data in 2023,” Accessed May 28, 2024.

6. World Economic Forum, “The Future of Jobs Report 2020,” Accessed May 28, 2024.

7. The Times of India. “Remote working new normal; 82% employees prefer working from home,” Accessed May 28, 2024.

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