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Which Industries Pay the Highest Data Analyst Salaries?

Will Hillier

As companies and organizations collect increasing amounts of information, they’ve started to understand the full potential of all this data. Data analytics is now a fundamental part of the new digital economy. Good news if you’re climbing the career ladder—the associated job opportunities are abundant. But which job titles, industries, and locations pay the best data analyst salaries?

In this post, we’ve pulled figures from a variety of reputable sources to help you crunch the numbers. From healthcare to finance, from energy to education, and everything else in between—we’ve listed which industries pay the highest data analyst salaries, which factors can affect what you earn, and included a few tips for starting out. We’ll narrow down as we go, with a focus on the following:

  1. Are data analysts paid well?
  2. How much do different data analyst roles pay?
  3. Where do data analysts get paid the most?
  4. Which industries pay the highest data analyst salaries?
  5. What can you do to get a higher data analyst salary?
  6. Key takeaways

Let’s go.

1. Are data analysts paid well?

It’s an obvious first question, but an important one. How much can you make as a data analyst? This generally depends on the role, the location, and—of course—the value that a company places on hiring the right expertise. However, it’s safe to say that data analysts can make a pretty comfortable living. Even entry-level positions often pay more than the median US income.

To get specifics, we’ve pulled statistics from the salary comparison site, Payscale. The site aggregates average salaries from a variety of sources, including crowdsourced and company-sourced salary data, as well as individual reporting. While they regularly update their figures (meaning that what we’ve provided below might change) this should still give a broad sense of what you might be able to earn.

For ease of comparison, we’ve focused only on average salaries in the US (check out section three for a more global overview.)

What’s the average entry-level data analyst salary?

According to Payscale, in the US, newly-qualified data analysts (i.e. those with less than a year of experience) earn an average annual income of $55,362. In a data analyst’s first four years, this figure can rise to around $60,240.

We carried out a quick sense check of these figures by comparing data from the job site Glassdoor (which suggested an average salary of $62,543) and Indeed (an average of $59,507). This suggests the numbers are pretty on the mark. Since the average personal income for a US citizen is around $36,000, it’s easy to see just how much money it’s possible to earn—even as a novice.

What’s the average mid-level data analyst salary?

Mid-level data analysts usually have three to five or more years’ experience in the field. In addition to the base skills required at entry-level, they’ll take on additional responsibilities. These might include carrying out more in-depth statistical research, working with increasingly complex data sets (including big data), and using complex coding languages to write algorithms from scratch (such as R, or C++).

According to the same data from Payscale, a mid-level analyst in the US (with five to nine years’ experience) earns on average $68,087 per year. A sizable increase. And if you’re an entry-level data analyst, you can be pretty sure that this average will increase five years from now. Bonus!

What’s the average senior data analyst salary?

As your data analytics career progresses, so will the financial rewards. Senior data analysts in the US can earn around $72K, according to Payscale—and this is just the starting point. Once again, we checked this against other job sites, and the figure seems accurate. The higher figure reflects additional responsibilities, such as more complex skills, hands-on management, and overseeing a company’s data strategy.

From this point, many data analysts decide to launch into more specialist career trajectories, which pay even more. For instance, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that data scientists (a common next step for experienced data analysts) can earn around $100,000 or more per year, with salaries increasing based on experience, expertise, and specialism.

2. How much do different data analyst roles pay?

So far we’ve explored how much you can earn as a data analyst in the US. While this provides a broad sense of the numbers, it glosses over the fact that data analyst roles are widely varied. Salaries depend on several additional factors, including location and the type of role you’re applying for.

Many job sites use the terms data analyst and data scientist interchangeably, even though they are quite distinct roles—you can learn about the difference between a data analyst and a data scientist in this post. Nor do data analytics jobs always have “data” or “analyst” in the title. This can make them hard to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

In this section, we aim to demystify the data analyst job market by highlighting a few data analyst roles you might want to look out for (and how much—on average—each one earns).

Financial analysts: What do they do and how much do they earn?

Financial analysts assess the impact of stocks, bonds, investments, and marketplace trends. This helps them advise individuals and businesses (such as banks, insurance companies, and hedge funds). In the US, they earn an average of $60K a year.

Business intelligence analysts: What do they do and how much do they earn?

Business intelligence analysts (often known simply as business analysts) assess business data to help companies improve their systems and internal processes. Like financial analysts, business analysts in the US earn around $60K a year.

Healthcare consultants: What do they do and how much do they earn?

Healthcare consultants (or healthcare analysts) gather and interpret data from sources such as electronic health records, financial reports, patient surveys, and wearable devices. This helps them improve patient care and how health organizations are run. It can pay pretty well, too, with an average salary of $78K in the US.

Market analysts: What do they do and how much do they earn?

Generally, market analysts collect and analyze consumer and competitor data. They may do this for a number of reasons. For instance, their work might help inform sales strategies or the creation of new products and services. In the US, market analyst roles are fairly common stock, with an average annual income of $54K.

Digital marketing managers: What do they do and how much do they earn?

Digital marketing managers juggle many responsibilities, such as email and social media campaigns, search engine optimization, marketing strategy, and more. But what drives their work? You guessed it: data. Data analytics skills are increasingly required in this role. The average salary is $67K.

Data consultants: What do they do and how much do they earn?

Many data analysts specialize in one field. Meanwhile, data consultancy is a broader term used to describe those who work with clients in a range of different fields and industries. The role can be much more varied but also much more challenging. This is reflected in their average salary—around $77K a year in the US.

Systems analysts: What do they do and how much do they earn?

A systems analyst uses data to explore how well an organization’s IT infrastructure fits its business needs (or that of a client, if the system is a product). They’ll analyze things like software, hardware, and user data to help improve protocols and write new ones. They earn, on average, $66K.

While this is just a small handful of the job titles to look out for, it gives a flavor of what’s out there. There are always new jobs emerging, too. Our suggestion is to focus on the job description rather than the title. You’ll soon start spotting the important skills and responsibilities, giving you a feel for what’s a data analyst role, and what’s not!

3. Where do data analysts get paid the most?

OK, so we’ve covered the US, but what about the rest of the world? For those based outside the US, or considering relocation, the following ten countries offer some of the world’s most competitive data analyst salaries. This time, we’ve collected data from Salary Expert, an analytics platform created by the Economic Research Institute in California. It accrues salary and cost of living data from around the world.

A few things to note: We’ve ranked these salaries from highest to lowest with a focus on entry-level pay. That means these figures show the minimum you should expect to earn in each country. We’ve also converted each salary into US dollars to make them easier to compare.

1. Germany: $67,397 USD (or €57,191)

2. Australia: $62,932 USD(or $87,558AUD)

3. Netherlands: $62,931 USD (€53,399)

4. Sweden: $57,546 USD (511,213 kr)

5. Canada: $54,789 USD ($72,674CAD)

6. United Kingdom: $51,844 USD (£39,928)

7. New Zealand: $48,068 USD (or $72,298NZD)

8. United Arab Emirates: $47,613 USD (174,883د.إ.‏)

9. Singapore: $46,432 USD ($63,129SGD)

10. South Africa: $16,419 USD (R270,473)

As you can see, many European countries offer competitive salaries. If you’re considering a move abroad though, keep in mind that a high salary doesn’t necessarily equate to a better quality of life (since different countries have different costs of living). For instance, the average salary for a beginner data analyst is about the same in Australia and the Netherlands, but Australia is a much more expensive country to live in.

Salary Expert regularly updates its figures and includes mid- and higher-level salaries (which we’ve opted not to include here). But be sure to check out each of the links above for the latest figures (and frankly, if you’re anything like us, to geek out some…it’s a bit of a data-heaven).

4. Which industries pay the highest data analyst salaries?

Finally, to the meat of the matter! Which industries pay the highest data analyst salary? While there aren’t many reliable or wide-ranging datasets on this subject, we can get a good estimate by using LinkedIn’s Salary tool.

Again, a couple of things to note: we’ve ranked these salaries from highest to lowest with a focus on average salaries. We also conducted our search using the generic title of “data analyst” in the US to get a broad feel for what the market is doing. Feel free to run your own search for different job titles and locations, though.

Taking into account the potential margin of error in the following figures (which are self-reported by LinkedIn users) here’s a list of median US data analyst salaries, by industry:

  1. Entertainment: $70,000 
    (Ranging from $41K to $110K)
     
  2. Hardware and networking: $70,000
    (Ranging from $43K to $108K)
     
  3. Finance: $65,000
    (Ranging from $42K to $100K)
     
  4. Software and IT services: $65,000
    (Ranging from $41K to $110K)
     
  5. Corporate services: $63,000
    (Ranging from $39K to $91K)
     
  6. Energy and Mining: $63,000
    (Ranging from $41K to $100K)
     
  7. Healthcare: $62,200
    (Ranging from $42K to $88K)
     
  8. Retail: $62,200
    (Ranging from $40K to $91K)
     
  9. Manufacturing: $61,000
    (Ranging from $38K to $90K)
     
  10. Public administration: $61,100
    (Ranging from $37K to $97K)
     
  11. Real Estate: $60,000
    (Ranging from $37K to $100K)
     
  12. Consumer goods: $60,000 
    (Ranging from $39K to $95K)
     
  13. Recreation and Travel: $60,000
    (Ranging from $38K to $82K)
     
  14. Media and Communications: $60,000
    (Ranging from $41K to $80K)
     
  15. Wellness and Fitness: $59,000
    (Ranging from $40K to $85K)
     
  16. Education: $58,100
    (Ranging from $31K to $82K)
     
  17. Agriculture: $57,500
    (Ranging from $37K to $97K)
     
  18. Construction: $57,000
    (Ranging from $37K to $83K)
     
  19. Public safety: $55,700
    (Ranging from $33K to $90K)
     
  20. Non-profit: $55,000
    (Ranging from $40K to $83K)
     
  21. Transport and logistics: $55,000
    (Ranging from $37K to $82K)
     
  22. Legal: $54,000
    (Ranging from $36K to $80K)

So, we can see that entertainment, tech, energy and mining, finance, and real estate all offer top-end salaries of around 100K or more. A quick comparison search on a few job sites suggests that this rings true.

A low six-figure salary is really the limit of most data analytics roles, though. To earn more, you’ll need to transition into a more senior position, such as a data scientist or finance manager. If you’re starting out now this might be a while off, but it’s nice to know where the journey might take you!

5. What can you do to get a higher data analyst salary?

While data analyst salaries tend to climb steadily for the first ten years in any role, you want to start on the right foot. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you secure the best possible salary from the start.

Get a certification

It might sound obvious, but having a respected certification will go a long way to helping you secure a decent salary. While data analysts all require certain technical skills, some—such as those transitioning from other technical, IT, or coding roles—might pick up new skills on the job, or in their spare time.

To stand out on the job market, it’s worth investing in a structured program. There are many available, but not all courses are created equal—look for one that offers mentorship, project-based learning, and a focus on your portfolio. You’ll find a comparison of some of the best data analytics certification programs in this guide.

Pick the right location

Aim for a location where data analysts are in-demand. Silicon Valley, for instance, offers some of the highest-paid data analyst roles in the world. Meanwhile, Germany, Australia, and the Netherlands all offer competitive salaries, too.

With that said, it’s 2020, and work habits are changing. While it might help you get a job if you’re in the same location as the role, these days it’s by no means a requirement. Many companies are happy for you to work remotely. But it’s still worth considering where a company is headquartered, as this will impact how much they pay. You can learn more about working as a remote data analyst in this guide.

Know your worth

Make sure you know how much you want (and deserve) to earn. If you’re comfortable raising the topic, why not ask some data analyst friends what their starting salary was?

Often when we receive a job offer, we take the position without question. Consider aiming to negotiate a higher salary. If you find this hard, you’re not alone. According to a 2018 poll by global staffing firm Robert Half, only 39% of workers tried to negotiate a higher salary following their last job offer. But what have you got to lose? If the company turns down your counter-offer, you can always take the job anyway…or find a new one. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that data analytics jobs are not in short supply!

Consider specializing

As a beginner, you should focus on honing your data analytics skills, broadening your toolset, and getting to know the data analytics process and procedures. Once you’ve spent a few years building this solid foundation, why not consider specializing? Getting a Master’s, or even a Ph.D. will help you find ever-more specialist roles that will inevitably pay more. Many organizations also offer professional development to help you progress.

6. Key takeaways

In this post, we’ve explored how much data analysts can expect to earn in different roles, industries, and as experience increases. To recap on the main points covered:

  • In the US, beginner data analysts can expect to earn around £55K, with salaries increasing up to $77K (or more) with experience.
  • Salaries vary greatly depending on role. Healthcare analysts and consultants typically earn more than, say, market research analysts (a more common role).
  • On average, the US typically pays the highest data analyst salaries, followed by countries including Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, and the UK.
  • The top five highest paying industries for data analysts are: Entertainment, hardware and networking, finance, software and IT services, and corporate services. 

Still undecided about a career in data analytics? Why not whet your appetite with our free, five-day data analytics short course? It’s a great way to get a taster for the field. And, if you’d like to learn more about forging a career as a data analyst, check out the following:

What You Should Do Now

  1. Get a hands-on introduction to data analytics with a free, 5-day data analytics short course.
  2. Take a deeper dive into the world of data analytics with our Intro to Data Analytics Course.
  3. Talk to a program advisor to discuss career change and find out if data analytics is right for you.
  4. Learn about our graduates, see their portfolio projects, and find out where they’re at now.

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Will Hillier

Will Hillier

Contributor to the CareerFoundry blog

A British-born writer based in Berlin, Will has spent the last 10 years writing about education and technology, and the intersection between the two. He has a borderline fanatical interest in STEM, and has been published in TES, the Daily Telegraph, SecEd magazine and more. His fiction has been short- and longlisted for over a dozen awards.