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Data Scientist vs Software Engineer Salary

Last updated on: 
December 13, 2023
Dipen Dadhaniya
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About The Author!
Dipen Dadhaniya
Dipen Dadhaniya
Engineering Manager at Interview Kickstart. A passionate and versatile web developer packed with full-stack development skills and a curiosity to explore computer languages.

Are you amazed at the increased demand for Data scientists and software engineer jobs in the United States? In the era of growing technology and advanced tools, these job profiles play a vital role in creating, evaluating, managing, and monitoring crucial data. Their services aid businesses to grow potentially, and in return, employers reward them with lucrative salaries and additional perks, such as flexible work hours and opportunities for career advancement.  

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! Having trained over 17,500 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the toughest tech interviews. Our alums consistently land offers from FAANG+ companies. The highest-ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

Want to nail your next tech interview? Sign up for our FREE Webinar.

In this post, we will cover data scientist vs. software engineer salary based on company, experience, and location to aid you in assessing the most remunerative career option in the United States.

Here is what we will cover in the article:

Factors Influencing Software Engineer and Data Scientist Salary

The salaries of software engineers and data scientists are affected by multiple factors, including

  1. Educational Background: Several companies are willing to offer higher salaries to individuals with master’s degrees based on their strong command of subjective knowledge and practical applications in comparison to a bachelor's. 
  2. Experience Level: It is well-known that the higher the experience, the higher you get paid by a company. This is because an experienced candidate can perform way better than a fresher and deliver the result efficiently. Their productivity rates are higher in comparison to the entry-level candidates, increasing their value and their salary.
  3. Location: Cities with higher expenses pay higher salaries in comparison to less pricey areas. Also, cities that are tech hubs offer greater pay. 
  4. Size of the Company/Industry: The higher the gross earnings of the company or industry, the higher the range of salaries. However, companies with lower productivity rates or the ones that are new in the market offer a lower salary. Tech giants offer higher salaries in comparison to tech start-ups. 
  5. Skills and Specialization: Certain companies seek employees who have a strong command of certain skills and specializations to make them work for their most crucial and specific tasks. For instance, correcting coding errors can be done by a skilled coding programmer, and not just any engineer.
  6. Training and Certifications: If a candidate is well trained for a specific program and has certification for the same, they are preferred by the company over other candidates. For instance, if a candidate received an Elite certificate from Columbia University in Python programming, a company seeking a Python programmer will prefer them over others. The certification bears testimony to their skills.
  7. Economic Conditions: Unemployment, aggregate demand for skilled professionals and supply, inflation, industry growth, industrial growth, government policies, international trade, global economic trends, and currency exchange rates can have a significant influence on an individual’s salary.  

Average Software Engineer Salary vs. Data Scientist Salary

In the United States, the average salary of a Software Engineer is $122,547 per annum. The additional cash compensation for Software Engineers is $17,214 on average, and it ranges from $12,910 to $24,099.

In contrast, the average salary of a Data Scientist in the United States of America is $135,310 per annum. The average additional cash compensation for a Data Scientist is $22,038, and it ranges from $16,529 to $30,853

Software Engineer Salary vs. Data Scientist Salary

Note that the average salaries of Software Engineers and Data Scientists kept fluctuating over time with economic conditions. However, the factors mentioned above have a significant influence on the annual average salaries of both job profiles.

Data Scientist vs Software Engineer Salary By Experience

We all are aware that salaries vary with the experience level. For instance, if we talk about data scientists vs. software engineers salaries, the trajectories are as follows:

Experience Level Salary of Software Engineers Salary of Data Scientists
Entry-Level $122,547 per year $135,310 per year
Senior $153,185 per year $168,429 per year
Lead $166,014 per year $175,470 per year

Data Scientist vs Software Engineer Salary By Location

One of the factors that affects salaries is location. In the United States, salaries vary with cost of living. There are certain highest-paying cities for software engineers and data scientists positions. Here is an answer to your question about software engineer vs. data scientist salaries based on location.

Location Salary of Software Engineers Salary of Data Scientists
San Francisco, California $164,611 per annum $158,380 per annum
New York City, New York $158,860 per annum $127,268 per annum
Santa Clara, California $145,267 per annum $132,880 per annum
Palo Alto, California $151,379 per annum $173,525 per annum
Bellevue, Washington State $139,193 per annum $158,037 per annum
Redmond, Washington State $130,087 per annum $142,595 per annum

The table suggests that the highest salary for a software engineer is in San Francisco, California, where they earn an average salary of $164,611 per annum. In contrast,  Palo Alto city, in the state of California, is the highest-paying city for data scientists.

Software Engineer vs. Data Scientist Salary at FAANG Companies

FAANG companies are an ideal destination for anybody in the tech field. These companies offer higher pay, opportunities for growth, and prestige and add a significant impact on the resume. 

Here, the table represents software engineer vs. data scientist salaries in the FAANG companies.

Facebook Average Software Engineer Salary Average Data Scientist Salary
Facebook $193,752 per year $172,451 per year
Amazon $108,310 per year $146,268 per year
Apple $189,655 per year $169,313 per year
Netflix $201,264 per year $216,780 per year
Google $145,692 per year $155,405 per year

Nail Your Next Tech Interview With IK

Data science vs. software engineer salary has always been the talk of the town. With both Data Science and Software Engineering providing interesting career scopes and lucrative salaries, IK understands that choosing a specific career path necessitates intensive interview preparation. 

Our specifically created course programs help you crack any of your tech interviews because you learn from FAANG experts!
The industry experts cum recruiters provide deep insights into the required knowledge while preparing you to face an interview at top companies. Join our FREE webinar for more detailed information on our software engineer vs. data scientist courses! 

FAQs About Software Engineer vs. Data Scientist

Q1. Can a software engineer become a data scientist?

Yes. Software engineers looking to transition into data scientists must focus on building and excelling their skills in data mining, collection, and analysis. In addition, they must learn about the ways to implement data science algorithms in programming languages like R or Python. 

Q2. Does a data scientist code like software engineers?

Knowledge of coding language can enhance the quality of data scientists' work. Using code, data scientists can make data analysis faster and more accurate.

Q3. What are the skills required for a software engineer vs. data engineer?

A software engineer must have a strong command of programming languages, including C/C++, Python, Ruby, Go, Pearl, JavaScript and others. On the other hand, a data engineer must be skilled in machine learning, data visualization, and evaluation, along with coding.

Q4. State the difference in roles of software engineers vs. data scientists.

Software engineers work on building software and smooth operation of the same. They test, improve, and manage the software system. They are experienced in choosing the right programming languages, platforms, and architects to be used to develop the system. In contrast, data scientists collect huge databases through statistical, analytical, and programming skills.

Q5. Is data scientists a stable job?

The data scientist job profile holds immense potential for future expansion. It is the exceptional career path that only leads to a bright future and high-paying salaries.

Posted on 
December 11, 2023

Dipen Dadhaniya

Engineering Manager at Interview Kickstart

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