- Data Scientist
- Machine Learning Engineer
This article aims not to compare roles as if one deserves more money or not, but is instead a guide allowing professionals in these two fields to assess against their current salary. However cliche, it is still important to remember these two things when asking for a higher salary: it does not hurt to ask, and sometimes, you will not get what you do not ask for. Please keep in mind that these are more general statistics, as you could be specific as you want to be to see what your salary should be. Instead, these values are instead a directional guide for you to use. With that being said, let’s discuss these two roles regarding salary at each seniority level so that you can better understand where you should be in comparison to others working as data scientists and machine learning engineers — as well as for recruiters to gauge their companies compensation packages. In addition to the above, I will also discuss if I agree with these numbers or not, so keep on reading if you would like to learn more about data scientist versus machine learning engineer salaries.
Data scientists seem to have a more vague job description, while machine learning engineers are more consistent and specific. The seniority levels of these roles also differ slightly — with data science using its own levels, while machine learning engineers can follow software engineering titles more.
For example, a typical career path of a data scientist would be the following (you can also expect numbers in titles to represent seniority like I, II, and III):
Entry Level Data Scientist → Data Scientist → Senior Data Scientist
and depending on what you want to do specifically, here are higher up positions in data science:
Lead Data Scientist — Data Science Manager — Data Science Director
of which, these can all be at the same level, but it ultimately depends on your company. For example, some companies could all be the same role, whereat another, these three roles could follow the hierarchy that you see above. Now that we know about the different titles, let’s look into their respective salaries.
Keep in mind that these roles are based on a US average (based on PayScale ):
- Average Overall Data Scientist →
- Average Entry-Level Data Scientist →
- Average Early-Career Data Scientist →
- Average Mid-Career Data Scientist →