In today’s modern world, there’s an increasing amount of data constantly seeing the light of day. Whether you own a small company or you’re the CEO of a huge enterprise – data analysts are needed for any type of business’s success. That is why many people talk about the data analyst salary and it being the dream to reach for. Well, whether that’s true or not, we’ll be able to uncover it in this data analyst salary tutorial.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that we’ll not be able to talk number immediately from the get-go. There are a few distinct types of data analysts out there – this is why we need to, first of all, cover the term itself, and then briefly go over the types of data analysts that you might encounter. After all of that is said and done, we’ll cover the salaries of each and every type of data analysts.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into it.
Table of Contents
To start things off the right way, let’s first talk about just what a data analyst actually is.
A data analyst is a person that takes a (usually) huge amount of information that is presented in numbers and “translates” it into simple, everyday language. Data analysts are essential members of any company that wants to grow and expand its business. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple.
Imagine that you own a small clothing company. You put out 10 different, distinct designs for t-shirts. A month passes, you open up your sales sheet and see a huge amount of different numbers, shortcuts, abbreviations and so on. Now, one would think that seeing the numbers of the actual sales is enough (I mean, come on – it’s obvious which t-shirt sells more and which does less, right?).
Well, as a matter of fact, things aren’t really all that simple. There are numbers that represent sales by region, by gender, age, interest, etc. Furthermore, if you had put out 5 different ads for the t-shirts, there’s a whole block of numbers there – which ads worked better (had a better click rate)? Which underperformed? Why? Is it because of the ad itself? Or the platform that it was hosted on?
As you can see for yourself, there’s a huge amount of information to be analyzed and understood. This is where data analysts come in – these people take all of those numbers, analyze and segment them, and then present and explain the found information to the management and the rest of the team. With that, the company can adjust its practices and start working more efficiently and provide better products to its customers.
The Different Types of Data Analysts
Now that you know what a data analyst does, let’s discuss the three main types of data analysts that there are. After all, we can’t really start talking about the data analyst salary before we know all of the different options for that salary, now can we?
Entry-Level Data Analyst
The entry-level data analyst is a person that has just recently gotten into data analysis in general. This person might be in his or her second or third year of university, and still not have any if all practice in the field.
Entry-level data analysts are usually seen as people who still don’t really know whether or not they are going to stick with this profession for the rest of their lives. This is represented by both their salaries and workload – they are usually either taken into a company for practice (i.e. university credit) or to do some very simple, entry-level tasks.
Junior Data Analyst
This is the group of data analysts that you’re going to encounter the most. It is also the most difficult group to analyze.
Junior data analysts are people who have generally already decided that this is the career path for them. Now all that is left to do is to gain a ton of experience in the field. These analysts are usually loved and hired by startup companies – this way, both the junior data analyst and the company can learn and grow together.
Now, when I say that this group is the most difficult to analyze, I’m not even kidding one bit. Why is that? Well, it’s mainly because it’s extremely broad. Sure, there are almost no specific, agreed-upon guidelines that would say when an entry-level data analyst becomes a junior one, or when a junior becomes a senior. That being said, most people who are serious about becoming a data analyst transition from the entry to the junior levels pretty fast.
This makes it so that the junior group of data analysts becomes huge – in turn, it probably makes sense that the junior data analyst salary varies heavily. In other words, a junior data analyst that has been in the field for five years will probably have a much lower salary than that who has been analyzing data for the past fifteen years. Makes sense?
Senior Data Analyst
Finally, the last group of data analysts.
Senior data analysts are industry veterans. These people are the ones that are behind the success of huge, global industries and corporations.
Senior data analysts are usually responsible for multiple different tasks within the company. In addition to their main job, they might get tasked to become mentors for junior or even entry-level data analysts. Furthermore, senior data analysts might even take up some freelance work on the side – their skill and years of experience is the best guarantee for any employer.
The senior data analyst salary does represent their skill and knowledge, but we’ll come to that a bit later on. Instead, let’s take it from the top and discuss the entry-level data analyst salary.
Data Analyst Salary
Remember – the numbers discussed below are subject to constant change. Don’t take everything at face value!
So, let’s start from the very beginning. As I’ve mentioned a bit earlier on, entry-level data analysts make the least amount of money out of the three groups of these professionals. But just what sum are we talking about here?
According to Glassdoor.com, the average yearly entry-level data analyst salary comes out to be around $34,500 USD. This means that this type of data analyst can expect to earn around $2875 USD per month.
As you can see, this is quite below the average US income of around $3700 USD per month. However, considering everything, it’s still pretty good!
You have to keep in mind the tasks that entry-level data analysts perform – or, rather, their complexity. If we consider the fact that these people are usually tasked with small, very easy and completely learning-based assignments, that salary doesn’t look all that bad.
Before we start discussing the junior data analyst salary, remember – this is a huge group of people that we’re talking about. This number might give you a general idea of what to expect, but depending on the job market at any given time, it may sway strongly to either the low or the high end.
The junior data analyst salary comes out to be almost $70,000 USD per year, or $5833 USD per month. Now, what can we learn from this number?
First of all, you can probably see clearly that this amount is significantly bigger than the average salary in the US. What does this mean? Well, it means that there are probably more experienced junior data analysts than beginner ones. The fact that the junior data analyst salary is quite above-average leads to thinking that companies probably aren’t paying huge amounts of money to beginners. Which isn’t a bad thing in of itself!
It is widely accepted that data analysis is a great field to work in, and not only because of the pay. I’ll discuss this a bit further later on, but what I want to mention now are career opportunities. This field provides plenty of them, and there’s always room for growth. Of course, it depends heavily on the company that you choose to work for, but the general rule stays the same. Long story short – if you put in the work and the effort, your salary will keep on increasing.
Senior Data Analyst Salary
So, we’ve reached the last group of data analysts. A senior data analyst salary is what most people mention when they talk about how great the pay is in the field of data analysis. But is it really all that good? Or is it inflated speculation? Let’s see.
Glassdoor states that the senior data analyst salary is a bit under $107,000 USD per year, or $8916 USD per month. Seeing this number, it’s probably safe to say that all of the speculations really are true.
However, with all of that said, you must take into account a few key variables. First of all, we are talking about a senior data analyst salary – these people have been in the field for the bigger part of their lives! They have dedicated themselves to this profession, so it is only natural that their salaries reflect that.
Furthermore, as I’ve mentioned a bit earlier on, the senior data analyst salary is also heavily dependant on the workload and responsibilities. Whether it be curating a small team or being tasked to deal with some high-profile, secret information – senior data analysts usually have a big load of responsibilities.
More than a Salary?
I’ve hinted at this a bit earlier, but what people often fail to take into account are the various perks and guarantees that data analysts have in their line of work, other than a great salary.
Data analysis is really important for both small and big companies alike. This means that, once you finish studying the subject, you are likely to be approached by multiple different companies and organizations offering you a chance to work for them. In this sense, competition is always good – you have a broader pool of possibilities to choose from, and can ask and expect a higher pay.
To add to that, once you start working as a data analyst, you are almost guaranteed (granted that you work hard, are a great member of the team and never stop learning) a stable, life-long career path ahead of you. There’s very little chance that the field of data analysis will ever disappear, and there’s always room for improvement – whether it be analyzing data or presenting it to your colleagues, you can constantly improve your skills and grow, both as a professional and as a person. Rest assured – your salary will follow.
Every year, it’s becoming more and more difficult to choose and stick to a specific career path. With such a huge amount of specialties and professions to choose from, it might get really confusing – which career path is the best? What to learn in order to have a guaranteed great salary? These and many similar questions plague thousands of young people every single year. Some people pick a career path and stick with it, others decide to take a gap year between high school and university to meditate on it. You should always pick and choose what feels right to you. However, in any case, reading articles and online reviews is always helpful.
Even though data analysis isn’t the field in which you would earn millions of dollars, it has slowly but surely earned its way to the top of the career path list. It’s a stable, meaningful and time-tested way of securing yourself a great future career. Even though the entry-level data analyst salary might not exactly be the dream, it’s still a good start. If you focus on learning and perfecting your skills, you won’t even notice how fast your career will advance (thus raising your salary!).
With that said, we have reached the very end of our overview of the different salaries that data analysts earn. I hope that this article answered all of your questions and that you are now better informed on the topic. If you choose to follow the data analyst career path, I wish you the best of luck!