- Companies hire data engineers to make sure all data ends up in a usable format.
- It’s one of the highest-paying roles in big data, but it requires a more comprehensive skill set.
- Here’s what top tech companies pay for data engineers, based on visa information from 2021.
When a person opens nearly any app, they’re hit with highly personalized ads or recommendations.
But while it seems like magic, those advertisements are actually powered by a complex network of pipes often precariously taped together. The experience is generated from the thousands of data points a company has to describe the user’s behavior. And that’s all maintained by the plumbers of the data world: data engineers.
The responsibilities of data engineers can vary widely depending on the role. It entails everything from sales data for retail analysts to information on internal operations, but the end mission is to ensure all of a company’s incoming data is in the right place and readable. Companies like Snowflake, Databricks, or Amazon couldn’t exist without data engineers — and that makes it one of the better-paid jobs in tech.
When applying for the H-1B visa on behalf of foreign workers, companies are required to submit a salary. H-1B data sometimes includes salary ranges instead of exact figures, and includes only base pay, which doesn’t account for bonuses or stock options.
Based on the lower end of more than 10,000 H-1B visas and job listings in 2021, entry-level data engineers earn average salaries of $117,731, senior-level data engineers earn $133,850, managers earn $158,932, and directors earn $178,328.
Data engineers generally have to understand programming languages like Java and Python, in addition to the nuts and bolts of data lakes and data warehouses. That includes knowing their way around data-processing tools like Spark, Hive, and Hadoop, as well as data analysis and integration tools like Prefect or Airflow.
Those skills aren’t an exhaustive list, as every company has different requirements for its different products. But it provides a glimpse into how data engineers can land new roles.
Insider compiled annual salaries for roles that contained at least 10 entries, but exact salaries may vary based on location or specific product within a company.