Data Engineer Salaries and Rates in 2024

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Median Salary Expectations:

How statistics are calculated

We count how many offers each candidate received and for what salary. For example, if a Data Engineer with a salary of $4,500 received 10 offers, then we would count him 10 times. If there were no offers, then he would not get into the statistics either.

The graph column is the total number of offers. This is not the number of vacancies, but an indicator of the level of demand. The more offers there are, the more companies try to hire such a specialist. 5k+ includes candidates with salaries >= $5,000 and < $5,500.

Median Salary Expectation – the weighted average of the market offer in the selected specialization, that is, the most frequent job offers for the selected specialization received by candidates. We do not count accepted or rejected offers.

Data Engineer

What is a data engineer?

A data engineer is a person who manages data before it can be used for analysis or operational purposes. Common roles include designing and developing systems for collecting, storing and analysing data. 

Data engineers tend to focus on building data pipelines to aggregate data from systems of record. They are software engineers who put together data and combine, consolid aspire to data accessibility and optimisation of their organisation’s big data landscape.

The extent of data an engineer has to deal with depends also on the organisation he or she works for, especially its size. Larger companies usually have a much more sophisticated analytics architecture which also means that the amount of data an engineer has to maintain will be proportionally increased. There are sectors that are more data-intensive; healthcare, retail and financial services, for example.

Data engineers carry out their efforts in collaboration with particular data science teams to make data more transparent so that businesses can make better decisions about their operations. They use their skills to make the connections between all the individual records until the database life cycle is complete.

The data engineer role

Cleaning up and organising data sets is the task for so‑called data engineers, who perform one of three overarching roles:

Generalists. Data engineers with a generalist focus work on smaller teams and can do end-to-end collection, ingestion and transformation of data, while likely having more skills than the majority of data engineers (but less knowledge of systems architecture). A data scientist moving into a data engineering role would be a natural fit for the generalist focus.

For example, a generalist data engineer could work on a project to create a dashboard for a small regional food delivery business that shows the number of deliveries made per day over the past month as well as predictions for the next month’s delivery volume.

Pipeline-focused data engineer. This type of data engineer tends to work on a data analytics team with more complex data science projects moving across distributed systems. Such a role is more likely to exist in midsize to large companies.

A specialised, regionally based food deliveries company could embark upon a pipeline-oriented project, building an analyst tool that allows data scientists to comb through metadata to retrieve information about deliveries. She could look at distances travelled and time spent driving to make deliveries in the past month, and then input those results into a predictive algorithm that forecasts what those results mean about how they should do business in the future.

Database centric engineers. The data engineer who comes on-board a larger company is responsible for implementations, maintenance and populating analytics databases. This role only comes into existence where data is spread across many databases. So, these engineers work with pipelines, they might tune databases for particular analysis, and they come up with table schema using extract, transform and load (ETL) to copy data from several sourced into a single destination system.

In the case of a database-centric project at a large, national food delivery service, this would include designing an analytics database. Beyond the creation of the database, the developer would also write code to get that data from where it’s collected (in the main application database) into the analytics database.

Data engineer responsibilities

Data engineers are frequently found inside an existing analytics team working alongside data scientists. Data engineers provide data in usable formats to the scientists that run queries over the data sets or algorithms for predictive analytics, machine learning and data mining type of operations. Data engineers also provide aggregated data to business executives, analysts and other business end‑users for analysis and implementation of such results to further improve business activities.

Data engineers tend to work with both structured data and unstructured data. Structured data is information categorised into an organised storage repository, such as a structured database. Unstructured data, such as text, images, audio and video files, doesn’t really fit into traditional data models. Data engineers must understand the classes of data architecture and applications to work with both types of data. Besides the ability to manipulate basic data types, the data engineer’s toolkit should also include a range of big data technologies: the data analysis pipeline, the cluster, the open source data ingestion and processing frameworks, and so on.

While exact duties vary by organisation, here are some common associated job descriptions for data engineers: 

  • Build, test and maintain database pipeline architectures.
  • Create methods for data validation.
  • Acquire data.
  • Clean data.
  • Develop data set processes.
  • Improve data reliability and quality.
  • Develop algorithms to make data usable.
  • Prepare data for prescriptive and predictive modeling.

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