The 2017 Data Professional Salary Survey Results

We asked to see your papers, and 2,898 people from 66 countries answered.

Download the raw data in Excel, and you can slice and dice by country, years of experience, whether you manage staff or not, education, and more.

Community bloggers have already started to analyze the results:

Keep in mind that the data’s only as good as the people who entered it. This was free for anyone to enter, and we didn’t validate their experience, their actual pay stub, or whether they have naked pictures of the boss that they’re using for blackmail. You have to take the data with a grain of salt, and use medians (the middle numbers) rather than averages. (We’ve also taken the liberty of hand-editing and removing specific rows – for example, somebody filled it in $10,000,000,000,000 per year, and that row got removed.)

We’ll definitely do this again next year, and there’s one thing we’ll need your help to figure out: how do we get more granular location data around the world? The problem with open text entry location fields is that people can’t be trusted to put in consistent data. I’d love to have a dropdown box for country, which then populates a dropdown box for state/province, which then lets people pick metro areas. The challenge there is finding a free or open source provider for that data that integrates well into a survey. If you’ve got ideas, I’d love to hear ’em – but remember, they need to be global (not just US), and they need to be free or open source.

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22 Comments. Leave new

  • It was an honor to partake in this survey and blog about it too!

    Reply
  • GeoNames (http://www.geonames.org/export/) is free to a point, I believe. I can’t speak to their data quality.

    I had a particular interest in comparing Canada and France, so I looked at those respondents in particular and noticed: i don’t think either group reliably converted their salaries to USD, and in France, their education naming system differs – it might make sense to list the number of years in post-secondary education, instead?

    Reply
    • After looking at the French salary, something is wrong.
      Either a typo or the guys aren’t valuating themselves well enough during the interviews.
      Earning 30k and 35K after respectilvy 16 and 10 years work in databases is very very low, even with a low database servers or a 2 to 4 years diploma (not master) and even if he’s not working in Paris (Paris salaries are higher than the rest of France)
      In France, or I want to say Paris, we start at 35-37k€ (brut annual salary, not including the extras) for a DBA consulting job on Oracle/SQL Server with 0 to 1 year experience and can expect a rise of 2k/year without changing company.
      I had a job offer in Canada after 2 year in France at 60k CAD, which is +- 42k € which is, in the end, equivalent.

      Regarding French post-secondary education, it is now the same in all Europe, with Licence (3 years), Master (Licence +2 year = 5 years), Doctorate (Licence + Master + 3 years = 8 years for Phd) and I believe that during my recruitement process, my Master degree was recognized at the same level as a Canadian Master degree. (I even had to do a equivalence of diplomas for the process)

      Reply
      • You are making assumptions Mat. In this case that’s probably not a great move since you have no contact with the individuals who took part, and no understanding of how they measure their time.
        I could go into a talk about how your inclusion of education is near-on pointless in the IT industry but I think I’d be talking to a brick wall with a computer science degree hanging on it’s face.

        I’m sure French employers are much the same as we have here in England. Currently the mentality for a lot of companies (not all!) is to simply employ the cheapest person possible who is capable of doing the job, often this might be a south-Asian or eastern European who will consider these salaries to be great compared to their native country where they were paid a lot less and were wow’d at 35,000 a year and maybe migrate over, or maybe they are actually based in India, but work for an employer in Paris as a remote DBA, so they used their employers location as the origin of salary/employer.

        This is just thinking outside of the box, possibilities rather than just assuming it’s wrong, It could very well be right! You can only work with the data that’s in front of you, spending time bemoaning about what you see gets you no where.

        Reply
    • GeoNames has a free webservice that spits out XML/JSON, and there’s a jQuery wrapper for it (http://tompi.github.io/jeoquery/). Take a look at the last demo on this page, the “city autocomplete”: http://tompi.github.io/jeoquery/ui.html

      The other big challenge I see here is in normalizing the money: What kind of salary does an $80,000/yr job in Chicago equate to in Helsinki? You’ve got to be able to do real-time exchange rate lookups, and factor in cost of living, which varies drastically.

      Reply
  • There ae a couple people throwing off the curve but ok. Must be nice to pull down almost a 1/4 million a year to work on DBs.

    Reply
    • I think location+industry is very important here. I pay SQL DBA consultants over $1K daily on long term contracts, but this is NYC finance with the requisite pressure that comes with it.

      Reply
  • Interesting data! Thanks for doing the survey, Brent!

    This is my related post:
    https://blogs.sentryone.com/melissaconnors/when-does-it-pay-for-a-dba/

    Reply
  • On the location thing, if you could somehow capture their lat-long you could do some analysis after the fact to determine country or state or whatever.

    What’d be really cool is if you could capture their ‘what3words’ address. So you’d know how salaries for cowboy.facing.comet compare with those in kicks.pasta.steer

    (I don’t work for what3words but I do think it’s kind of awesome for specifying ‘micro-addresses’.

    Reply
    • Wow, I’d never heard of what3words before, but very few people will allow that, I bet. It basically pins down exactly what company most folks work for. (Same with lat/long in a lot of companies.)

      Reply
      • Very true, very true. I should have had my mid-afternoon cup of coffee before posting. If you could somewhat reliably capture City and Country, perhaps with some form of ‘fuzzy’ validation (in case somebody fat-fingers Minneapolis) that should do it, maybe? Maybe some machine learning algorithm to identify regional dialect in their comments? It’s all quite simple, right?

        Reply
  • Hi Brent,

    Thanks for the survey.
    As we can slice this data in a thousand ways, I leave here my small analysis http://redglue.eu/analysis-of-dba-professionals-salarys-2017-using-powerbi/

    Reply
  • I’d love hear more about what those RDS DBAs are doing? From what I have read about the cloud the DBA role can either change very little or become nearly redundant depending on the service you take from your cloud provider.

    Reply
    • David W – nah, even with Azure SQL DB and Amazon RDS, there’s still a spectacular amount of performance tuning work for the DBA to do. One might argue even more work, because now you’re paying by the hour for your performance workloads. If you can do tuning, and cut your bill down, you can justify your salary.

      Reply
  • One thing (realize survey can’t cover everything) is that in small and medium size companies the expectations for the DBA are usually higher. He/She is probably not just a DBA, but a DA/BA/PM. A lot of places that are large can have a DBA to just deal with the back end of SQL Server, but at a lot of companies a DBA becomes a much larger and probably more valued asset. Honestly you can google a lot to find answers to SQL Server, but when you have this multi dimensional role google is not going to help

    Reply
    • Tim – I’m not sure if you’re arguing that salaries are higher or lower at small companies, and I can say that I’ve definitely seen it go both ways. Generally, a jack-of-all-trades earns less, and a specialist earns more. (For example, large companies can afford to have a team of specialists who ONLY do performance tuning, or ONLY do production DBA work, and those specialists can earn great money.)

      Reply
  • Maybe you can use https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/people-operations/global-compensation-calculator/ for calculate compensation that each dba should receive. Another option could be payscale.com or salary.com for check only us salaries.

    Reply

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