Tell Us What You Make: The 2018 Data Professional Salary Survey

Not what you’re worth, dear reader: we know your worth cannot possibly be calculated in base-10 numbering systems because you’re just so awesome, but what you make.

How many stacks of Paul Whites are you pulling down?

A few things to know:

  • It’s totally anonymous (we’re not getting your email, IP address, or anything like that.)
  • It’s open to all database platforms.
  • As with last year’s results, we’ll publish the raw data in Excel for anyone to analyze. If you want to set up your analysis ahead of time, here’s the incoming raw results as they happen (over 3,000), and we’ll share them in that exact same format. To get them in Excel now, click File, Download.
  • One interesting note already: it looks like female DBAs make less money.

Take the 2018 Data Professional Salary Survey now (closed, over), and thanks for your help in giving everybody in the community a better chance to talk honestly with their managers about salary.

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42 Comments. Leave new

  • Thanks for collecting this data again! Hopefully, this will catch on and we’ll get more and more people to get a clearer picture of our industry.

    Also, off topic, but I really appreciate your options for the gender question 🙂

  • David Hiltenbrand
    December 11, 2017 9:26 pm

    I’m glad to see the survey is happening again this year! I’ve noticed that despite the wealth of salary data about tech oriented professions, the info about data focused roles is often lacking. I hope the number of respondents is even better this year and will encourage everyone I know who works in the data realm to contribute. Thanks for promoting some transparency in our industry!

  • You know it almost Christmas time in Hollis ; when Brenet asked us how much cheddar were making.
    ( If you were not around in the 80’s here is a historical music video for you )
    RUN-DMC – Christmas In Hollis (Video) – YouTube

  • This is interesting. I’m curious to see the results.
    I looked at the preview results in Google Sheets. Postal code isn’t being forced to a character data type, and it drops the leading zero of a zip code. This makes my 5 digit New Jersey ZIP look like an ambiguous 4 digit ZIP, maybe from San Luis Potosí, Moctezuma, Mexico.

  • There is some janky data…
    Years that you’ve worked with this database: 53716
    Someone makes $130 a year as an Oracle DBA in the US… pull the other one 😉
    Avoid Italy and the Netherlands =$10,000 and

    • Martyn – hahaha, yeah, at the end of it, we’ll let the community decide which lines to cleanse. It’s not unusual to throw out high and low end numbers whenever free text entry comes into play.

    • I think the US East Coast will be greatly misrepresented since leading zeros are dropped and some folks obviously just put in the first few of their zip. I just did a quick review of US only by zip and had to remove about 600 rows due to incomplete or missing zip code data, that is currently about 1/3 of the US data.

      Other than that, it is great info and I have a pretty good idea of the going rate is in my area.

      Thanks for putting this together!

    • Thanks for posting your PBIX file–YOU ROCK!

  • Hi, Thanks for doing this again Brent. I didn’t take part last year but have done this time around. On a very quick look at the data collected so far I think it’s fair to say I’m a little underpaid! (UK equivalent to $56k for a DBA / BI developer…)

    • Lin – you’re welcome! Make sure to check location, though. Different countries pay vastly different salaries, and even cities (like London) affect pay.

    • It’s all the Data Scientists getting paid $1,450,000 that leave little remaining budget for other members of the BI team like you. 😉

  • I want to meet the dude making a cool 1.45 million. Wow!

  • is something treating the zip code as a number if it’s all digits? It looks like the leading 0 got dropped off my entry which will make it hard to differentiate between large parts of Wisconsin and Vermont.

  • There does seem to be a high standard deviation in the salary. It may help to exclude the outliers before we start averaging. Also, the term “DBA” is loosely defined. It makes no sense to compare the yearly gross income of some guy who happens to be the CEO of a startup (managing the database server as a side hustle) or someone who own their own consultancy to a staff salaried DBA.

    • Eric – c’mon, seriously, no startup CEO is taking this survey calling themselves a DBA. If you’re not sure about that, read the rest of the questions and the highly paid peoples’ answers to understand what they’re doing.

      • Thanks, Brent. OK, I see it now. The guy describes his role as: “Architect, Data Scientist, Developer, App code (C#, JS, etc), Developer, and T-SQL, Manager”. That obviously explains the $1,450,000 annual salary.

        So, here is my take away from this survey:

        – Being a jack-of-all-trades really really pays off. Seriously, why are the rest of us specializing?

        – Too bad this (1) enterprising individual isn’t Female, because she alone would have flipped the gender gap for this dataset in the opposite direction… Maybe next year.

        – Interestingly enough, when asked if he’s looking for another job right now, he replied: “Yes, but only passively (just curious)”, so the plum job he’s in now might be up for grabs in the near future. Damn, wish I knew he company name he works for and I’d send them my resume.


  • Thomas Hütter
    January 3, 2018 4:38 am

    Hi Brent,
    great to see you put up that survey again, thanks for your work! Just one issue/question: I can open and download your Google sheet OK, but it seems not to be accessible via the API for me. Not sure, could be my fault, or your intention, or maybe it’s something you can change, any idea?

    • Thomas – I’m not a Sheets API pro, but I did some quick Googling and it looks like that’s for editing the sheet. It’s not set up for folks to be able to edit it for obvious reasons. 😀

      • Thomas Hütter
        January 3, 2018 5:25 am

        Ha ha, I beg you, I am a SheetsAPI noob myself. Auntie Google just led me to the hint that “Published to the web” and “Public on the web” are different things, which might be worth a thought (I thought). I was not actually thinking about editing the survey, it was just a quick jump at importing the as-current-as-possible data directly into R, without downloading the xls first.
        I was, however, able to add it to my GoogleSheet repository (or whatever it’s called), and can grab it from there using the API. But then, that’s probably also a copy, not a linked object. Have to elaborate on that…

        • Hold tight – the survey isn’t closed yet. It’ll close on Jan 7, and then you won’t have to worry about fetching contents. It’ll just be done.

          • Thomas Hütter
            January 3, 2018 2:12 pm

            Update: it’s some link alright – it has grown by twentysomething entries since I last tried it this afternoon, cool! Brent, would it be OK for you to see your survey as a data source in one of my presentations, the one at SQLBits for instance? ?

          • Absolutely! The data will be totally open via Creative Commons licensing with no attribution required.

          • Thomas Hütter
            January 3, 2018 3:34 pm

            No no, honour to whom honour is due 😉
            But thank you, Sir!

  • Thomas Hütter
    January 3, 2018 6:27 am

    Right, I’ll be patient till then 😀
    Thanks for the heads-up, Sir!

  • DoubleBarrellDarrell
    January 3, 2018 10:14 am

    Hi Brent, I suggest adding columns, Bonus and Raise%. Thank You!

  • Of course my takeaway above was intended to be satire. Any serious conclusions would need to filter out the standard deviations, like the “Male” DBA with the “$1,450,000 annual salary”.

  • This is really nice! One detail that might also be useful is age of the professional. Salary for a 35 year old with 10 years DB experience might look a lot different than for someone who’s 45. Might help explain some of those wider pay ranges where all other details look similar.


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