The 2020 Data Professional Salary Survey Results Are In.


We asked what you make, and 1,734 of you in 63 countries answered. Altogether, you made $170,753,936 this year. Damn, y’all are bringing home the bacon!

Download the 2020, 2019, 2018, & 2017 results in Excel.

A few things to know about it:

  • The data is public domain. The license tab makes it clear that you can use this data for any purpose, and you don’t have to credit or mention anyone.
  • The spreadsheet includes the results for all 4 years (2017-2020.) We’ve gradually asked different questions over time, so if a question wasn’t asked in a year, the answers are populated with Not Asked.
  • The postal code field was totally optional, and may be wildly unreliable. Folks asked to be able to put in small portions of their zip code, like the leading numbers.
  • Frankly, anytime you let human beings enter data directly, the data can be pretty questionable – for example, there were 14 folks this year who entered annual salaries below $500. If you’re doing analysis on this, you’re going to want to discard some outliers.

I did some quick slicing and dicing, focusing on SQL Server DBAs in the United States, and deleted the top & bottom 10 outliers (because they were kinda bananas.) Looks like DBA salaries are up again this year:

We had a lot more responders this year overall – responses went down in 2019, possibly because we got a little overzealous with asking a lot of questions. We took a lot of questions out this year because they just weren’t proving to be relevant, but if you want to slice & dice through past history on those, they’re still included in the spreadsheet output.

We did ask a couple of new questions though: what’s the newest version of SQL Server you have in production?

That’s awesome! 11% of respondents are already on SQL Server 2019. I know what you’re gonna ask: are those people paid more? For that, I’ll point you to the spreadsheet to do your own analysis, because you’d also probably want to filter for job positions you’re interested in, countries, etc. I don’t know much about stats, but I know that as sample size gets smaller, that kind of data – like salaries – is less useful, so be careful.

And the oldest version you have in production:

Ouch. 49% of shops are still running unsupported versions in production. But hey, at least the adoption rate of SQL Server 2019 (the newest version in the top table) has already caught up with the combined installations of SQL Server 2000 & 2005!

Hope this helps make your salary discussions with the boss a little bit more data-driven, and hope it helps justify keeping your salary competitive. If you’ve got questions about the data, go ahead and jump in – download the 2020, 2019, 2018, & 2017 results in Excel. Don’t ask me to slice and dice the numbers for you – you’re a data professional, remember? Get in there and analyze it to answer your own questions. You’ve got this!

If you write a blog post about the data, let me know – I’ll post a followup next Tuesday with a link to your blog, and that’ll help drive traffic to you.

Previous Post
My 11 Favorite 2019 Blog Posts
Next Post
[Video] You shouldn’t dynamically create/alter/drop triggers.

8 Comments. Leave new

  • After doing some slicing and dicing (removing people above 10 years and under 5 years, removing top and bottom 7ish outliers, limiting job titles) i get 136 results. According to it, I am about 7k underpaid. That said, there have been talks of an incoming promotion… Maybe that will even it out.

    I always love slicing this up when you publish it. thanks for being the cornerstone of the community and helping us in this area!

  • Allen Shepard
    January 6, 2020 10:19 am

    “entered annual salaries below $500” Interns ?? What if those are real salaries?
    Avg salary – $98,474.01¢ [including interns]
    Scary the newest SQL version is 2008.
    “Unsupported versions” Vendors who have not upgraded and “We use but no longer pay for the product as it is for archive use only”

  • “entered annual salaries below $500”?
    Most of those look like the folks might just have omitted the ‘k$’ (or ‘000’) at the end and, out of habit, just entered the thousands.

  • In the table regarding “what’s the newest version of SQL Server you have in production?”, I crunched the percentages and always got 99%. Where did that 1% go?

  • Where can I fill out the survey?

  • Looking forward to 2020 – year of the “dumpster fire” survey.
    Perhaps add Total DBAs and total servers, total databasaes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.