Are You Underpaid? Find Out in the Data Professional Salary Survey Results.


We asked what you make, and 1,747 of you in 69 countries answered. Altogether, you made $171,879,034 this year. Hubba hubba, there’s some earning power in this audience.

Download the Data Professional Salary Survey results (XLSX).

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 history since 2017. 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 – people put in questionable units of measure for salary, and we discarded a few responses who were obvious inconsiderate trolls about their gender.

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:

With the wildly turbulent year we just had, I was wondering if y’all would change your career goals. You said, that in 2021, your plans are to:

And that mix almost identically mirrors last year’s responses, so it looks like the pandemic didn’t change your plans too much. 2/3 of you usually plan to stay in the same company doing the same thing.

What’s the newest version of SQL Server you have in production?

The numbers are way up for SQL Server 2019 this year, up from 11% last year. That’s great! Now, on the flip side, what’s the oldest version you have in production?

Oof. About 1/3 of y’all are still supporting something that Microsoft refuses to support. You’ve got about another year and a half on SQL Server 2012, but that still means you want to start making your transition plans this year. Interestingly, the numbers for 2008 & 2008R2 didn’t drop all that much: last year, 40% of you were running those.

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 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!

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