Big Data Engineer Salary In The U.S: Based on Skill, Experience etc.

Wondering what the salary range of a Big Data Engineer in the United States is?

Before we talk about the Big Data Engineer salary, it is pertinent to throw light on what Big Data is and the job profile of a Big Data Engineer. 

Big Data refers to the large datasets that are too complicated for traditional data analysis methods and applications. Typical characteristics of Big Data include high volume, wide variety, and/or high velocity. Hence, harnessing Big Data calls for heavy reliance on strong analytical skills along with raw storage and processing power. Furthermore, the ever-increasing amount of traffic generated from mobile data, cloud computing, and evolving technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) increase the volume and complexity of Big Data. 

The value of Big Data is growing rapidly, and its correct usage is a crucial factor deciding the success or failure of a business. Consequently, the demand for Big Data engineers and related job roles is at an all-time high. 

Who is a Big Data Engineer?

Data Engineering is a branch of Data Science that focuses on applying Data Science in the real world. It is all about the practical applications of data collection, analysis, and systems development for better flow and access to information. 

A Big Data Engineer is responsible for developing, testing, and maintaining an organization’s Big Data infrastructure and tools. Their primary job is to collect large amounts of data from multiple sources and make sure that downstream users can easily access the data. In other words, a Big Data Engineer’s job is to ensure that the data pipelines of the company are secure, scalable, and able to cater to multiple users.

Big Data Engineer Salary in the U.S.

The field of Data Engineering is growing fast. Every organization, big or small, startups or established ones, want to derive insights from vast volumes of data and drive their business to success. It means that almost every organization is ready to pay attractive salary packages and growth opportunities to Data Engineers.

However, certain factors always come into play in deciding the Big Data Engineer salary. Such factors include:

  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Industry
  • Type and size of the organization
  • Location/Country
  • Educational Qualification
  • Certifications

The average Big Data Engineer salary in the United States is US$ 89,838 per year. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the Big Data Engineer salary:

Salary Distribution


Base Salary*

US$ 66,000 – US$ 131,000


US$ 1,000 – US$ 24,000


US$ 0 – US$ 5,000

Total Pay#

US$ 67,000 – 145,000

Source: Payscale

*Base salary represents the gross income before taxes and deductions. It does not include additional pay such as bonuses, benefits, commissions, or profit-sharing.

#Total pay includes the hourly wage or base annual salary, bonuses, tips, profit sharing, overtime pay, cash earnings, and other additional forms of pay as applicable for this job post. It excludes non-cash benefits (for example, healthcare), retirement benefits, or equity compensation.

Skills Affecting Big Data Engineer Salary

The field of Data Engineering demands Big Data Analytics skills, including various Big Data tools and technologies. As a matter of fact, Big Data Salary is highly correlated to the skillset of the prospective employee. Hence, a candidate who checks most of the boxes takes home a higher salary than someone who is not as skilled.

Given below is a list of popular Data Engineering skills and the corresponding average salary a person with that skill can expect:


Average Salary


US$ 91,405


US$ 93,135

ETL (Extract, Transform, Load)

US$ 95,671

Apache Spark

US$ 99,664

Data Analysis

US$ 86,987 

Source: Payscale

The following table lists some more skills and their impact on the salary of a Data Engineer:





Apache Kafka




Apache Sqoop




Amazon Redshift


Apache Cassandra


Apache HBase


Statistical Analysis


Data Quality


Source: Payscale

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Data Engineer Popular Career Paths and Salaries

The field of Data Engineering can open up several career paths. Given below is a list of some of the most sought-after job titles that are popular among Data Engineers.

Job Title

Average Salary (per year)

Senior Data Engineer

US$ 124,762 

Data Engineering Manager

US$ 134,366

Data Scientist

US$ 96,528

Lead Software Engineer

US$ 119,737

Source: Payscale

Way Forward: Advance Your Big Data Career with upGrad

upGrad’s Advanced Certificate Program in Big Data and Executive PG Program in Data Science are designed to cater to the needs of professionals who want to pursue a career in Big Data and Data Science. 

The online higher education platform offers premium learning resources in the form of academically rigorous and industry-relevant courses and programs. With world-class faculty and experts and collaboration with some of the leading universities, the upGrad experience is simply unmatched. upGrad combines the best-in-class technology, services, and teaching practices to deliver courses that are tailor-made to fit the latest industry standards. With a massive learner base of over 40,000 paid learners across 85+ countries, upGrad has impacted more than 500,000 working professionals and continues to strive towards excellence.

Course Highlights

1. Advanced Certificate Program in Big Data (7.5 months)

  • Prestigious recognition from IIIT Bangalore
  • Cutting edge curriculum covering theoretical knowledge and practical skills
  • Comprehensive coverage of multiple tools and technologies such as Python, Hadoop, Apache Spark, Hive, Kafka, Apache HBase, and many more.
  • 250+ hours of content, 4+ case studies and hands-on projects, and 10+ live sessions.
  • Networking and collaboration opportunities with peers and Big Data industry experts, personalized mentorship from industry experts, and 360-degree career assistance.

2. Executive PG Program in Data Science (12 months)

  • Prestigious recognition from IIIT Bangalore and an additional Honours certificate on achieving a CGPA of 3+ in the program
  • All-round coverage of essential programming languages and tools (Python, Tableau, MySQL, Excel)
  • Optional modules for Data Engineering, Data Generalist, Deep Learning, and Natural Language processing for further upskilling.
  • Over 400 hours of best-in-class content in the form of 60+ industry projects and case studies and 40+ live learning and expert coaching sessions
  • Collaborative projects through student-mentor interaction, personalized expert feedback, Q&A forums, and networking opportunities with industry experts.

In Conclusion

The popularity of Big Data is at its glorious peak and shows no signs of fading away any time soon. According to reports by Statista, the global Big Data market is predicted to grow to US$ 103 billion by 2027, an increase of more than twice the expected market size in 2018.  Further, the global Big Data and Business Analytics market is expected to touch the US$ 274.3 billion mark by 2022. Keeping all those stats in mind, it is not wrong to say that Big Data is the future and is here to say. Furthermore, each passing day will only increase the need and demand for Big Data professionals who can help organizations tap the potential of humongous amounts of data and lead the business into making insightful and data-driven decisions. In a nutshell, a career in Big Data has immense scope, both in terms of the pay scale and professional growth. With upGrad, you can begin your learning journey with some of the best educators and validate your skills with prestigious certifications from eminent universities and institutions.

What is the difference between a Data Scientist and a Data Engineer?

The primary difference between a Data Scientist and a Data Engineer is that while the former deals with advanced mathematical and statistical analyses of generated data, the latter is responsible for building the infrastructure and tools for data generation.

How will I know if I am being paid fairly as a Big Data Engineer?

If you are not sure about the appropriate salary range of a Big Data Engineer, Payscale’s free online Salary Calculator will give you a customized pay range based on your job title and location.

What skills do I need to become a Big Data Engineer?

The critical skills for landing any Big Data job include analytical skills, data visualization skills, programming skills (Python, C, Scala, Java, etc.), familiarity with the business domain, and Big Data tools and technologies such as Matlab, Hadoop, SPSS, etc., SQL (Structured Query Language), data mining skills, problem-solving skills, and the knowledge of public and hybrid clouds.

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