A pen, pencil, dollar bill, and keyboard on a sheet of paper with graphs Data Analyst Salary

Data Analyst Salary: How Much Does a Data Analyst Make?

All online activities generate data. Data analysts are responsible for mining that information and turning it into actionable insights. If you are considering a career in this field and are wondering how much these professionals make, this data analyst salary guide will answer all your questions.

Data Analyst Salary

Data analysts research, gather, and elucidate information for businesses to help them evaluate future plans and assess the success of past projects. Data analysts help businesses determine the impact of marketing investments by helping leaders make decisions from an informed perspective. These experts often work with database administrators and architects to develop and maintain databases.

According to Payscale, the average salary for data analysts is $61,754. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average salary for these professionals at $86,200 per year. These professionals also have access to substantial bonuses. Payscale estimates that the average additional cash compensation for a data analysts ranges from $978 to $10,000.

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What Influences Data Analyst Salaries

Employers determine the value of each position by researching available salary data in the industry. Other factors that influence the final pay include experience, location, and certifications. Another key factor is the size of the compay you are working for. Small-sized companies may not be able to pay as much as companies with thousands of employees.

Experience

Tech companies often pay data analysts more if they have experience in the field. If the position requires a candidate with more than ten years of experience, the pay will definitely be higher than a job that requires two or three years of experience. As your experience grows, so does your pay.

Location

Another crucial factor that influences the pay of a data analyst is location, mostly because the cost of living changes according to the city. Cities where living costs are higher, such as San Francisco or New York, generally have higher salaries.

Industry 

The industry that you work in as a data analyst will also be an important factor determining your pay. For example, the healthcare industry pays data analysts considerably higher than others. Indeed becoming a healthcare data analyst could be a very lucrative career move as the median salary in this industry is also higher than the national average.

Degree or Certification

A degree or certification from a reputable school or institution can also impact your earnings as a data analyst, as does the level of such degree. Workers who have a bachelor’s degree tend to earn more than those with just an associate degree or high school diploma.

In the same vein, advanced degrees will increase your earning power substantially. More education typically means more money in this competitive field. The same holds true for professional certifications. Data analyst with certifications from reputable institutions have a higher change of brining home a larger paycheck.

What Does a Data Analyst Do?

Data analysts collect, clean, and interpret datasets to answer business questions or solve problems and help companies make decisions. In most cases, interpreting data means finding trends or patterns in data to answer salient business questions. They work with other experts like product managers and software development professionals when necessary.

The job duties of data analysts also include communicating the results of their findings to other members of the company. They do this by putting together visualizations such as graphs and charts, writing reports, and giving presentations to make their actionable business recommendations easier to grasp. 

Data Analyst Skills

From math to soft skills, there is a wide range of abilities you must possess to qualify for an entry-level data analyst position. Below we take a look at the main ones.

SQL 

Most organizations need people who understand SQL because it is criticial for managing and storing data. SQL makes it easier to link multiple databases as well as change and build database structures. 

Critical Thinking 

Critical thinking and analytical skills are essential to solve problems through data. Without critical thinking skills, you’ll have a really hard time finding the solutions the job requires. To thrive as a data analyst, you must be able to find and synthesize connections that aren’t clear to others.

Microsoft Excel 

Programming languages like Python and R are ideal for large datasets, but Excel is still an important skill to have. Advanced Excel tools such as VBA macros are still used today for smaller, quicker data analysis. Also, data analysts who start out working for a smaller firm or a startup may need to use Excel.

Data Visualization 

Data visualization is one of the most important skills you need as a data analyst. You need to be able to create eye-catching and high-quality graphs and charts to present your findings. Knowledge of analytics tools like Tableau is required by most companies.

Statistical Programming with R or Python

Python and R are ideal for working with large datasets. These powerful programming languages are essential for data analysts as they can be used to perform predictive analysis on large datasets. Both languages are standard in the industry, so you need to master them to bring your analytics skills up to par.

How to Become a Data Analyst

Woman in business suit with a pen resting on her chin Data Analyst Salary
Data analysts gather, collect, and interpret data to help companies increase revenue

You can become a data analyst in a number of ways. You can enroll in a degree program at a university, take online courses, or attend a coding bootcamp. Since employers are focusing more and more on skills over educational credentials, a degree may not be essential to get a job in this field.

Taking Online Courses

You can gain job-ready skills for a data analyst position without having to spend four years pursuing a degree. There are a lot of online courses out there that will teach you how to organize and clean data using R and SQL. You can also learn to visualize using Tableau.

The best part about these courses is that they do not require prior experience or degrees. When you are done, you can begin to apply for entry-level positions as a business analyst or data analyst.

Getting a Degree

You can get a four-year degree in statistics, computer science, or information technology. A minor in data analysis or applied statistics can also work. Some colleges and universities offer internship opportunities for students before the degree program ends.

You can also consider enrolling in a Master’s Degree in Data Analytics, Data Science, or Data Management. These degrees will give you exposure to the latest analytics software used on the job.

Self-Study

There is also the possibility of teaching yourself the skills needed to work as a data analyst. Start by learning the key principles and tools of analytics. Read about real-world uses of data analytics and familiarize yourself with the different types of strategic analysis.

It also helps to research the different kinds of data analysis, including diagnostic, descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive. Study also data analytics techniques like cohort analysis, factor analysis, regression analysis, time series analysis, and cluster analysis. 

Attending a Bootcamp

Coding bootcamps come in handy when you want to break into a field without a degree. The curriculum covers all the technical skills. In addition, a coding bootcamp will also help you acquire the problem-solving, strategic thinking, and communication skills needed to take on a data analysis job.

Bootcamp programs are always short, lasting usually just a few weeks or months. This means you can be ready for your new career in record time. We recommend this option over self-study because a bootcamp gives you a structured curriculum that focuses on skills sought after in the industry.

Do You Need a Degree to Be a Data Analyst?

You don’t always need a degree to become a data analyst. Employers are increasingly prioritizing skills and expertise over educational credentials. This means they are looking for candidates that can do the job, regardless of whether they hold a degree or not. 

However, if you do not hold an advanced degree, you want to make sure you bring a solid portfolio to the job interview. Spend time working on real-world data to bulk it up. A good way to do this is by freelancing to accumulate additional experience in the field.

Is Data Analysis a Good Career Path?

Data analysis is an excellent career option if you love numbers. Data analysts are among the most sought-after experts in the globe and can attract high salaries. These professionals help companies track the impact of marketing efforts through data-driven insights and their findings can be critical in improving the bottom line.

These professionals are in high demand in many industries, including healthcare, financial services, and technology. Because of this, the average data analyst salary is high compared to the national average.

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