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It Pays to Be a Data Engineer

· 3 min read
Parham Parvizi

The most important benefit of a profession is job availability. Right now, data engineering jobs are available in abundance. In fact, there are more jobs than data engineers to do them. The 2020 Dice Tech Jobs Report analyzed six million job postings and found data engineering jobs grew 50% between 2019 and 2020. That’s the highest of any tech industry specialization. A Burtch Works survey confirms the need for data engineers continues. Of 320 data engineering employers polled in mid-2021, 80% said they planned to hire data engineers in the second half of the year.

The reason those jobs are available is because the tools and knowledge needed to do them change as the technology advances in cutting-edge industries such as AI, robotics, and block chain. It’s not easy being a data engineer. You’re like a pioneer on the forefront of advanced civilization, forced to adapt to the changing environment. But if you can survive, and maybe even thrive, you will be rewarded. reports the average income for data engineers is $119,000 a year. Level two data engineers make $130,000 to $165,000. And level three managers and architects can expect $175,000 to $250,000. It’s a lucrative job because of the demand.

The demand pays off in other ways. Benefits can include stock options, significant 401(k) matching, meals provided, gym memberships, and even unlimited paid time off. Yes, I said UNLIMITED TIME OFF. That’s how badly companies need data engineers right now. They can take vacation anytime as long as the work is getting done.

One concern for potential data engineers is the cost of living in high tech markets. surveyed 568 data engineers and found just 69% thought their salaries were enough to cover the cost of living in their areas. It’s no surprise. San Francisco is the top data engineering hub in the country. The average home there is $1,526,000, according to Zillow.

The good news is data engineering hubs are popping up across the country. The Dice 2020 job report found some of the hottest metro areas include smaller markets like Jacksonville, Florida—where the average home costs $259,000; and Columbus Ohio—where the average home is $216,000. In fact, you don’t even need to be in a city to do some jobs. We just searched this week and found nearly 6,400 data engineering jobs labeled remote. Some of them do require travel. Just be sure your Upper Peninsula Michigan hunting shack has high-speed internet before you apply.