Data science adoption has accelerated over the last couple of years, especially after the pandemic. As a result, Data Scientists or AI/ML Engineers are hired across sectors as enterprises look to utilise data to make informed decisions or automate processes. At the same time, the amount of data generated has increased along with the variety of sources it comes from due to improved digital adoption. Hence, while drawing insights from data has become crucial, maintaining data pipelines to ensure the availability of clean data has also become equally important. This has increased the demand for Data Engineers. Data Engineers are analytics professionals responsible for generating, cleaning, processing, and storing data in a way that is ready for analysis. Essentially Data Engineers lay the foundation for Data Scientists or AI/ML professionals to do their jobs.
A report published by DICE, an online portal that hosts one of the largest databases of technology professionals, suggests Data Engineer is the fastest-growing job in technology, with over 50% year-over-year growth in 2020. The scale of growth of any domain is also evinced by the salaries drawn by experienced professionals or the increase in the proportion of experienced professionals drawing higher wages. In this report, we will study the salaries earned by Data Engineers. We will analyse the salary trends of these professionals across different parameters like work experience, industries, cities, education, and gender. This report can be used by recruiters as a benchmark when hiring Data Engineers or by analytics professionals looking for new job opportunities in Data Engineering to command competitive salaries.
The research presented in this report has been collected from publicly available data, including news reports, academic journals, job sites, and other information portals. The data was collated in the last week of August 2021. All the salaries mentioned in the report are in Indian Rupee (INR).
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- Data Engineers currently employed in India command a median salary of 12.3 Lakhs per annum.
- Freshers with 0-3 years of experience earn a median salary of 5.7 Lakhs per annum, whereas people with more than 15 years of experience command a median salary of 33.0 Lakhs.
- BFSI pays the highest salary to Data Engineers with a median salary of 19.4 Lakhs per annum, followed by Retail & Consumer Goods (16.9 Lakhs) and Healthcare (15.5 Lakhs).
- Bangalore pays its Data Engineers the highest median salary of 13.7 Lakhs per annum. Hyderabad and Delhi NCR come second and third with a median of 12.6 Lakhs and 12.4 Lakhs.
- Undergraduates with an engineering degree command a median salary of 10.6 Lakhs per annum. This increases to 14.7 Lakhs if you have graduated from a top-tier university. MBA post-graduates from top-tier universities earn the highest, with a median of 24.4 Lakhs.
- Male Data Engineers command a median salary of 12.7 Lakhs per annum—37.1% higher than women.
Median Salary Of Data Engineers
There are around 33,000 Data Engineers currently working in Indian enterprises across sectors. As the demand for these professionals rises, approximately 11,000 open jobs are presently hiring for the same position.
- Data Engineers currently command a median salary of 12.3 Lakhs per annum in India, with a median work experience of 6.2 years.
- This median goes on increasing evenly with more work experience in the job.
- A fresh graduate (0-3 years) starting their career as a Data Engineer earns a median salary of 5.7 Lakhs per annum. The median salary increases to 9.3 Lakhs as you assume a senior position with 3-6 years of experience.
- With 6-9 years of experience, Data Engineers start working in more senior or leading roles and command a median salary of 14.5 Lakhs per annum.
- Data Engineers with work experience of 9-12 or 12-15 years of experience command a median salary of 18.9 Lakhs and 24.4 Lakhs per annum.
- People with more than 15 years of work experience get a big bump as they command a median salary of 33.0 Lakhs per annum—many of them head Data units, assuming roles as Directors, VPs, Principals, etc.
Median Salary By Sector
The median salary of Data Engineers is greater in sectors that collect more sensitive data, especially if it is generated by their consumers.
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- The BFSI sector collects very sensitive data that includes the financial information of its clients. They also generate huge amounts of data from various sources as most of their processes are now digital. Data Engineers in the BFSI sector are paid the highest salaries among all industries, with a median of 19.4 Lakhs per annum.
- Operations in the Retail & Consumer Goods industry are going more digital, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. The industry is generating vast amounts of data as it identifies the significant potential in analysing transactional data to increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction. As a result, data engineers have a renewed importance in the sector and command a median salary of 16.9 Lakhs per annum.
- The healthcare sector has always generated huge amounts of data from various sources like administration, diagnosis, treatment, drug trials etc. The industry has been quick in terms of its digital adoption and now finds various ways to improve the quality of healthcare using the collected data—the Data Engineers working in this sector command the third-highest median salary of 15.5 Lakhs per annum.
- These three sectors are followed by two other industries that are mostly online and whose overall consumption has been increased significantly after the pandemic. The Internet & eCommerce and Media & Telecom industries pay their Data Engineers a median salary of 13.6 Lakhs and 12.1 Lakhs per annum.
- The Infrastructure & Transport and Manufacturing & Production industries are catching up with the other leading sectors as they realised the importance of digital continuity after the Covid-19 lockdowns. As a result, they are hiring more and more Data Engineers to capture data by various means. Currently, they pay a median salary of 11.5 Lakhs and 9.2 Lakhs per annum to their Data Engineers.
- Lastly, Data Engineers working in Education are paid a median salary of 7.7 Lakhs per annum.
Median Salary By City
- The largest domestic and MNC IT companies are present in Bangalore, all of which now provide Data Science services. The city thus hosts the highest share of analytics professionals, including Data Engineers that are paid the most competitive salaries. The enterprises in the city pay their Data Engineers a median salary of 13.7 Lakhs per annum.
- This is followed by Hyderabad and Delhi, where Data Engineers command a median salary of 12.6 Lakhs and 12.4 Lakhs per annum. Both cities have captives of some of the biggest brands hiring Data Engineers in senior positions.
- Mumbai usually dons the highest salaries in analytics and data science. This is mainly attributed to the high cost of living and its sector-location niche that hosts some of the biggest companies in BFSI and Consultancy. However, these firms have hired more Data Engineers at entry-level positions. Overall this brings the median salary down to 11.3 Lakhs per annum.
- Pune and Chennai pay their Data Engineers a median salary of 11.5 Lakhs and 9.9 Lakhs per annum.
Median Salary By Education
Like any role in Data Science or otherwise, Data Engineers graduating (UG and PG) from top-tier universities get paid a higher median salary compared to graduates from other universities.
- Data Engineers with an undergraduate degree in engineering from top-tier universities command a median salary of 14.7 Lakhs per annum, 38.8% higher than other engineering undergraduates that earn 10.6 Lakhs.
- Similarly, Data Engineers with a postgraduate degree in engineering from top-tier universities command a median salary of 17.9 Lakhs per annum compared to engineering postgraduates from other universities that earn 13.4 Lakhs.
- Non-engineering undergraduates earn 8.1 Lakhs per annum. Non-engineering post-graduates earn almost twice as much as undergraduates (16.1 Lakhs per annum).
- Data Engineers who have an MBA from top-tier universities earn the highest salaries of all with a median of 24.4 Lakhs per annum. Other MBA graduates earn slightly lower than them, with a median of 17.6 Lakhs per annum in salary.
- Data Engineers with a PhD command a median salary of 21.0 Lakhs per annum.
Median Salary of Gender
- Male Data Engineers not only earn more (37.1% more) than their female counterparts in terms of the median salary but also make up 78.3% of these engineers.
- Males earn 12.7 Lakhs per annum, and females earn 9.3 Lakhs per annum.
As the analytics industry continues to grow, different roles are gaining importance within the function. The significance of good quality data has been highlighted time and again for better results in Data Science or related applications. With higher digital adoption, the data generated has increased exponentially, and so has the number of sources it comes from. Hence, Data Engineers are more in demand. As of August 2021, they earn a median salary of 12.3 Lakhs per annum. This salary increases with more experience and varies across sectors, cities, and the individual’s education. The salary gap between men and women also exists in this profession and needs addressing.
In conclusion, fresh graduates considering a career in analytics and experienced analytics professionals considering a career shift could consider working as a Data Engineer and upskilling their capabilities accordingly. There is ample opportunity for growth in terms of learning, capability, and compensation in this job. Data Engineers also command a considerable salary across the analytics function, and they are being hired across different sectors.