The average Computer Scientist in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $79K per year. In the world of Computer Scientists, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $10K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $20K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $49K and $125K. While the company and years of experience impact pay for this group, location is the most influential factor. The vast majority (86 percent) of Computer Scientists who answered the questionnaire are male. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report moderate levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$49,065 - $122,262
(Median)
$49K
$79K
$120K
MEDIAN: $79,492
10%
50%
90%

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$13.81 - $50.73
(Median)
$14
$27
$51
MEDIAN: $26.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$49,065 - $122,262  
   
Bonus
$493.16 - $10,260  
Profit Sharing
$425.74 - $20,134  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$48,846 - $124,883  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 443
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$13.81 - $50.73  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.91  
Overtime
$27.69 - $69.04  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$493.16 - $10,260  
   
Profit Sharing
$425.74 - $20,134  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$48,846 - $124,883  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 37

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United States (change)

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Job Description for Computer Scientist

Computer scientists develop and maintain computer-based tools to facilitate and improve their organization's functioning. They may work with a variety of teams and individuals in their company; for example, a computer scientist may design a database to track inventory for a company or develop an algorithm to predict customer trends to help guide production and development. Good communication skills are valuable to a computer scientist so they can understand what their colleagues need. Strong attention to detail is necessary to ensure that software is not only effective, but also user-friendly (including for users who may not be technically adept).

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Computer Scientist Tasks

  • Generate research ideas and solutions to complex computer science problems.
  • Writes articles for publication.
  • Plan, coordinate and execute research objectives.
  • Perform research support on problems of diverse scope and execute research projects.

Common Career Paths for Computer Scientist


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Moving into a Senior Software Engineer position seems to be a popular career progression. Median pay for this job is $94K annually.

Computer and Information Scientist, Research Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Computer Scientist


Sri, International offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $139K.

Popular Skills for Computer Scientist


Computer Scientists seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Image Processing, Matlab, Python, and Systems Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 16 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Embedded / Real-Time / RTOS, C# Programming Language, and C#. Most people experienced in Java also know C++.

Pay by Experience Level for Computer Scientist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $70K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $92K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Between 10 and 20 years, pay surpasses six figures; at this stage, the average professional scores around $104K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $109K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $79,706

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Computer Scientists in San Jose, San Francisco, and Mountain View — the highest-paid cities for Computer Scientists in California and the United States — enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle with compensation above the national average. Computer Scientists in Atlanta report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 31 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Employers also pay below the national average in Norfolk (21 percent lower) and Charleston (19 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Computer Scientist Salaries




National Average
$80,000


Skills That Affect Computer Scientist Salaries

Image Processing
up arrow 16%

up arrow 15%

Matlab
up arrow 15%



JavaScript
up arrow 4%

C++
0%

C++ Programming Language
0%

National Average
$80,000

C
up arrow 1%

C programming Language
up arrow 1%

Java
up arrow 3%


C#
up arrow 12%


Embedded / Real-Time / RTOS
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 41 votes.

Gender

Female
14 %
Male
86 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
21%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 71%
medical benefits
Vision: 66%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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