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Computer Scientist Salary (United States)

The median pay for Computer Scientists comes out to approximately $89K annually in the United States, but employers in Los Angeles offer the most; the average salary in that city is around $112K. Other urban areas shelling out big bucks include Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, where Computer Scientists typically earn around 24 percent, 18 percent, 18 percent, and 5 percent more than usual. This synopsis is derived from the responses of individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
Computer Scientist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$54,622 - $126,891
(Median)
55K
66K
89K
100K
130K
MEDIAN: $89,284
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Computer Scientist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$12.51 - $68.21
(Median)
13
20
29
45
68
MEDIAN: $28.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$54,622 - $126,891  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,081  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $10,000  
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).
)
$52,464 - $129,731  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 421
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$12.51 - $68.21  
   
Overtime
$6.21 - $54.11  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,081  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $10,000  
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).
)
$52,464 - $129,731  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 29
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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
  • Plan, coordinate and execute research objectives.
  • Perform research support on problems of diverse scope and execute research projects.
  • Generate research ideas and solutions to complex computer science problems.
  • Writes articles for publication.

Common Career Paths for Computer Scientist

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Computer Scientists who go on to become Senior Software Engineers may see somewhat stagnant compensation. Typically, a Senior Software Engineer, an upper-level role, pays $93K.

Computer Scientist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Computer Scientist

Sri, International attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $136K. Employees at Adobe Systems Incorporated take home the smallest paychecks, and $104K is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $96K and quickly nearing the top at only $126K. Workers also receive paychecks lighter than average at Sri, International.

Popular Skills for Computer Scientist

Survey results imply that Computer Scientists deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Image Processing, Matlab, Machine Learning, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 15 percent, 10 percent, 9 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Those listing C# as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Java and C also typically command lower compensation. Most people familiar with C++ also know Java.

Pay by Experience Level for Computer Scientist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $69K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $99K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Six-figure salaries surface after one to two decades on the job — experienced professionals in this group reap a six-figure median of $100K. Survey participants with more than two decades under their belts actually report earning less than people with less experience; the former take home only $100K on average. In this field, workers tend to have anywhere from one to nine years of experience — of those surveyed, a majority land within this range. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up slightly less than a fifth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than one-tenth, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining around one in eight.

Pay Difference By Location

Los Angeles
up arrow 26%
Seattle
up arrow 24%
San Francisco
up arrow 18%
New York
up arrow 18%
Washington
up arrow 5%
Baltimore
up arrow 1%
National Average
$89,000
San Diego
up arrow 3%
Charleston
up arrow 24%
Boston
up arrow 45%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Computer Scientist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 12%
National Average
$89,000

Skills That Affect Computer Scientist Salaries

Image Processing
up arrow 15%
Matlab
up arrow 10%
Machine Learning
up arrow 9%
Project Management
up arrow 3%
Software Development
up arrow 1%
Systems Engineering
0%
National Average
$89,000
Web Development
up arrow 2%
C++
up arrow 13%
Python
up arrow 16%
C
up arrow 17%
up arrow 20%
C#
up arrow 23%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 119 votes.

Gender

Female
14%
female alumni
 
Male
86%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 74%
vision benefits Vision: 63% employee benefits None: 9%