Policy makers rely heavily on crime statistics analyses to identify trends and develop effective policies in response to their findings. The Alabama Statistical Analysis Center produces the annual report entitled Crime in Alabama that provides an objective analysis of statewide policy issues based on the work of the dedicated data scientists that work for this agency.
Data scientists with the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center began requiring law enforcement agencies to submit their crime statistics electronically starting in 2010. This policy enables a more complete picture of where serious crimes like arson are occurring in Alabama.
This is just one of the many areas in which data scientists lend their expertise to mine, clean, process and make visual representations of massive data assets such that the information can be used to make real strategic decisions and identify new solutions.
Starting Salary Ranges for Data Scientists in Alabama’s Biggest Cities
The tech scenes in the Birmingham-Hoover and Huntsville areas have been making waves in the press in recent years. Techie.com named Huntsville as one of the 10 most promising tech hubs in the country in 2014. In addition to the emergence of a tech and startup culture, Huntsville is home to such established entities as Cumming Research Park, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and a number of aerospace and military technology companies.
Not to be outdone, the tech scene in Birmingham-Hoover is growing so rapidly that Forbes featured it in a 2013 article in the entrepreneurs section. The article focused on Innovation Depot—a nonprofit incubator and economic development program that supports early stage technology programs. About 90% of the companies that graduate from the program stay local, suggesting that Birmingham-Hoover’s tech scene will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.
It is not surprising, then, that data scientists in Birmingham, Hoover, and Huntsville earned significantly higher salaries than those in other cities in Alabama, according to Robert Half Technology (2016). This tech industry staffing firm finds placement for thousands of jobseekers each year, and has access to the starting salaries for the many data scientists the firm has placed throughout the nation in recent years. These salary figures do not include bonuses or relocation assistance.
According to a US News & World Report summary of the Atlas Van Lines’ 45th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey, 65% of the firms surveyed offered full reimbursement of the moving costs for relocating employees in 2011. Given the dramatic increase in the demand for data scientists, it is likely that this figure has grown even higher since the time of that survey. Fortunately for recent graduates, 52% of all relocations paid for in 2011 were for new hires.
Accounting for geographical variations throughout Alabama based on US Bureau of Labor Statistics research, Robert Half is able to provide a complete and up-to-date picture of starting salary expectations for data scientists in the state:
- Birmingham: $104,000 – $146,000
- Hoover: $103,000 – $146,000
- Tuscaloosa: $91,000 – $128,000
- Oxford: $80,000 – $112,000
- Gadsden: $74,000 – $104,000
- Huntsville: $102,000 – $143,000
- Decatur: $88,000 – $124,000
- Florence: $77,000 – $109,000
- Muscle Shoals: $77,000 – $109,000
- Montgomery: $89,000 – $125,000
- Auburn: $75,000 – $106,000
- Opelika: $75,000 – $106,000
- Mobile: $94,000 – $132,000
Salaries for Data Scientists Working in the Area of Operations Research in Alabama’s Major Cities
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that salaries for data scientists working in the area of operations research in Huntsville were considerably higher than the statewide median for these specialists as of 2014:
- Birmingham-Hoover – $127,110
- Huntsville – $142,980
- Mobile – $102,030
Computer and Information Research Science Salaries in Huntsville
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that salaries for data scientists working in the area of computer and information research science in Huntsville were higher than the statewide average for this field as of 2014:
- Huntsville – $154,170
The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics information shown here reflects salary data for broad occupational classifications that include data scientists. These estimates are expressed as the 90th percentile average to reflect the fact that data scientists are recognized as the top earners within each classification.