In 2014, Forbes ranked data scientists #1 in their exclusive list of the “20 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance.” Contributing to job satisfaction for data scientists is the fact that they are experiencing unprecedented employment opportunitties and great starting salary offers throughout the nation, and Hawaii is no exception.
For example, in 2014 the United States Department of Labor reported that data scientists working in computer and information research science were among Hawaii’s top 20 highest-paid professionals. In addition, data scientists in operations research were named among the state’s top 35 fastest growing occupations for the ten-year projection period from 2012 through 2022.
Starting Salary Ranges for Data Scientist in Hawaii’s Major Cities
Hawaii’s economy is widely known for its dependence on tourism, defense and services industries. Yet in 2015, the state government took decisive actions to greatly encourage Hawaii’s emerging tech culture. Gov. David Ige and the state legislature approved nearly $30 million in manufacturing grants and workforce development initiatives aimed at giving technology-based business the resources to flourish.
High Technology Development Corp., a state agency created to expedite commercial high tech expansion, is also helping to boost the tech presence in Hawaii. In early 2015, High Technology Development Corp revealed its “80/80” program, an ambitious plan to generate 80,000 technology and innovation jobs that pay an average annual salary of $80,000 by 2030.
Honolulu is not only the largest and most populated city in Hawaii; it is also the heart of state’s evolving tech community and home to the illustrious Manoa Innovation Center (MIC). The MIC is Oahu’s premier incubation center, which exclusively caters to fledgling and early-stage tech businesses by providing them strategic partnerships, networking opportunities, marketing assistance, and state-of-the art facilities. It is through support systems and financial backings offered by institutes like the MIC and the state government that empower data scientists to continue earning high-end salaries in Hawaii.
According to Robert Half Technology, a leading IT staffing agency, most data scientists in Hawaii’s major cities receive an annual starting salary of between $114,000 and $161,000. Despite Hawaii’s rapidly growing tech industry, it remains one of the smallest and least populated states in the nation, which may very well account for the lack of salary diversity that data scientists experience here.
Robert Half Technology determines starting salary ranges based on the thousands of job placements the company secures around the county each year. These figures do not include bonuses or other incentives.
- Honolulu: $114,000-$161,000
- Pearl City: $114,000-$161,000
- Hilo: $114,000-$161,000
A Snapshot of Data Science Salaries in Hawaii
According to New York University, by 2020 the world’s data supply will be fifty times larger than it was 2011. As a result, it will become vital that data scientists constantly keep current with changing trends and technologies within this emerging field. Even in recent years, employers in Hawaii have demonstrated greater allegiance to more experienced data science professionals by awarding them much higher salaries than those just starting out.
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor released the following annual salaries for data scientists in several industries:
Computer and Information Research Science
Salaries for Data Scientists in Operations Research Working in Honolulu
Shown below is the 90th percentile average salary for data scientists working in operations research in Honolulu as of 2014 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics):
- Honolulu – $108,920
Salaries for Statistical Modeling Specialists in Hawaii
Statistical modeling specialists in Honolulu earn salaries nearly $20,000 higher than the statewide average for these specialists:
- Honolulu – $89,970
Salaries for Data Scientists in Computer and Information Research Science in Hawaii
High tech giants like IBM continue to maintain offices in Honolulu. In 2014 Forbes reported that IBM’s investments in data science allowed them to generate over $16 billion in revenue the previous year. In 2014, the United States Department of Labor showed computer and information research scientists in Honolulu earning an average annual salary of $107,210, while those in the 90th percentile earned $150,210
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 90th percentile averages to reflect the fact that data scientists are recognized as the top earners within each classification.