In 2014, respected business magazine Fortune named Lincoln and Omaha the top two best cities in which to find a job, largely because both cities had an unemployment rate that was under 3%. This is proving to be beneficial for master’s-educated professionals vying for high-skilled jobs in data science as employers offer higher salaries to attract top talent in an environment where the demand for these professionals has outstripped the supply.
As more Fortune 500 companies in Omaha like Union Pacific and ConAgra Foods continue buildings big data teams, the demand for data scientists is expected to grow, along with starting salary offers.
Starting Salary Ranges for Data Scientist in Nebraska’s Major Cities
Nebraska is not only home to Fortune 500 companies such as Union Pacific Railroad, ConAgra Foods, and Mutual of Omaha, it’s also centrally located, has a cost of living is 22% less than the national average, and remains a leader in the clean energy movement. As a result, Nebraska along with other heartland states including Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri area becoming breakout tech hubs, earning them the nickname “Silicon Prairie.” This emerging tech momentum is expected to help data scientists find better opportunities to earn top tier salaries in the state.
For example, tech worked employed at Hudl, a startup software company that offers video tools for coaches and athletes based in Lincoln, Nebraska were paid an average annual salary of $67,000 in 2015, which was 60% higher than the city’s average wage. Just one year later, in 2016 data scientists working in Lincoln earned a starting average annual salary of closer to $94,000.
Omaha, Nebraska is also quickly gaining recognized as a tech hotspot for data scientists cruising for jobs statewide. In fact, SmartAsset named Omaha the #1 “best city to be a tech worker” in 2015. The 3.8% of city residents that worked in the tech industry earned 74% more than the city average in that year. In addition, global corporations located in Omaha like Berkshire Hathaway and Kiewit Corporation that require major tech infrastructure support keep data scientist salaries competitive here.
Even though Lincoln and Omaha currently dominate the tech scene in Nebraska, data scientists can anticipate greater access to high-salaried jobs in Kearney. In 2015, the TechHire Nebraska Initiative began, which intends to quickly and effectively provide training and job placement for 500 IT professionals throughout Kearney by 2020.
In 2016, IT staffing company Robert Half Technology reviewed thousands of job placements to arrive at the starting salary ranges featured below (does not include bonuses and other incentives):
- Omaha: $105,000-$148,000
- Lincoln: $94,000-$132,000
- Sioux City: $82,000-$116,000
- Bellevue: $105,000-$148,000
- Grand Island: $94,000-$132,000
- Kearney: $94,000-$132,000
- Fremont: $105,000-$148,000
- Hastings: $94,000-$132,000
- North Platte: $79,000-$112,000
- Bridgeport: $92,000-$130,000
Salary Information for Data Science Professionals in Nebraska According to Industry
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor published the following salary statistics for several primary data science roles and top employment industries in Nebraska:
Statistical Modeling Salaries in Lincoln and the Omaha-Council Bluffs Area
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported that statistical modeling professionals working in the Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA area as well as the the city of Lincoln earned the following average salaries:
- Lincoln – $90,350
- Omaha-Council Bluffs – $91,480
Computer and Information Research Scientist Salaries in Lincoln and the Omaha-Council Bluffs Area
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor found computer information and research scientists in the Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA area earned:
- Omaha-Council Bluffs – $115,130
Salaries for Data Scientists in Operations Research in Lincoln and the Omaha-Council Bluffs Area
There were almost as many data scientists working in operations research in the Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA region as there were in the rest of the state combined. The United States Department of Labor identified 330 data scientists working in operations research statewide in 2014. That year, they earned an average of:
- Omaha-Council Bluffs – $109,070
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.