According to the Sun Times Network, in 2015 the UNC Research Opportunities Initiative awarded the Renaissance Computing Institute at Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, and NC State University $2.1 million to help fund the North Carolina Data Science and Analytics (DSA) Initiative. The funding is slated to boost advanced technology development in an effort to establish the state as a national leader in data science. As North Carolina continues to financially invest in data science initiatives, professionals working in this exciting field are likely to experience more job opportunities and better salary offers.
- SMU - Master of Science in Data Science - Bachelor's Degree Required.
- Syracuse University - M.S. in Applied Data Science: GRE Waivers available
- UC Berkeley - Master of Information and Data Science Online - Bachelor's Degree Required.
- Syracuse University - Master of Information Management Online
As early as 2014, the United States Department of Labor recognized North Carolina as a state where data science professionals could expect some of the best salaries in the country:
- North Carolina was the third highest paying state for data scientists in public health epidemiological research. The 150 data scientists working for public health organizations throughout the state earned an average annual salary of over $99,000.
- North Carolina was the fifth highest paying state in the nation for statistical modeling professionals. The state’s 950 practicing statistical modelers were paid an average annual salary of over $96,500.
Starting Salary Ranges for Data Scientist in North Carolina’s Major Cities
Data scientists are drawn to high salary prospects provided by North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park (RTP), the state’s premier high-tech epicenter that invests more than $1 billion in R & D each year. RTP houses a tech culture animated by roughly 200 startups and bigwig companies like IBM, Sony Ericsson, and Cisco, which keeps businesses throughout Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham in constant need of fresh tech talent.
The Raleigh-Cary metropolitan division’s position with the RTP also renders the region as the best place for data scientists to find top-tier jobs in the state, and perhaps even the nation. According to Forbes, Raleigh ranked #4 on its list of “Best Cities for Tech Jobs” in 2015, mainly due the expansion of global companies such as RTI International, GSK, and Syngenta in recent years. Data scientists that work in Raleigh and other cities within the RTP frequently earn average salaries starting at around $100,000.
Although not within the RTP, Charlotte is also showing a stronger demand for tech pros, making the likelihood for more competitive wages among data scientists working here inevitable. This growing demand is no doubt attributed to startup accelerators like RevTech Labs, UNC Charlotte College’s huge tech school, and Google Fiber’s decision to select Charlotte as the first metro area to acquire its gigabit Internet service.
In 2016, Robert Half Technology reported the average starting salaries for data scientists working in North Carolina’s major cities. The IT staffing company determined these pay ranges by examining past job placement salary offers. Robert Half Technology did not consider bonuses and other incentives in its salary analysis:
- Charlotte: $111,000-$156,000
- Gastonia: $109,000-$154,000
- Hickory: $76,000-$108,000
- Lenoir: $76,000-$108,000
- Winston-Salem: $92,000-$130,000
- Raleigh: $113,000-$160,000
- Cary: $103,000-$146,000
- Durham: $110,000-$155,000
- Goldsboro: $74,000-$104,000
- Fayetteville: $85,000-$120,000
- Greensboro: $109,000-$154,000
- High Point: $91,000-$128,000
- Burlington: $79,000-$112,000
- Wilmington: $85,000-$120,000
- Jacksonville: $69,000-$98,000
- Asheville: $79,000-$111,000
- Chapel Hill: $110,000-$155,000
- Greenville: $87,000-$122,000
- Rocky Mount: $73,000-$103,000
Occupational Guide to Data Science Salaries in North Carolina by Role and Industry
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor published average annual salaries for data scientists working throughout North Carolina according to their role and the industry in which they worked:
- Mean: $96,840
- Median: $94,500
- 75th Percentile: $119,200
- 90th Percentile: $145,200
Computer and Information Research Science
- Mean: $103,270
- Median: $99,400
- 75th Percentile: $120,500
- 90th Percentile: $154,600
- Mean: $68,810
- Median: $64,400
- 75th Percentile: $85,000
- 90th Percentile: $101,900
- Mean: $86,670
- Median: $76,100
- 75th Percentile: $96,900
- 90th Percentile: $135,500
- Mean: $99,400
- Median: $95,700
- 75th Percentile: $136,200
- 90th Percentile: $159,500
Regional Guide to Salaries for Statistical Modeling Professionals in North Carolina
According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2014 the Durham-Chapel Hill region held the highest concentration of statistical modeling professionals of all other metropolitan areas in the country. The 530 statistical modeling professionals employed in the Durham-Chapel Hill region earned an average annual salary of $99,320:
- Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill – $115,910
- Durham-Chapel Hill – $149,230
- Raleigh-Cary – $147,860
- Winston-Salem – $116,190
Regional Guide to Computer and Information Research Scientist Salaries in North Carolina
The United States Department of Labor found computer and information research scientists employed in the Durham-Chapel Hill region earned an average annual salary of $109,070, while those in the Raleigh-Cary area earned a slightly lower average annual salary of $101,150 in 2014:
- Durham-Chapel Hill – $160,980
- Raleigh-Cary- $144,710
Regional Guide to Salaries for Data Scientists in Operations Research in North Carolina
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor determined that employers in the Raleigh-Cary and Rocky Mount areas awarded some of the highest salaries to data scientists working in the area of operations research statewide:
- Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill – $96,650
- Durham-Chapel Hill – $98,960
- Greensboro-High Point – $105,840
- Raleigh-Cary – $114,060
- Rocky Mount – $108,480
- Winston-Salem – $105,610
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.