In 2015, the University of Oklahoma announced its membership in the National Science Foundation’s South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub, an initiative designed to use big data analytics to help find solutions to problems in diverse areas like health care, habitat planning, materials and manufacturing, and emergency management planning. As Oklahoma continues looking to data science to improve life throughout the state, professionals working in this fast emerging field will benefit from higher salary offers as employers compete for top talent.
Even before Oklahoma began participating in the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub, the state provided data science professionals with great employment opportunities and top salaries. According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2014 the Northwestern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area was the fifth highest paying nonmetropolitan area in the nation for data scientists working in financial services.
Starting Salary Ranges for Data Scientist in Oklahoma’s Major Cities
Starting salaries for data scientists working in Oklahoma remain relatively consistent; yet more competitive wages are more common in more populated cities like Tulsa. The city housed three Fortune 500 companies in 2015 including ONEOK, NGL Energy Partners, and Williams Cos. In that year, these companies each racked in between $7 billion and $13 billion in revenue, making energy-based businesses the biggest provider of high-salaried jobs in the area.
Not to be overshadowed, Oklahoma City’s thriving tech scene is also drawing more industry-based pros like data scientists. According to CBRE, an international real estate firm, between 2010 and 2013 Oklahoma City’s access to tech talent swelled by 39%. This recent surge is largely attributed Paycom Software Inc., the biggest tech company in the city. From 2015 to 2020, Paycom intends to hire over 1,000 additional employees, which will open more opportunities for data scientists.
Oklahoma City’s growing startup community is also attracting better salary options for data scientists. In 2014, CNN even named Oklahoma City at the top of its list of “10 Best Cities to Launch a Startup” due the area’s affinity for small business loans, low cost of living, and low income taxes. Oklahoma City also boasts successful business incubators such as the Moore Norman Technology Center and the Catbird Seat.
Oklahoma State University’s presence in Oklahoma City is also calling to the future of big data in the state. In fact, the university hosted the Big Data Conference at the Cox convention Center in 2015.
Robert Half Technology released the following starting salary ranges for data scientists across Oklahoma’s major cities in 2016. The IT staffing giant estimated these salaries by reviewing thousands of its job placements from past years. Salaries exclude bonuses and other incentives:
Oklahoma City Area
- Oklahoma: $101,000-$143,000
- Lawton: $77,000-$109,000
- Tulsa: $101,000-$143,000
- Norman: $101,000-$143,000
- Broken Arrow: $101,000-$143,000
- Edmond: $101,000-$143,000
- Moore: $101,000-$143,000
- Midwest City: $101,000-$143,000
A Look at Salaries for Oklahoma’s Data Science Professions by Professional Role and Industry
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor released average annual salary findings for data scientists in Oklahoma specific to their role, and their industry of employment:
Computer and Information Research Science
Tulsa’s Statistical Modeling Specialists were the Highest Paid in the State
A salary analysis performed by the United States Department of Labor in 2014 revealed that statistical modeling specialists employed in Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas earned the following:
- Oklahoma City – $85,330
- Tulsa – $93,310
Salaries for Data Scientists Working in Operations Research in Oklahoma
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported that data scientists in operations research working in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas earned:
Oklahoma City – $95,080
Tulsa – $94,940
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.