Virginia’s data scientists working in a number of different industries and specialized roles earn exceptionally high salaries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, data scientists in Virginia working in operations research earned the 3rd highest average salary in the nation for this specialized role in 2014. In addition, data scientists working in computer and information research science in the nonmetropolitan area of Northeast Virginia earned the highest salary for their role of any non-metro area in the nation that year.
That same year, Virginia was home to the 2nd highest concentration of data scientists working in operations research nationwide, and the 5th highest total number of any state in the nation that year at 5,300.
Virginia was also home to the 3rd highest number of data scientists working in computer and information research science in the county in 2014, with more than 1,700 of these specialists employed here that year. Many of these data scientists are concentrated in the nonmetropolitan area of Northeast Virginia, which had the 2nd highest concentration of data scientists working in computer and information research science of any rural area in the country.
Starting Salary Ranges for Data Scientists in Virginia’s Biggest Cities
According to the Technology Works report produced by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and commissioned by Engine Advocacy, Virginia ranked 3rd on its list of states with the highest concentration of high-tech employment in the country in 2011.
In particular, northern Virginia has a high concentration of tech businesses that predate the creation of the World Wide Web. Pioneers invented and commercialized the Internet in this region, and northern Virginia has the most bandwidth available according to Ted Leonsis, the former president of AOL, who was quoted in Forbes Custom.
The region’s high tech infrastructure and proximity to DC have drawn major players such as Google who opened an office in Reston recently. Northrop Grumman performs most of its systems integration and IT systems and services in Virginia.
Many of northern Virginia’s defense and tech companies are located in the Dulles Technology Corridor which includes Ashburn. The Washington Business Journal described “Data Center Alley” in Ashburn as “an area that is quickly emerging as a national hub for data storage facilities.”
Thus, it comes as no surprise that the starting salary ranges of data scientists in Ashburn greatly exceed those in other areas of Virginia according to Robert Half Technology (2016). This tech staffing firm places thousands of jobseekers throughout the US each year and provides comprehensive and up-to-date salary information for data scientists. These salaries do not include bonuses or relocation assistance.
Both forms of compensation can greatly augment starting salaries. For instance, 65% of the companies surveyed by Atlas Van Lines in its 45th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey fully reimbursed employees for relocation costs.
Robert Half draws from US Bureau of Labor Research to account for geographic variation in Virginia when providing its salary expectations for data scientists:
- Ashburn: $144,000 – $203,000
- Tysons Corner: $144,000 – $203,000
- Arlington: $144,000 – $203,000
- Richmond: $107,000 – $151,000
- Norfolk: $105,000 – $148,000
- Charlottesville: $100,000 – $142,000
- Newport News: $93,000 – $131,000
- Lynchburg: $84,000 – $118,000
- Roanoke: $86,000 – $121,000
- Danville: $70,000 – $99,000
Salaries for Data Scientists in Virginia According to Industry and Focus
According to the Virginia Employment Commission, experienced data scientists in several key industries and roles earned an average salary of more than $101,000 in 2014:
Computer and Information Research Science
Salaries for Data Scientists Working in Operations Research in Virginia’s Major Cities
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, data scientists working in operations research in the Harrisonburg area earned a substantially higher average salary than those in other major cities in Virginia (2014). A full analysis is shown here:
- Charlottesville – $111,990
- Harrisonburg – $143,640
- Richmond – $116,390
- Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News – $128,650
Salaries for Data Scientists Working as Statistical Modeling Specialists in Charlottesville and Richmond
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed analysis of the salaries for statistical modeling specialists in Richmond and Charlottesville as of 2014. The median salary in Charlottesville was substantially higher than the median statewide:
- Charlottesville – $129,820
- Richmond – $118,450
Salaries for Data Scientists Working in Computer and Information Research Science in Virginia Beach and Nonmetropolitan Northeastern Virginia
According to a detailed analysis conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, data scientists working in computer and information research science in the nonmetropolitan area of Northeastern Virginia earned a higher average salary than those in the Virginia Beach area as of 2014. A full analysis is shown here:
- Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News – $128,810
- Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area – $140,220
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.