Are you sick and tired of hearing about your friend’s sister’s husband’s brother’s friend that got a new analytics job and won’t stop talking about how they got a 60% salary increase? Does that seem unrealistic to you, but you don’t have any hard data handy to point out that they just might be exaggerating?

Well you can rest easy, because we figured it was time to update our data on analytics pay increases, and wanted to share the results. We examined a sample of our analytics network that changed jobs and received a salary increase. When starting with a new organization, an analytics professional realizes a median base salary increase of 13.3%, very similar to what we found in our prior salary studies. Roughly 45% of analytics professionals received base salary increases between 6% and 15%.


salary change 2016 1


As one might expect, the percentage increases are higher for more junior professionals, since a base increase accounts for a greater percentage of their overall salary. As analytics professionals advance in their career, their salary increases when changing jobs will be smaller as a percentage of their base salary.

salary change 2016 2


So, while analytics professionals might not be getting 60% salary increases like that friend of a friend touted (sorry to burst any bubbles there!), these increases are still in stark contrast to the 2-4% one might expect as an annual merit increase for staying at their job for another year.


So, how do companies keep analytics pros in their seats?

I’ve been hearing about companies giving out retention bonuses if they know their people are being poached away. While that’s certainly not a bad idea, compensation isn’t the only motivating factor that analytics professionals look for when evaluating opportunities. It’s been much-quoted that quantitative folks are motivated by “intellectual curiosity”, and even we found that growth opportunities and challenging work are key factors.

My best advice when trying to retain your team is to make sure that analytics has top level buy-in, empower the department with the latest tools, and let them tackle the complex problems that they crave, in addition to offering competitive salaries. Some attrition is to be expected though, as evidenced by the fact that 20.1% of analytics professionals changed jobs last year, with an average tenure of only 2.6 years.


Want more salary information?

If you’re interested in learning more about what exactly a “competitive salary” is for an analytics professional or what bonus eligibility and payouts are most common at your job level, download our latest Burtch Works Study: Salaries for Analytics Professionals, which examines how salaries vary by career level, region, industry, residency status, and more.  If you’re just interested in the highlights, we published an executive summary of the results here.

So now I’m curious, if you’re a hiring manager, what’s been your biggest challenge in recruiting and retaining your people? If you’re an analytics professional, what’s the most likely factor to motivate you to change jobs? Let me know in the comments!

Interested in our salary research on data scientists and predictive analytics professionals? Download our studies using the button below.

Click to download our free salary reports


Want highlights from our 2019 Data Science & Analytics report, including salaries, demographic comparisons, and hiring market analysis? Watch our 15-minute RECAP video below!

3 Responses to “How Much do Analytics Salaries Increase when Changing Jobs?”

  1. Alan Dunham

    Linda: Thanks for an informative business operation. In response, I’ll answer your question, but perceive that I’m at an extreme among the pool of analytic professionals. I’m 68, started out as an econometrician in 1970, and have migrated through a variety of analytic and managerial jobs, mostly as an operations research analyst,with some significant number of years as a hiring manager of analysts and programmers, purposely left management and returned to being an operations research analyst in 2002 (with a 12% pay cut), left my corporate employer last year (2015), and lately am employed as an independent contractor ‘data scientist’ in Northern Virginia. My current ‘salary’ after all expenses (subchapter S corp) is in the low 6 digits. My contract was just renewed for a year, which is forever in this business. I work full time in a gov’t office, and would consider changing jobs only if the work environment became unpleasant. My goals are to stay employed among pleasant people and take off at least 8 weeks a year, no more than 2 weeks at a time, which has worked out. My actual work is not that challenging technically because, as has been my experience over 40+ years, the chain of command generally has difficulty moving beyond graphical presentations of facts and trends. Their eyes glaze over whenever a statistical test is used. Mostly I do SQL data pulls, ratios, graphs over time, and some statistical tests. No ‘data mining’ because it is not needed. I act as the statistical guru for my small analytic group, which is interesting among young people who are willing to learn. However, I’m moving into logistic regression in a couple of weeks to forecast retirements, which should be technically rewarding, as soon as SAS is delivered next week. I had emptied my bookshelves and desk last October, and tweaked my resume in anticipation of moving on, but the gov’t supervisor was replaced for the better, and now I am a happy camper. Haven’t had a ‘salary’ increase since 2012, but I had a high salary to start with and did not want to rock the boat. Since becoming an independent contractor I gave myself a bonus for the first time since 2010, so my financial situation is generally a little better than as a corporate employee. Next year I’ll ask for a 4% labor rate increase, but don’t really need it. Hope the foregoing helps, and thanks for your interesting reports.

  2. Matthew Komos

    I think it would be even more interesting to see the percentage increase by salary prior to the job change to help understand if those getting a small or large increase might have already been being over or under paid in their current job.



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