How Much Does a Data Scientist at Google Earn?

Dubbed both the “sexiest” and “hottest” job of the 21st century by the Harvard Business Review and Bloomberg, data scientists in the United States are in high demand—and with that, they’re seeing equally high salaries. Read on to learn more about Google's data scientist salaries.

data scientist salary google

Google is one of the biggest data collectors in the world. From its users' search results, to websites visited, YouTube videos watched, contacts lists, and location information, the Mountain View company manages overwhelming amounts of big data and has a high demand for data science professionals who can help it identify actionable insights.

Given the importance of data wrangling to Google’s business, its data scientists are well compensated. The average base salary for a Google data scientist is around $161,544, with annual bonuses and stock grants bringing average total compensation closer to $200,000.

Read on to learn more about different roles performed by Google’s data scientists and the average salaries paid. 

What are the different roles performed by data scientists at Google?

Google’s data scientists, also referred to as quantitative analysts, perform different functions depending on the team they’ve joined.

While the projects they work on can vary greatly, the company’s data scientists share a number of commonalities: most have a background in computer science, statistics, mathematics, economics, or a related field; they are proficient in programming and scripting languages such as Python, SQL, C++, or Java; and they have experience or expertise in data analytics, machine learning, and data engineering. From there, Google’s data scientists apply their analytical skills to different parts of the business.

In a recent job listing for its Operations Data Science team, Google sought a data scientist who could apply their operations research and statistical methods to solve challenges related to storage, network, and data center capacity for both its internal services and Google Cloud Platform.

In another listing for YouTube, the company sought a data scientist to help analyze content partnerships for its business teams, the duties of which include performance measurement, estimation, predictive modeling, and metric definition.

And in a job listing for a research scientist in its AI division, the company offered freedom for the successful candidate to set their own research agenda—the idea being that the technological advancements discovered today could take years to become useful, and the company is willing to be patient.

Salary levels of data scientists at Google

The median base salaries for Google’s data scientists depend on years of experience, education, and location, and the total compensation varies depending on whether someone qualifies for equity grants or bonuses.Similar to technology companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Apple, Google uses a leveling system to determine compensation and promotions. While the company does not publicly share the specifics of this system, former and current employees have noted that the letter L coupled with a number is used to connote an employee’s level.

  • Interns: Google interns are among the most well-paid in the industry and make around $7,500/month during their summer internships. Interns also receive additional benefits such as a housing stipend and health benefits.
  • L3: An entry-level data scientist role, L3s typically are typically recent college graduates.
  • L4: A more senior-level data scientist role, L4s typically hold a master’s degree or Ph.D. and have at least two years of industry experience. Many data scientists—even those with more than five years of experience—join Google at this level.
  • L5: A senior-level data scientist role, L5s typically have more than five years of experience.
  • L6: This level is typically reserved for those who, in addition to having the technical skills and years of experience, exhibit strong leadership capabilities, manage teams, and have made a significant impact on the company.

Entry-level data scientist salary at Google

Entry-level data science positions, including internships, typically require proficiency in at least one scripting language such as Python, SQL, PHP, or Java. In addition, applicants need to show that they have knowledge of statistics, experience with solving analytical problems using quantitative approaches, and are comfortable with manipulating and analyzing complex, high-volume data.

The average entry-level Google data scientist salary is around $142,147, with additional compensation in stock grants and bonuses ranging from $20,000-30,000.

Senior-level data scientist salary at Google

Senior-level data science positions typically require a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, data science, statistics, mathematics, engineering, economics, or a related field.

Depending on the area of specialization, a master's degree or Ph.D. in machine learning might also be required, in addition to prerequisite knowledge of programming and scripting languages and proven experience working in analytics.

It’s not unusual for senior data scientists at Google to take on management duties by serving as team leads on projects and mentoring more junior data scientists.

The average senior-level Google data scientist salary is around $161,544 with additional compensation in cash and stock bonuses ranging from $20,000-50,000.

Stock options at Google

Google is known to award stock to employees at the time of hire, and as refreshers to reward strong performance. According to current and former employees, the company has an annual grant refresher program that most employees take part in if they have met or exceeded the year’s expectations.

Benefits at Google

Google shares a similar reputation to Facebook for offering employees plenty of on-site perks at its campuses around the world, from complimentary meals at its cafes and restaurants, to laundry and healthcare services. In addition to generous base salaries and bonuses, Google employees also receive the following benefits:

  • Complete health insurance coverage, including on-site access to physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage services
  • Charitable giving matching
  • 18-22 weeks of maternity leave
  • Fertility assistance
  • Adoption assistance
  • Dog-friendly offices
  • On-site fitness centers and health classes
  • Complimentary meals
  • 401K matching
  • Personal and professional development support

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