What does a Data Engineer do?

Data engineers are mainly tasked with transforming data into a format that can be easily analyzed. They do this by developing, maintaining, and testing infrastructures for data generation. Data engineers work closely with data scientists and are largely in charge of architecting solutions for data scientists that enable them to do their jobs.

Data engineers generally have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or applied math, as well as a few data engineering certifications like IBM Certified Data Engineer or Google's Certified Professional. In addition, data engineers possess a plethora of technical skills and the ability to approach problems in a creative manner.

What responsibilities are common for Data Engineer jobs?
  • Create and maintain optimal data pipeline architecture,
  • Assemble large, complex data sets that meet functional / non-functional business requirements.
  • Identify, design, and implement internal process improvements: automating manual processes, optimizing data delivery, re-designing infrastructure for greater scalability, etc.
  • Build the infrastructure required for optimal extraction, transformation, and loading of data from a wide variety of data sources using SQL and AWS ‘big data’ technologies.
  • Build analytics tools that utilize the data pipeline to provide actionable insights into customer acquisition, operational efficiency and other key business performance metrics.
  • Work with stakeholders including the Executive, Product, Data and Design teams to assist with data-related technical issues and support their data infrastructure needs.
  • Keep our data separated and secure across national boundaries through multiple data centers and AWS regions.
  • Create data tools for analytics and data scientist team members that assist them in building and optimizing our product into an innovative industry leader.
  • Work with data and analytics experts to strive for greater functionality in our data systems.
What are the typical qualifications for Data Engineer jobs?
  • Advanced working SQL knowledge and experience working with relational databases, query authoring (SQL) as well as working familiarity with a variety of databases.
  • Experience building and optimizing ‘big data’ data pipelines, architectures and data sets.
  • Experience performing root cause analysis on internal and external data and processes to answer specific business questions and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Strong analytic skills related to working with unstructured datasets.
  • Build processes supporting data transformation, data structures, metadata, dependency and workload management.
  • A successful history of manipulating, processing and extracting value from large disconnected datasets.
  • Working knowledge of message queuing, stream processing, and highly scalable ‘big data’ data stores.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills.
  • Experience supporting and working with cross-functional teams in a dynamic environment.
  • We are looking for a candidate with 5+ years of experience in a Data Engineer role, who has attained a Graduate degree in Computer Science, Statistics, Informatics, Information Systems or another quantitative field. They should also have experience using the following software/tools:
    • Experience with big data tools: Hadoop, Spark, Kafka, etc.
    • Experience with relational SQL and NoSQL databases, including Postgres and Cassandra.
    • Experience with data pipeline and workflow management tools: Azkaban, Luigi, Airflow, etc.
    • Experience with AWS cloud services: EC2, EMR, RDS, Redshift
    • Experience with stream-processing systems: Storm, Spark-Streaming, etc.
    • Experience with object-oriented/object function scripting languages: Python, Java, C++, Scala, etc.
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.9 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.9 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Data Engineer Salaries

Average Base Pay

$110,000 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$70K
Median: $110K
$150K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Data Engineer Career Path

Learn how to become a Data Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Data Engineer
$110,000/yr
L3
L4
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
6%
2 - 4
73%
5 - 7
15%
8+
6%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Data Engineer Insights

Read what Data Engineer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
AtlassianAtlassian
Data Engineer
31 May 2022

“Employed for more than a year and its a great place to learn and grow in the career.”

AnblicksAnblicks
Associate Data Engineer
27 June 2022

“Positive Tech Culture and one of the best big data companies to work with in Hyderabad”

MALTEM ConsultingMALTEM Consulting
Senior Data Engineer
17 Jan 2022

“Very much happy to be part of this company where I see great future in my career.”

GensquaredGensquared
Data Engineer
28 Aug 2021

“This culture made Gensquared a place where I throughly enjoyed my work and looked forward to each day.”

DRVN IntelligenceDRVN Intelligence
Big Data Engineer
7 May 2021

“Big challenging projects of diverse tech stacks to grow and get aware about your career path to follow.”

JPMorgan Chase & CoJPMorgan Chase & Co
Big Data Developer
23 Dec 2021

“Good payment for your work and recognises you if you and your work is worthy of.”

Tata Consultancy Services (North America)Tata Consultancy Services (North America)
Data Engineer
22 Feb 2022

“Not a great salary and can get complicated if you don't have a client to work with.”

DoubtNutDoubtNut
Data Engineer
22 May 2021

“Good payment for your work and recognises you if you and your work is worth of.”

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Data Engineer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of data engineers

The typical day of a data engineer involves working with large collections of data, recording and analyzing it, then converting it into easy-to-read reports or presentations. They may also be responsible for creating organized databases with detailed programs to help businesses collect and interpret data.

The best part about being a data engineer is that they're in demand in most industries, as they have the necessary skills to understand large amounts of data. Most data engineers can work a traditional schedule and may have the chance to work remotely.

Data engineers with good project management and organization skills can earn a high salary. The average salary for a data engineer is $110,000 per year. Data engineers with good analytical and technical skills may earn up to $150,000 per year.

Working as a data engineer can be challenging, as clients expect them to sift through large amounts of data to identify the most relevant information. A difficult aspect of being a data engineer is that it may be time-consuming and difficult to design systems that capture important data.

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