How much do Computer Scientists make

In this article, we have explored How much do Computer Scientists make along with salary of real Computer Scientists working in the Industry. Computer Scientist is the most lucrative job in the Computer Science job market today.

In brief, most Computer Scientists make $126,830 per year with the higher end of salary being more than $800,000 per year.

Table of contents:

  1. Jobs held by Computer Scientists
  2. How much do Computer Scientists make?
  3. Salary of Current Computer Scientists
  4. Conclusion

Jobs held by Computer Scientists

Computer Scientist is the most lurative job in the Software and Hardware Industry.

The job title held by Computer Scientists at Technical Companies (Software and Hardware) will be as follows in increasing order of level:

  • Member of Technical Staff (MTS)
  • Senior Member of Technical Staff (SMTS)
  • Principal Member of Technical Staff (PMTS)
  • Technical Lead
  • Fellow
  • Senior Fellow
  • Research Director

At an University, a Computer Scientist will hold the following positions in increasing order of level:

  • Professor
  • Senior Professor
  • Head of Department
  • Research Director
  • Director

From an Education point of view, a Computer Scientist hold the following qualifications:

  • PhD in Computer Science / MSc in Computer Science
  • Published notable Research Papers and Patents

How much do Computer Scientists make?

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay of Computer Scientists is $126,830 per year and the entry level education is "Master of Science (MSc)". The jobs in this sector is expected to increase by 22% for 2030. As of 2022, there are 3200 openings for Computer Scientists in USA.

The entry barrier for this position is higher than other jobs in the domain. Most Computer Scientists hold a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Computer Science while a PhD degree is on the rise.

The lowest 10% of Computer Scientists earn $72,210 on average and the highest 10% earn more than $194,430. The top 1% earn more than $800,000 per year.

The median salary of Computer Scientists vary depending on the Industry they work in. For example, Computer Scientists who work in Universities are paid the lowest while those who work in Software Companies are paid the highest. Following is the complete detail of median salary according to Industry:

Industry Median Salary
Software Company $145,920
Research in Life Science $140,000
System Design $136,950
Federal Government $112,930
University $82,220

Therefore, if you want to be paid the highest, you should target Software Companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple.

In the field of Computer jobs, Computer Scientists are paid the highest. The average of all Computer Jobs is at $91,250 while the average of all occupations is $41,950.

If you are a Computer Scientist, you are doing good in the society in terms of occupation. In USA, 35,000 people hold the position of Computer Science as of 2022.

Salary of Current Computer Scientists

Following are some of the notable people who hold the position of "Computer Scientist" at a Company and are well known in the Industry along with their reported salaries:

Researcher Name Company Post Salary*
Christopher-D.-Manning Christopher D. Manning Stanford University Professor $223K
Vipin-Kumar Vipin Kumar University of Minnesota Professor $160K
Jeffrey-Dean Jeffrey Dean Google Lead of
Google AI
Samy-Bengio Samy Bengio Apple Senior Director $840K
Chandan-K.-Reddy Chandan K. Reddy Virginia Tech Professor $105K
Heiga-Zen Heiga Zen Google Senior Staff
Research Scientist
Paul-A.-Viola Paul A. Viola Microsoft Distinguished Engineer $140K
Prabhakar-Raghavan Prabhakar Raghavan Google Senior VP $1.2M

Note: The salary values have been collected based on values reported by insiders at various companies. It may vary with time as people get increment and salary adjustments based on various factors.


Computer Scientist is one of the most lucrative jobs in the Software and Hardware Industry today. The start salary of people in this role makes them reach the top 1% of employees in terms of salary across all Industry.

Though the barrier to entry is high, a Programmer should seriously consider this role of Computer Science for a fruitful career.