Average Computer Scientist Salary by State

A computer scientist invents and designs innovative approaches to computing and finds the best ways to use existing technology. Computer scientists also study and solve complicated problems in computing for science, medicine, and business. (BLS.gov). The roles of these professionals are continuing to expand as technology expands and more businesses rely on computers for their existence.

Some of the common duties of computer scientists are:

  • Explore the major issues that exist in computing and develop models and theories to address them.
  • Help engineers and scientists solve complicated computer problems.
  • Invent new computing tools, methods, and languages to improve how people work with computers.
  • Develop and improve software systems that form the basis of modern computers.
  • Design computer experiments to test how these software systems operate.
  • Analyze results of computer experiments.
  • Publish their conclusions in academic journals

Computer and information research scientists also devise new computer architecture that boosts the performance and efficiency of computer hardware. Their efforts often lead to advances in technology efficiency, such as improved networking, faster speeds for computing, and boosted information security.

Computer scientists may work in the following specialties, among others:

  • Data science: Writ algorithms that are needed to detect and analyze patterns in datasets.
  • Robotics: Study how to improve the design and performance of robots.
  • Programming: Come up with new programming languages that are needed to write software.

If you are interested in computer science, you also may want to learn about the information security analyst field. These computer scientists analyze, plan, and carry out security measures to protect a company’s computer networks and systems. Security analysts are heavily involved in creating the disaster recovery plan for their organization, which IT employees must follow during an emergency. Security analysts also do penetration testing of systems to look for vulnerabilities in computer systems.

If you are seeking a career as a computer scientist, below is salary information to consider.

Computer Scientist Salary Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

BLS reports the median salary for computer and information research scientists was $118,k370. The lowest 10% earned a salary of $69,200 and the highest 10% earned more than $183,000. (BLS.gov) . The median wages for top industries were:

  • Software publishers: $140,200
  • Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences: $128,500
  • Computer systems design and related services: $124,200
  • Federal government: $109,800
  • Colleges, universities and professional schools: $82,660


This website reports the average computer scientist salary is $78,294 with a range between $50,000 and $131,000. (Payscale.com). Some of the listed company salaries were:

  • Adobe Systems: $130,000
  • US Federal Aviation Administration: $100,000
  • US Navy: $92,000
  • Science Systems and Applications: $56,000
  • Naval Research Laboratory: $81,000
  • MITRE Corp: $88,000
  • Air Force Research Laboratory: $70,000

Popular skills for computer scientists and their salaries are:

  • Software development: $81,800
  • C++ Programming: $77,900
  • Java: $73,600
  • Python: $83,900
  • Javascript: $76,555

Your pay in this field will rise by your level of experience:

  • Less than one year of experience: $62,700
  • One to four years of experience: $71,400
  • Five to nine years of experience: $96,400
  • 10 to 19 years of experience: $102,400
  • More than 20 years of experience: $117,600

Salary also will change based on the city in which you live:

  • San Jose: +7 0%
  • San Francisco: +39%
  • San Diego: +20%
  • Atlanta: +8%
  • Seattle: +6%
  • Washington DC: +4%
  • New York City: +2%


The average salary for computer scientists is $99,400 with a range between $11,000 and $143,000. Most in the field earn between $81,500 and $120,500. (Ziprecruiter.com)

University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin has interesting salary data for various types of computer scientist jobs by occupation, if you have a computer science bachelors: (Appliedcomputing.wisconsin.edu)

  • Software engineer: $110,000
  • Application/full stack developer: $103,600
  • Database developer: $90,100
  • Project manager: $85,600
  • Systems administrator: $82,000
  • Business analyst: $75,400
  • Video game developer: $72,500
  • Web developer: $69,400
  • Systems analyst: $61,600

The website also states that computer science and applied computing degrees are some of the top-paying in the US according to the NACE’s Fall 2019 Salary Survey. Payscale.com’s 2019 College Salary Report stated that computer science graduates earned an early career wage of $68,600 and a mid-career salary of $114,700.

Job Outlook for Computer Scientists

BLS states employment for computer scientists will grow 16% by 2028, which is much faster than average for all occupations. Keep in mind that because it is a small occupation, the rapid growth will only lead to about 5,000 new jobs in 10 years. (BLS.gov)

However, the R&D work of computer scientists is more information today because it transforms ideas into technology that leads and changes industries. As demand for more enhanced technology grows, demand for computer scientists will, too.

Fast growth in data collection by organizations will cause a higher need for data mining services. Computer scientists are needed to write algorithms that assist businesses to make sense of large data sets. With this data, businesses will be able to understand their customers better. This makes the work of computer scientists more critical for business success.

There also is a growing need for cybersecurity professionals that will drive the need for new jobs. Computer scientists need to understand innovative methods to prevent cyber attacks. In fact, the demand for information security analysts is also very high, with a 32% increase in demand by 2028, much faster than average.

Cyberattacks grow in frequency and complexity, and these analysts are needed to come up with solutions to prevent hackers from breaking into networks and stealing important information. (BLS.gov)

Computer Scientist Salary by State

The average salary for computer scientists is $99,400 with a range between $11,000 and $143,000. Most in the field earn between $81,500 and $120,500. (Ziprecruiter.com)

StateHourly WageAnnual Salary
New York - Computer Scientist Salary$53.66$111,615
Massachusetts - Computer Scientist Salary$53.22$110,703
New Hampshire - Computer Scientist Salary$52.23$108,634
Maryland - Computer Scientist Salary$49.59$103,143
Hawaii - Computer Scientist Salary$49.04$102,011
Alaska - Computer Scientist Salary$49.04$101,999
Nevada - Computer Scientist Salary$49.04$101,999
Montana - Computer Scientist Salary$49.04$101,999
North Dakota - Computer Scientist Salary$49.04$101,999
Wyoming - Computer Scientist Salary$49.04$101,999
Idaho - Computer Scientist Salary$49.04$101,999
Vermont - Computer Scientist Salary$48.96$101,831
Nebraska - Computer Scientist Salary$48.89$101,697
Connecticut - Computer Scientist Salary$48.83$101,569
Washington - Computer Scientist Salary$48.76$101,417
Rhode Island - Computer Scientist Salary$48.27$100,398
California - Computer Scientist Salary$48.22$100,289
Virginia - Computer Scientist Salary$47.98$99,797
New Jersey - Computer Scientist Salary$47.00$97,767
Arizona - Computer Scientist Salary$46.77$97,287
West Virginia - Computer Scientist Salary$46.68$97,099
Colorado - Computer Scientist Salary$46.57$96,859
Pennsylvania - Computer Scientist Salary$46.41$96,525
South Dakota - Computer Scientist Salary$46.34$96,393
Minnesota - Computer Scientist Salary$46.33$96,372
South Carolina - Computer Scientist Salary$46.26$96,216
Oregon - Computer Scientist Salary$46.22$96,133
Tennessee - Computer Scientist Salary$46.17$96,036
Delaware - Computer Scientist Salary$46.05$95,781
Utah - Computer Scientist Salary$45.92$95,506
Kentucky - Computer Scientist Salary$45.84$95,347
Kansas - Computer Scientist Salary$45.64$94,932
Ohio - Computer Scientist Salary$45.56$94,765
Indiana - Computer Scientist Salary$45.33$94,295
Oklahoma - Computer Scientist Salary$45.22$94,064
Wisconsin - Computer Scientist Salary$45.06$93,720
Iowa - Computer Scientist Salary$45.00$93,593
Louisiana - Computer Scientist Salary$44.85$93,278
Maine - Computer Scientist Salary$44.64$92,845
Texas - Computer Scientist Salary$44.18$91,897
Alabama - Computer Scientist Salary$43.84$91,180
Georgia - Computer Scientist Salary$43.83$91,170
Arkansas - Computer Scientist Salary$43.80$91,104
New Mexico - Computer Scientist Salary$43.43$90,344
Mississippi - Computer Scientist Salary$43.20$89,851
Michigan - Computer Scientist Salary$43.02$89,481
Illinois - Computer Scientist Salary$42.92$89,270
Missouri - Computer Scientist Salary$42.08$87,519
Florida - Computer Scientist Salary$41.27$85,835
North Carolina - Computer Scientist Salary$37.57$78,143

Source: Ziprecruiter.com, January 2020.


The job market and salary potential for computer scientists is excellent for the next decade or more. Earn a degree in computer science or programming and you can start out at $80,000 and earn more than $100,000 in a few years.