National Avg. Salary

$115,580 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

10.5% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

Bachelor's Programs & Degrees →


  • Creativity Focused
  • Dependable Daily Workload
  • Fast Paced Career
  • Good Entry Level Salary

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Computer scientists study how computer data and instructions are processed, stored and communicated to and from different computers.  It involves designing software, and helps answer some fundamental scientific questions regarding the nature and theory of computation.

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Job Description

The following responsibilities are common for Computer Scientists:

  • Identifies and solves complex technological and computation problems in businesses and corporations
  • Applies and adapts theoretical principles to develop new computer software and hardware solutions
  • Consults with end-users, managers and clients to determine computing goals and system requirements
  • Conducts research involving computation experimentation and modeling
  • Develops new software and/or hardware, computing techniques and  systems materials

A Day In The Life

Computer scientists research and develop new computer technologies in order to solve software and hardware issues in a variety of industries.  Businesses usually hire these individuals to solve computing problems or to develop new software or products.  These individuals are generally found involved with more theoretical aspects of computing issues, often times using experimentation and modeling in their research.

These scientists typically work along side computer programmers, IT specialists and mechanical and software engineers.  They often work in teams and their research is directed towards developing new technology.  Their research usually involves subjects like artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality.  Through their research, these scientists attempt to improve things like, improved performance of existing software, larger data capacity, development of new and improved computing techniques and development of new hardware and materials.

Typical Work Schedule

This is a fill-time position, Monday through Friday, with the majority of their time spent in an office or laboratory setting.

Projected Job Growth

Due to the rapid increase in technological advancements and the public want for convenience, the need for computer scientists in this industry is expected to rise at a much faster rate than the national average.

Typical Employers

Typical employers of computer scientists include research facilities, large computer and software companies, social media companies, government agencies and financial service providers.

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Computer Scientist Salary Data

We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Annual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Computer Scientist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Computer Scientist's can make an average annual salary of $115,580, or $56 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $86,570 or $42 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #37 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

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How To Become

Individuals that want to pursue a career in computer science must have a deep understanding and interest in computers.  Computer scientists positions, particularly in business and academics, requires at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, systems analysis or a related field of study.  Such a degree typically takes anywhere from three or more years to complete.  Coursework should include classes in computer hardware, software systems, program languages, data analysis and computation modeling.  They need to be able to apply the fundamental application of solutions to practical problems involving the computer’s hardware and software and study algorithms and data structures. Individuals can specialize in a vast array of fields including but not limited to, smartphones, airplanes or medical robotics.  These individuals must also have the capability of anticipating and diagnosing problems.  As well as the ability to take a systematic approach to their research and and problem solving and working well individually or in a team with other professionals.

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Quick Summary

  • Recommended Min. Degree


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Computer Scientist. a Bachelor's is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Computer Scientist

  • 25.9%   Doctorate
  • 28%   Masters
  • 38.3%   Bachelors
  • 2.1%   Associates
  • 4.7%   College
  • 1.1%   High School
  • 0%   Less than High School

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Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Computer Scientist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,700 jobs for a total of 28,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 10.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #172 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

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What Companies Employ The Most Computer Scientists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Federal government, excluding postal service 7,100 -700 -1%
Computer systems design and related services 4,700 1,000 1%
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 3,000 200 0%

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