Amazon Data Scientist Salary

What is the average salary for an Amazon Data Scientist? And, what does a top-of-band Data Scientist's compensation look like? You can find tons of different, conflicting information online. This article is designed to cut through the noise and help you better understand Amazon Data Scientist salaries — as well as other benefits like equity and bonus — and how compensation varies by level. There is also an extra section at the bottom with information on how to best negotiate Amazon Data Scientist offers.

Amazon Data Scientist Offer Components

  • Amazon base salary:

    Base salaries at Amazon were previously capped at $185K. However, to stay competitive, the maximum cap has been raised to $350K — although this high of a base salary is typically only seen for executive-level roles.
  • Amazon equity (RSUs):

    Amazon’s equity plans are unusual and strongly weighted towards later years of employment. You will earn shares over a 4-year period, but only vest 5% in year 1, 15% in year 2, and then 40% each in years 3 and 4. Whereas at most other companies, you would have vested 50% of your equity by the end of year 2. Amazon uses the average share price from the 30 days prior to your employment to determine the dollar value of your grant. For example - you might be told that you’ll receive 3000 RSUs as a part of your compensation — and then learn the average share price upon joining.
  • Amazon signing bonus:

    Amazon offers large signing bonuses in years 1 and 2 to offset the little amount of stock that vests in years 1 and 2. In fact, it’s common to see your highest total compensation in your first year at Amazon when you include signing bonus.
  • Amazon performance bonus:

    Amazon does not have set targets for performance bonuses, although many recruiters mention that you will be eligible for performance-based bonuses and incentives. We recommend not factoring these in as they are given out less frequently compared to other FAANG companies.
  • Amazon stock refreshers:

    Amazon stock refreshers are very hit or miss and depend on your manager/team and your own performance. You will almost always receive additional stocks at the end of your initial 4-year grant, but the usual stacking of stock refreshers in years 2 and 3 doesn't typically happen at Amazon. It’s worth noting that Amazon stock refreshers often have a different vesting schedule than initial equity grants (typically, a 2-year vesting schedule with 50% vested each year).


Note: leveling is critical to understanding compensation bands. If you aren't familiar with Amazon levels (which are pretty unique), skip to the bottom to read this.

L5 Amazon Data Scientist Salary

2022 Top of Band Numbers (Seattle)

Base Salary

$185K

Equity (4 years)

$250K

Yr 1 Signing Bonus

$105K

Yr 2 Signing Bonus

$89K

These top of band numbers are Seattle - SF/NYC have higher comp bands. As a reminder, Amazon's level structure is unique and an L5 DS at Amazon is equivalent to an L4 DS at Facebook or Google.

L6 Amazon Data Scientist Salary

2022 Top of Band Numbers (Seattle)

Base Salary

$230K

Equity (4 years)

$510K

Yr 1 Signing Bonus

$225K

Yr 2 Signing Bonus

$168K

Typically data science manager roles pay 10-15% higher total comp. It's also important to note that Amazon has applied scientist roles, which have completely different pay bands.

L7 Amazon Data Scientist Salary

2022 Seattle Top of Band Numbers (Seattle)

Base Salary

$285K

Equity (4 years)

$850K

Yr 1 Signing Bonus

$374K

Yr 2 Signing Bonus

$289K

Equity refreshers become more common for L7+ employees at Amazon. Additionally, we have seen more willingness for recruiters to push for above-band numbers at higher levels..

Amazon Data Scientist Negotiation

So now you've got the comp data, are you ready to negotiate? Not quite.

So now you know the top-of-band numbers for Amazon Data Scientists - the negotiation should be a piece of cake, right? Not quite.

First off, comp data is constantly in flux due to changing industry. In 2022, Amazon increased its pay bands during the first half of the year but tightened the bands again partway through 2022 in light of the volatile market (specifically the willingness to go above the band). However - Amazon is still hiring and looking to fill many Data Scientist roles.

Amazon also eliminated its artificially low base salary caps, which has fundamentally altered the way they structure offers.

However, while having compensation data is an important aspect of negotiation, it’s often not enough. In 90% of situations, telling your Amazon recruiter that you read online that the top of the band is $X and that you want that number won't work. So then, what will?

Companies negotiate when they believe you won’t accept their offer. However, this is hard to convince a recruiter of when you’ve just finished a long and arduous interview process.

You must establish leverage and convince the recruiter that you are examining your options but would choose Amazon if the pay were equivalent / better.

Another example of creating leverage can be by building great internal relationships so that the hiring manager or recruiter feels more willing to increase your compensation to get you to sign. For example, we once worked with a professional who increased their signing bonus by $50K without leveraging other offers. They built a great relationship with the recruiter over the multi-month interview process and the recruiter went to bat for them to ensure they would join!

It’s also worth noting that Amazon has a lot of peculiar policies. For instance, though they don't explicitly state it, they factor in 15% stock appreciation. So, if you try to say that the offer feels low compared to others, they might say that it’s actually market because Amazon stock has historically appreciated over time.

Amazon Data Scientist Levels

Amazon Levels

L4

L5

L6 (Senior DS)

L7

L8 (DS Director)

=

Google Levels

L3

L4

L5

Between L6 and L7

L8

Amazon does not follow industry standards when it comes to levelling, though to be fair many companies take a unique approach. We'd recommend using Google levels as the benchmark. Other companies like Facebook, DoorDash, etc. use the Google system just with different names (e.g. IC5/L5/E5 are the same at those companies). Amazon inflates levels by +1 for more junior levels (e.g. Amazon L4 = Google L3, both are entry level positions). However, this trend breaks at Amazon L7, which is closer to Google L7 than Google L6 in terms of compensation and scope. The 3 other main levelling systems to be aware of are: 1) Microsoft where 65 = Amazon L6 2) Apple where ICT4 is in between Amazon L5 and L6 3) Stripe/Robinhood/etc. where L2/IC2 = Amazon L5.

1:1 Salary Negotiation Support

We've negotiated more than $45M in Amazon offers in 2021. Our largest Amazon increase was $970K.

Negotiation strategy

Step 1 is defining the strategy, which often starts by helping you create leverage for your negotiation (e.g. setting up conversations with FAANG recruiters).

Negotiation anchor number

Step 2 we decide on anchor numbers and target numbers with the goal of securing a top of band offer, based on our internal verified data sets.

Negotiation execution plan

Step 3 we create custom scripts for each of your calls, practice multiple 1:1 mock negotiations, and join your recruiter calls to guide you via chat.