Coming into 2015, the role of data scientist was hailed as “the sexiest job in America” and it looks like these highly skilled professionals will continue to wear that title. New salary research from Robert Half Technology finds that pay hikes for data scientists are increasing faster than just about any other technology job role.

According to the 2016 IT Salary Guide released this month, two of the three top IT job roles in terms of pay hike increases belong to data professionals – the data scientist (with a 8.9 percent pay hike) and the big data engineer (also with a 8.9 percent pay hike). Among all IT job roles surveyed, only the wireless network engineer tops them, at 9.7 percent.

Clearly, 2016 is shaping up to be a good year for data pros.

“The market continues to be very strong. I would say that the general category of data analytics is, if not number one, is a close second in terms of the hottest hiring sector in technology,” explains John Reed, senior executive director at Robert Half Technology.

“Companies continue to fund projects and initiatives to take advantage of the power of analytics and what it can do for the business,” Reed noted. “When you have that kind of phonemena you run into increasing demand. The analysts supply is not increasing at that same rate, so you have the old supply and demand economics kicking in. Companies have to get very creative on how they lure those candidates and compensation becomes one of those levers.”

So what can data professionals expect in the year ahead in their paychecks? Lots, the Robert Half study reveals. Here is a breakdown on the expected salary ranges in 2016, and the pay hike increase, for the top data and database administration roles:

• Big data engineer = $129,500 to $183,500, representing an 8.9 percent increase over 2015.

• Data architect = $127,250 to $175,500, representing a 6.4 percent increase.

• Data warehouse manager = $123,750 to $172,000, representing a 4.6 percent increase.

• Database manager = $118,000 to $170,500, representing a 5.9 percent increase.

• Business intelligence analyst = $113,750 to $164,000, representing a 6.2 percent increase.

• Data modeler = $106,750 to $155,500, representing a 6.4 percent increase.

• Data scientist = $109,000 to $153,750, representing an 8.9 percent increase.

• Database developer = $103,250 to $153,250 to 5.7 percent increase.

• Data warehouse analyst = $105,000 to $152,000, representing a 4.9 percent increase.

• Database administrator = $95,750 to $142,750, representing a 5.6 percent increase.

• Portal administrator = $94,000 to $134,250, representing a 3.8 percent increase.

• Electronic data interchange (EDI) specialist = $76,500 to $115,500, representing a 4.9 percent increase.

• Data analyst/report writer = $74,500 to $114,500, representing a 5.6 percent increase.

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