Data Visualization Careers

Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.

Staff Writer

2022-09-0825 min read

Businesses and leaders need data to make decisions, and it's much easier to understand and use visual data representations in graphs and charts. These organizations and those who manage them need to interpret data in relatable formats that aid quick and reliable decisions.

This need to see and experience data in relatable ways is the key driver of data visualization.

By 2026, the market for data visualization would have grown to $5.17 billion from its estimated value of $3 billion in 2020. As technology and big data grow, dashboards and customized reports will become more important. This will result in a growing demand for data visualization experts.

In this post, we'll go over what data visualization is, how to get started in data visualization, and possible career routes.

Why Choose Data Visualization Careers?

If you're naturally inquisitive, an analytical thinker, and enjoy seeing patterns and trends, you're a perfect fit for a data visualization career.

Data visualization helps people see, interact, and understand data more readily. No matter how complicated the problem is, the right visualization tools can unite all stakeholders on any issue of concern.

All professions and industries can gain from simplifying data interpretation. In addition, all STEM fields and people in the business and public sectors can use data profitably. People in vital industries like marketing, consumer products, finance, health, manufacturing, aviation, and more can benefit from understanding data and using data-driven insights in their daily decision-making.

Data visualization has multiple real-world applications. So, the growing demand for visualization makes it one of the most beneficial career prospects to pursue.

Data visualization helps clients and shareholders to understand the information in a dataset using graphs and maps. This makes it easier to identify patterns, trends, and outliers within data sets, draw insights and make better decisions.

How to Start your Data Visualization Careers Journey

Data visualization jobs provide the chance to work in a field that is expected to experience significant job growth over the next few decades while also earning competitive pay.

Although you might get some entry-level jobs with an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree will help you grow further in your career. You can also choose to pursue a master's or a doctorate for a chance at even better pay and better job opportunities.

Here are a few options provided by the various degrees.

Education Requirements

Associate Degree

An associate's degree in data visualization qualifies you for most entry-level jobs. Unfortunately, very few colleges offer data visualization associate degrees.

An alternative is to look for closely related disciplines such as data analytics or data science. With this, you'll find entry-level data analyst jobs or work as a client services coordinator.

Bachelor's Degree

With a 4-year bachelor's degree, you'll learn about cloud computing, systems analysis, visual analytics, and data design. Students majoring in data visualization develop a range of skills they can apply to various roles.

Most schools do not offer a 4-year degree in data visualization. Instead, you can apply for a major in data science, business intelligence analytics, and database management.

You can secure a job as a data visualization specialist or a business intelligence analyst.

Master's Degree

A master's degree usually takes 1-2 years. However, it opens up more opportunities for people looking to further their careers in data visualization.

With a master's degree, you can land a job as a senior data analyst, a data scientist, or a data engineer.

Doctorate in Data Visualization Careers

There are few doctorates in data visualization. However, you can choose to advance your skills and knowledge with a doctorate in business analytics, data analytics, or data science. In addition, a doctorate opens the door for jobs such as research scientist or research and development manager.

Employment Prospects

Data is a fundamental component of all we do. Thus, data visualization engineers have become crucial to today's technological society.

Data visualization specialists can advise businesses on how to start marketing campaigns, sell products, and more using data analysis.

PayScale estimates that the typical annual income for a data visualization specialist is roughly $77,888. Data scientists and senior data visualization professionals can earn over $110,000 annually.

Data Visualization Careers Career Forecast

The high pay and job security make data visualization a field with a promising future. There's also a lot of growth in data-related areas.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data scientists will grow by 30% in the next decade.

The need to translate complex information into easier-to-understand terms will always exist, in other words. Talented data visualization specialists will, therefore, always have a job option.

How to Boost your Data Visualization Career

There are many avenues for professionals to advance in their data visualization jobs. For example, they can gain a certification, network with fellow professionals, learn about new tools and concepts, or join professional forums.

You can also take courses to learn new abilities and become comfortable with new software. You can then demonstrate to employers that you have the education and experience required to fill essential roles.

One way to advance is to keep up with the most recent data visualization tools. You can enroll in free or low-cost classes to learn about applications like Tableau, Python, Domo, and Google Chart.

Lucrative Data Visualization Career Paths

Are you thinking of starting a career in data visualization? Here's a look at some lucrative opportunities available in data visualization careers.

Data Visualization Engineer

Data visualization engineers (or specialists) create dashboards and other data visualizations using data collected from various sources.

Average Salary

The average annual pay for a data visualization engineer is $98,264. The highest salary for data engineers is $140,000, while the lowest is $86,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of a data visualization engineer include

  • Implementing best practices to ensure dashboard design consistency for the best user experience.

  • Using complicated datasets from various sources to design, construct, and manage user-friendly data displays.

  • Creating, testing, and designing analytics platform code.

  • Identifying and fixing issues, tracing code, and debugging apps.

Industries Employing Data Visualization Engineers

The industries that employee data visualization engineers include

  • Information technology

  • Banking

  • Insurance

  • Internet and web services

Data Analysts

Data analysts evaluate information to find patterns and relationships between data sets.

They produce reports that show historical and anticipated shifts in business performance, customer satisfaction, and customer retention.

Average Salary

Payscale estimates the annual average salary for data analysts to be $63,442. The lowest earning data analysts make around $46,000, while the highest make $88,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles of a data analyst include

  • Employing statistical methods to analyze data and generate reports.

  • Building and implementing data collection systems and databases.

  • Collecting information from primary and secondary sources and keeping data systems up to date.

  • Recognizing, evaluating, and deciphering patterns or trends in large, complicated data sets.

  • Cleaning and filtering data

Industries Employing Data Analysts

The top sectors currently hiring data analysts are:

  • Finance

  • Entertainment

  • Business intelligence

  • Sharing economy services

  • Healthcare

Data Scientists

A data scientist helps businesses make wise decisions about their operations, marketing, and other areas, by looking for patterns and trends in data.

They use data models and algorithms to predict outcomes, and occasionally they use machine learning strategies to enhance their tools and products.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a data scientist is $97,680---the salary ranges between $69,000 on the low end and $136,000 on the high end.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Finding appropriate data sources for the organization.

  • Gathering both structured and unstructured data.

  • Sourcing missing data.

  • Putting data into practical formats.

  • Developing predictive models.

  • Creating algorithms for machine learning.

  • Improving the method of data collection.

Industries Employing Data Scientists

The industries hiring the most data scientists are

  • BFSI

  • Healthcare

  • Telecommunications

  • Media & Entertainment

  • Retail

  • Digital Marketing

  • Automotive

  • Cyber Security

Business Intelligence Analysts

Business intelligence analysts examine and analyze information specific to companies, such as sales figures, market trends, and indicators for customer satisfaction.

The goal of BI analysts is to continuously identify potential developments that could promote business profits and market relevance.

Average Salary

The average salary of a business intelligence analyst is $71,493. The lowest percentile earns around $52,000, while the highest earns $98,000 or more.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Collect business information from various sources.

  • Evaluates market strategy by investigating relevant markets, trends, or products.

  • Identifies and keeps track of current and future consumers using tools and data from business intelligence.

  • Identifies potential markets for new product development and strategies to boost sales of everyday items

  • Collect market data or trends to back actionable recommendations

  • Stays informed on the latest industry trends and businesses.

Industries Employing Business Intelligence Analysts

Here are the industries hiring the most business intelligence analysts:

  • Fortune 500

  • Finance

  • Technology

  • Manufacturing

  • Healthcare

  • Retail

  • Telecommunications

Analytics Manager

Analytics managers are responsible for turning data into insights businesses can use. They often supervise a group of data analysts and mentor them so they can carry out analytics tasks accurately and effectively.

Average Salary

Analytics managers make an average of $100,859 annually. However, the annual salary usually ranges between $71,000 and $132,000, depending on your experience.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Developing tactics for efficient data analysis and reporting

  • Choosing, setting up, and putting analytics solutions in place

  • Hire, educate, and monitor analyst-level professionals.

  • Create and implement technical solutions to business problems.

  • Using comprehensive policies and procedures to ensure reporting personnel's data quality and deliverables.

  • Monitoring the submission, prioritization, approval, and tracking of data/report request processes.

Industries Employing Analytics Manager

The top industries hiring analytics managers are

  • Creative

  • Marketing

  • Telecommunications

  • Technology

  • Retail

Data Engineers

Data engineers create systems that gather, handle and turn raw data into usable information that business analysts and data scientists can interpret.

Their ultimate objective is to open up data so businesses can use it to assess and improve their performance.

Average Salary

Data engineers earn $93,637 on average each year. The annual salary usually ranges between $66,000 and $133,000, depending on your experience.

Roles and Responsibilities

Here are some responsibilities of a data engineer

  • Analyze and arrange unprocessed data.

  • Create data pipelines and systems.

  • Analyze the goals and demands of the business.

  • Analyze patterns and trends.

  • Analyze complex data, then present the findings.

  • Collect the necessary data for predictive and prescriptive modeling.

  • Create prototypes and algorithms.

Industries Employing Data Engineers

The industries hiring the most data engineers are

  • Healthcare & Pharmaceutical

  • Telecommunications

  • Telecommunications

  • Energy

  • Automotive

Data Visualization Developers

Data visualization developers are specialists in data science who deconstruct text-based data sets to create graphical and visual representations.

This involves highlighting trends in the data using visual representations, such as graphs, pie charts, and interactive visual data.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of data visualization developers is $106,959. The minimum wage is $66,500, while the top salary is $150,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

Data visualization developers usually carry out the following:

  • Plan and provide visualizations taking into account performance and data quality

  • Improve reports to make them responsive while displaying substantial volumes of data

  • Collaborate closely with data engineers, data architects, and business systems analysts to provide comprehensive reporting solutions.

  • Visualize and determine KPIs using data from numerous sources.

  • Create documentation for maintenance, training, and best practices

Industries Employing Data Visualization Developers

Data visualization developers are usually employed in the following industries

  • Retail

  • Medicine

  • Banking and Finance

  • Construction

  • Transportation

  • Communications, Media, and Entertainment

Business Intelligence Developers

A business intelligence developer is responsible for designing, monitoring, and maintaining business interfaces. These include dashboards, data visualizations, regular and ad hoc reports, and data querying tools that enable users to find the information they require.

Average Salary

The estimated average annual salary of business intelligence developers is $83,091. The minimum salary is $59,000, while the top salary is $116,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Deliver BI reports and tools.

  • Execute SQL queries, design, program, test, and combine the outcomes to produce usable information.

  • Write a technical documentation about database content

  • Map the many databases that the company uses.

  • Create, plan, and evaluate data warehouses and architectures

Industries Employing Business Intelligence Developers

The industries that hire the most business intelligence developers are

  • Transportation

  • Retail and wholesale

  • Medical and pharmaceutical

  • Banking and Finance

  • Hospitality

  • Communications and social media.

Business Systems Analysts

Business systems analysts analyze a company's operating system, processes, and design enhancements using business and technological techniques.

They work to improve a company's operations by planning and implementing information technology solutions.

Average Salary

The estimated average annual salary of a business systems analyst is $71,071. The minimum salary is $53,000, while the top salary is $101,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Examining consumer requirements and other data

  • Creating functional specifications

  • Creating solutions and drafting technical specifications

  • Putting technology solutions to the test and using them

  • carrying out research

  • Examining current business systems and procedures

  • Identifying areas that need work

  • Developing strategies to enhance the current systems

  • Evaluating the software and hardware requirements and making suggestions for enhancements

Industries Employing Business Systems Analysts

Business systems analysts can be found in the following industries

  • Healthcare

  • Manufacturing

  • Retail

  • Finance

  • Human resource information

  • Governments or NGO

Marketing Specialists

Marketing experts use data visualizations to determine which marketing activities and techniques have the best probability of boosting sales or keeping customers.

They compile data on the purchasing patterns of their clients and determine specific language or visuals that influence clients to buy things from their business.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a marketing specialist is $53,264. The minimum salary is $39,000, while the top salary is $73,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

Here are some of the responsibilities of a marketing specialist

  • Carrying out market research to obtain information about consumer needs, behaviors, and trends.

  • Develop and jot down ideas for imaginative marketing initiatives.

  • help in the analysis of marketing data (campaign outcomes, conversion rates, traffic, etc.) to assist in designing upcoming marketing strategies

  • Perform analysis and reporting on campaign effectiveness

  • Perform market research and trend analysis to find new marketing chances.

Industries Employing Marketing Specialists

The industries employing marketing specialists the most are

  • Consulting

  • Finance

  • Education

  • Advertising and PR

  • Insurance

Data Visualization Designer

Data Visualization Designers work on all phases of the visualization process. First, they analyze and format data and then use data visualization tools and storytelling to present the findings to the target audience. This can include charts, graphs, maps, or infographics to help solve internal and external difficulties.

Average Salary

The average annual pay for a data visualization designer is $114,286. The highest salary for data engineers is $151,000, while the lowest is $63,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Create data-driven stories and visualizations

  • Create data visualizations, web stories, and dashboards.

  • Coach and lead conversations between analysts, researchers, analysts, and non-technical partners to find the important data stories they want to share.

  • Gather client and partner feedback to improve goods and tools.

Industries Employing Data Visualization Designers

Pros and Cons of Data Visualization Careers

Here's a look at the pros and cons of working in data visualization.


  • Excellent job prospects.

  • Data visualization is versatile, allowing you to work in various industries.

  • The job is varied and challenging, so you'll never be bored at work.

  • You make complex subjects easy to understand.


  • Like most IT-related jobs, it requires a lot of sitting and screen time.

  • A lot of ethical issues surround the use and gathering of data.

  • It requires commitment and constant learning.

  • You can't master everything about data visualization.

Skills You'll Develop While Studying Data Visualization Careers

Data visualization careers require specific skills in your toolbox, some of which you'll find below.

Storytelling and Communication

Data scientists support others - stakeholders and managers - in making data-driven decisions. Thus it is crucial to visualize and communicate data, especially in small firms making decisions based on data for the first time.

Effective communication means being able to describe your results for both technical and non-technical audiences to understand.

Understanding the concepts behind visually encoding data and expressing information is just as important as familiarizing the tools required to visualize data.

Data Cleaning

Data cleansing is the process of removing inconsistent and incorrect data from your dataset. Most data professionals will spend roughly 80% of their time cleaning and preparing data.

A data analyst, for example, will frequently need to gather data from single, sometimes multiple, data sources. They'll then prepare it for quantitative and categorical analysis. Another aspect of data cleaning is eliminating inconsistencies and missing data that might skew the results.

Clean data will, in the end, boost overall productivity and enable the best quality information to be used in your decision-making.


You can use Excel's built-in features for creating charts and graphs to turn spreadsheet data into visuals. Although Excel's features may not be as potent as those found in specialized apps like Tableau, creating data visualizations to highlight trends or draw conclusions from data sets is simple.

Anyone wishing to work as a data professional should be familiar with Microsoft Excel. It is a highly versatile program with uses in data analysis, business, science, and other fields.


SQL is a database language used to build, maintain, and retrieve relational databases. SQL has become a crucial tool for data professionals since it is necessary for retrieving, editing, adding, manipulating, and modifying data.

Communication with relational databases is aided by understanding the dataset and how to use it efficiently. As a result, most data visualization professions prioritize SQL proficiency above other computer languages.

Critical Thinking

It's not enough to examine data; you need to grasp it and expand its significance beyond the statistics alone. If you can critically analyze information, you can spot patterns in data and draw out knowledge that firms can use immediately. However, you must put in extra effort and commit to thinking rather than just processing.

You can strengthen your critical thinking skills by challenging yourself. For example, try asking yourself this question the next time you have to perform an analytical assignment or exercise: What does the pattern I see mean? Never underestimate the relevance of honing your critical thinking skills when preparing for a career in data visualization.

How to Prepare for a Data Visualization Career

Do Your Research

Before you step into an interview, make sure you do your research on the company. Analytics skills may apply to any firm where data is collected, and your daily tasks can change depending on the company, department, and function.

Learn as much as you can about the company/industry. Get a sense of the dataset(s) you'll be dealing with frequently, the metrics that matter most to the company, and their respective importance.

The job description contains most of this information, but there are also additional places to look for it.

Hone your Storytelling Skills

Data storytelling is an organized method for conveying information using a combination of narrative, data, and data visualizations.

Employing skilled data storytellers is like treasure discovery for businesses, especially for the hundreds of data-rich companies that need assistance harnessing them.

Storytelling involves turning raw data into relevant insights that CEOs, management, and other company stakeholders can use to guide profitable business decisions. They are, in a nutshell, the ones who make data come to life and are essential to helping businesses become data-driven.

For this reason, developing your data storytelling abilities can give you a competitive edge in your job search and career.

Practice Regularly

Regular practice is the only way to become excellent in this field. The projects you complete while learning will determine if you can build a lucrative career in data visualization. The first thing to consider is what you intend to learn from a project.

Select tasks that will push you in the direction you need to go. Then, download Tableau Public to share your practice projects with others.

Once you've mastered Tableau, you can start making your dashboards and data visualizations with the free, open-source datasets. In addition, anyone wishing to showcase their data storytelling and visualization abilities should use public datasets as valuable resources.

Develop Your Portfolio

Use the Tableau dashboards you created while practicing to build the foundation of your portfolio. A good rule of thumb is to have 10-12 Tableau dashboards on your portfolio.

Apply to entry-level analytics positions with a link to your portfolio once you have enough sample dashboards that showcase your data narrative and visualization abilities.

A career in data visualization can be enjoyable and exciting since it allows you to witness firsthand how your analytics expertise can benefit a business.

Following these suggestions will help you stand out during the application process, and better prepare you for a rewarding career in data visualization and analytics.

Data Visualization Careers Resources to Help Your Career

Students and seasoned professionals can use resources like professional groups, open courseware, and trade journals to progress in their data visualization jobs.

Some of these resources include

How to Switch to a Data Visualization Career

Two things are necessary to switch to a data visualization career. The first is a degree, and the second is experience.

You can get an associate's degree in two years or a bachelor's degree in four. If you have a bachelor's degree from a different major, you can pursue a master's degree. Alternatively, you can go for a data visualization certification online.

Once you have the necessary knowledge, you must hone your skills. You can do this by applying for internships, personal projects, or joining online data visualization competitions. Then, when you're comfortable with your skills and experience, you can start applying for entry-level positions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Final Thoughts

Data visualization tools and techniques are continually evolving, so you'll need to evolve along with them. Take advantage of the many educational opportunities that learning institutions offer, including schools, colleges, and professional associations, to stay competitive.

Some professions can demand certification in the most recent database and statistics software. So make sure you update your technical skills regularly. It's also important for both professionals and students to network in the industry and form connections. A strong network can help discover prospective employment possibilities and the chance to work with others on various projects.

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