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Thu Apr 25 2024

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Big Data Engineer Guide - Skills, Importance, Salary Trends

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Big Data Engineer

Key Takeaways

  • Role Importance: A Big Data Engineer plays a vital role in managing and analyzing large volumes of business data.
  • Primary Responsibilities: They are responsible for designing systems to process data and collaborate with teams to drive data-informed decisions.
  • Skills and Preparation: Aspiring Big Data Engineers should focus on acquiring technical skills relevant to data management and analysis.
  • Experience and Certification: Gaining practical experience and obtaining professional certifications can enhance a Big Data Engineer's qualifications.
  • Career Benefits: The career path offers stability and significant growth opportunities, suitable for individuals with a strong interest in computers and numbers.

Have you ever wondered how companies manage all the data they collect? Well, that's where Big Data Engineer comes into play. They're the experts behind the scenes, ensuring that massive amounts of information are organized and analyzed effectively.

This field covers data collection, data processing, and many related areas. MNC’s and other private companies hire big data engineers to make use of the data they have gathered through research engineer findings. Big data engineers are responsible for building data reservoirs and managing those complicated reservoirs. They have to develop and ensure the functionality of data-storing infrastructures, such as databases and large-scale storage processing units. Here’s everything you need to know about the in the making field of big data engineering. 

But what exactly does a Big data engineer do? And how can you become one? Join us as we explore the world of big data engineering, uncover the essential skills required, and outline the steps to kickstart your career in this dynamic field. So, if you're ready to dive into the realm of data and embark on a journey in this profession, let's dive in!

What Does a Big Data Engineer Do?

Do you know how tons of data are being generated everywhere these days? Well, just having all that data isn't very helpful unless we know what to do with it. That's where Big Data comes in.

Big Data is all about analyzing and making sense of huge amounts of information. This helps businesses make smarter decisions, improve their products, and make marketing more effective. And the people who work with Big Data, like Big Data Engineers, are the ones who make it happen. They perform large scale data engineering to find the trend and meaning behind the huge amount of structured and unstructured data generated across multiple touchpoints.

Think of a Big Data Engineer like a behind-the-scenes hero in the world of technology. Their job is to set up, maintain, and improve the systems that handle all this massive data. They ensure everything runs smoothly so companies can use their data to grow and succeed. Let us understand more deeply the responsibilities of a Big Data Engineer.

Responsibilities of Full Stack Big Data Developer

Here's a simplified breakdown of their responsibilities:

Designing and Implementing Software Systems

Big Data Engineers create and maintain software systems that handle large-scale data processing. They construct robust systems for collecting, storing, and processing data from various sources.

ETL Operations

They perform Extract Transform Load operations, which involve extracting data from different sources, transforming it into a usable format, and loading it into storage.

Researching and Improving Data

They explore new methods to obtain data and enhance its quality to ensure it meets business needs.

Creating Data Architectures

A Big Data Engineer designs data architectures tailored to meet specific business requirements. They integrate various programming languages and data quality management tools to develop structured solutions for managing and analyzing data.

Data Mining

They extract valuable insights by mining data from multiple sources to build efficient business models.


A Big Data Engineer works closely with other teams, including data analysts and data scientists, to ensure smooth data operations and to support the organization's goals.

In essence, Big Data Engineers play a vital role in building and maintaining the infrastructure necessary for organizations to harness big data's power to drive innovation, efficiency, and growth.

What is the Difference Between a Big Data Engineer, a Data Engineer, and a Data Scientist?

Think of it like this: both data engineers and big data engineers work with data, but the main difference is in the size and complexity of what they handle. Big data engineers handle, well, bigger amounts of data.

Let us first look at the Data Engineer job description to understand.

Data Engineer Job Description

A data engineer's job is handling data but at a limited amount. They're like the gatekeepers of data, taking it from different places and putting it into a storage system called a data lake. Then, they make sure this data is ready to be used by cleaning it up and organizing it.

They also do things like transform the data into a format that's easy to work with and ensure everything runs smoothly and quickly.

Big Data Engineer's Job Description

Now, when we're talking about a massive amount of data, almost all the information a company generates across one life cycle, the big data engineer comes in. Big data engineering for analytics research needs to have many advanced tools and databases to create and manage systems that can handle this massive amount of information. They're all about ensuring everything works smoothly, even when dealing with tons and tons of data.

Data Scientist

And just to throw another term in the mix, let's talk about data scientists. They are different from both big data engineers and data engineers. While big data engineers build and maintain systems to handle data, data scientists are the ones who dive into this cleaned-up data to find insights. They use different methods and models to understand what the data is telling us and how it can be used to make decisions.

So, in a nutshell, data engineers handle regular-sized data and make it usable, while big data engineers tackle the huge stuff and ensure everything runs smoothly. And data scientists? Well, they're the ones who find the gold nuggets hidden in all that data.

What are the Skills Required for a Big Data Engineer?

To excel in big data engineering, you'll need a mix of technical skills and know-how. Let's explore the must-have skills for navigating this dynamic field.

Big data engineers skills need to be tech-savvy in a variety of areas. They should know their way around cloud computing, data visualization tools, and machine learning concepts. Proficiency in programming languages like Python and Java is essential.

Additionally, familiarity with NoSQL databases, data pipelines, and automation techniques is crucial. DevOps knowledge, SQL expertise, and scripting abilities round out the skillset.

Thus, they must possess a diverse skill set running from cloud computing to programming and automation. Mastering these skills opens doors to exciting opportunities in the field of data engineering.

How do you Become a Big Data Engineer?

Becoming a Big Data Engineer involves a few key steps, which include education, gaining work experience, and considering optional certifications.


Start by developing an interest in subjects like computer science, math, or statistics. Most Big Data Engineers have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field. Some opt for advanced degrees like a master's degree in business data analytics to gain deeper knowledge in areas like database principles, data visualization, and predictive modeling.

To be a successful Big Data Engineer, you need to possess specific technical knowledge. You must study

  1. database architectures
  2. SQL, programming languages like Python and Java
  3. statistical programs such as SAS and R
  4. cloud computing tools

Work Experience

Gain practical experience to develop crucial skills like communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. This can be through internships, freelance projects, or entry-level positions in related fields.

Develop interpersonal skills like effective communication with others, staying curious, and finding creative solutions to complex problems.

Certification (Optional)

Consider obtaining data engineering certifications to showcase your expertise to potential employers. Some top certifications that a Big Data Engineer needs are:

  • Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) Data Engineer: Demonstrates proficiency in data analysis, workflow development, and data transformation.
  • Certified Big Data Professional (CBDP): Focuses on data science and business intelligence proficiency.
  • Google Cloud Certified Professional Data Engineer: Test skills in building data systems and analyzing for machine learning and security.

By following these steps and continually sharpening your skills, you can work towards a rewarding career as a Big data engineer.

What is Big Data Engineering Salary?

A Big Data Engineer in the US typically makes about $106,000 a year on average, with some earning between $90,000 to $126,000. This is similar to what other data pros like Data Architects and Analysts earn.

Your salary can change based on things like how much experience you have, where you work, and how much schooling you've had. For example, if you've been doing this job for a while or you have a good degree, you might make more money.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that other jobs like Statisticians and Computer Scientists make around $84,000 to $114,000 a year. If you're just starting out, you might not make as much, but your pay can increase as you get better at your job. Some states might pay more than others, too.

So, if you're good with numbers and computers, becoming a Big Data Engineer could mean a nice paycheck and lots of chances to move up in your career. Let's get that position and start earning a handsome amount. Don't wait. Make your resume highlighting the best skills needed for this role, submit it with Pitch N Hire, and start your journey of success.


In essence, a Big Data engineer is the backbone of data management, ensuring vast amounts of information are useful for businesses. They design systems, process data, and collaborate with teams to drive informed decisions and innovations.

Becoming one involves learning technical skills, gaining experience, and possibly earning certifications. This career offers financial stability and growth opportunities. So, if you're intrigued by computers and numbers and want to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of businesses, becoming a Big Data Engineer could be an exciting path to explore.

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