Job Description Templates

Data Engineer Job Description Template

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Estimated salary range: $100,000–$268,000 USD

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The data engineer role is crucial in converting raw data into information and making it accessible so that it can be analyzed and used to further business needs. data engineer responsibilities include:

  • Designing, building, and maintaining data pipelines and architectures
  • Integrating data from differenct sources and ensuring data quality
  • Developing and implementing database solutions for data storage and retrieval
  • Collaborating with data scientists and analysts to support data-driven initiatives
  • Monitoring data infrastructure performance and optimizing data processing

Below is a job description template built specifically for the data engineer. Feel free to use it and adapt it to your specific needs.

About [Company]

This section convinces candidates to apply for a role at your Company instead of another. Include practical information about the Company, as well as details about its culture and values.

[Company] helps [Target] do [x].

[Company] consists of over [x] employees spanning over [x] countries. Our unified yet diverse culture keeps us continually learning and innovating ourselves and our products.

Our market-leading technology, expertise, and global team are crucial to our success and customer satisfaction, so we deliver the best products on the market.

Why should you be part of [Company] success story?

We envision a world of [x].

We offer [Target] all the tools they need.

There’s never been a more exciting time to join [Company]

About the data engineer role

Consider whether you need a description of the role or prefer to list duties and responsibilities directly as a bullet-point list.

As our data engineer, you’ll be responsible for designing, constructing, and maintaining the systems and infrastructure needed for collecting, processing, and storing large volumes of data. These processes must be done in an efficient and reliable way. 

The day-to-day data engineer roles and responsibilities include:

  • Designing and implementing data pipelines to efficiently extract, transform, and load (ETL) from various data sources into a central repository or data warehouse
  • Building and maintaining scalable and robust data infrastructure, including relational databases, data lakes, and distributed computing systems that are equipped to handle large volumes of data
  • Collaborating with data scientists and data analysts to understand metrics and data requirements and to provide them with access to the necessary data sets and data systems
  • Implementing data validation and cleaning processes to ensure data quality and monitoring data pipelines for errors or anomalies
  • Optimizing data storage and retrieval processes to enhance performance and reduce latency, particularly through techniques such as indexing, partitioning, and caching
  • Implementing data security and privacy measures, including data encryption, access controls, and compliance with data governance policies and regulations

About compensation

The more openly you talk about compensation and benefits, the more honest and attractive your job listing will be. We suggest a brief introduction about the values behind your compensation package, followed by a bullet-point list with the details of what is offered.

  • Salary
  • Bonuses
  • Equity
  • Perks
  • PTO
  • Personal development budget
  • Healthcare and wellness budget
  • Pension plan
  • Insurance contribution
  • Off-sites or events

Data Engineer Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree in computer science, information technology, data engineering, software engineering, or a related field is preferred
  • While not mandatory, data engineer certifications such as [Certified Data Engineer (CDE) or AWC Certified Big Data] are beneficial 
  • Approximately 4-5 years of experience in a data-related role is expected for a senior data engineer role
  • Strong programming skills and proficiency in programming languages such as [Python, Java, Scala] are essential
  • Knowledge of data engineer skills such as data management, data visualization, and familiarity with data architecture is important
  • Experience in data processing frameworks like [Apache Spark, Apache Hadoop, or Apache Flink] is beneficial for handling and processing large-scale data sets efficiently
  • Database and query language expertise is preferred in database systems like [SQL, NoSQL]
  • Experience working with large volumes of metadata and schemas
  • Hands-on experience in [ETL], and data integration is highly desirable
  • Data warehousing knowledge, data modeling, cloud computing familiarity such as [AWS, Azure], and data security and governance understanding are all essential for the role
  • Understanding how the role complements others working with [machine learning, data science, algorithms, business intelligence] is beneficial for collaboration

Data Engineer Skills

List the soft skills and personal qualities you are looking for in the perfect candidate.
  • Strong problem-solving skills - the ability to analyze complex data-related challenges, identify effective solutions, and troubleshoot issues efficiently are all grounded in solid problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail - you must be meticulous in data handling and maintain data integrity throughout the entire data engineering process
  • Effective communication skills - it’s important that you’re able to convey technical concepts and requirements to both technical and non-technical stakeholders and team members to foster collaboration and a shared understanding
  • Teamwork - you’ll be working closely with data scientists, analysts, and other stakeholders to achieve common goals
  • Data-driven mindset - a strong inclination towards data analysis is essential, and critical thinking is important when designing and optimizing data engineering solutions

How much does a Data Engineer make?

The exact salary of a Data Engineer can vary based on factors such as experience, location, industry, and the size of the organization. Here is a general overview of median salaries for Data Engineers:

  • North America: Data Engineers typically earn a median annual salary ranging from $100,000 to $150,000 or more in North America, particularly the United States and Canada. Salaries can vary based on demand and expertise.
  • Europe: In Europe, salaries for Data Engineers vary across countries. In Western European countries, median salaries can range from €70,000 to €100,000 or more annually. 
  • Middle East and North Africa: In the MENA region, Data Engineering roles are gaining prominence. Median salaries in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, or Saudi Arabia may range from $70,000 to $100,000.
  • Asia-Pacific: Data Engineer salaries in the APAC region can vary widely. In countries like Australia, Singapore, or Japan, median salaries range from $70,000 to $100,000.

Additional salary-related considerations

While these figures provide a general indication, consider other factors when assessing Data Engineer salaries:

  • Specialized skills: Expertise in specific data technologies or tools can impact salary levels.
  • Experience level: Senior Data Engineers with extensive experience may command higher compensation.
  • Company size: Salaries may vary based on the size and complexity of the organization. Larger enterprises with significant data needs may offer higher salaries.
  • Demand for skills: Industries with a high demand for data engineering skills may offer more competitive salaries.

Individuals considering a career as a Data Engineer should conduct thorough research, stay updated on industry trends, and consider the broader economic factors associated with each region.

How to become a Data Engineer

While there isn’t a fixed path for becoming a Data Engineer, certain common steps can guide individuals aspiring to this role, which is crucial in designing, constructing, and maintaining the architecture for data generation, transformation, and storage.

Common pathways to becoming a Data Engineer


A strong educational background is often fundamental for aspiring Data Engineers. Advanced degrees and certifications in technical or data-related fields can also enhance your skills and marketability.

Hands-on experience

Practical experience is invaluable for Data Engineers. Many professionals start in roles such as Software Engineer, Database Administrator, or Data Analyst to gain hands-on experience handling and manipulating data.

Collaboration and communication

Data Engineers often collaborate with data scientists, analysts, and business stakeholders. Strong collaboration and communication skills are essential for understanding data requirements and designing effective solutions.

Networking and industry 

Participating in industry conferences, joining professional organizations, and attending networking events are essential for staying updated with industry trends. Organizations like the Data Engineering and Data Management Association (DEDMA) provide opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing.

Data Engineer education


While not always mandatory, obtaining a relevant degree can significantly enhance your qualifications. Common degrees for individuals aspiring to become Data Engineers include:

  • Computer science
  • Information systems
  • Data science
  • Software engineering
  • Electrical or computer engineering

Many Data Engineers pursue advanced degrees such as master’s or Ph.D. to deepen their knowledge in data engineering and related technologies.

Technical certifications 

Certifications in relevant data engineering tools and technologies are highly valuable for Data Engineers. These certifications validate proficiency in specific data engineering skills and tools.

Common certifications include:

  • Google Cloud Certified - Professional Data Engineer
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate
  • AWS Certified Big Data - Specialty
  • Cloudera Certified Data Engineer
  • Apache Hadoop Certification

Data Engineers should also be proficient in working with databases and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes. Courses or workshops focusing on relational and non-relational databases and ETL tools like Apache NiFi or Apache Spark can be beneficial. 

Moreover, Data Engineers often work with big data technologies, so familiarity with technologies such as Apache Hadoop, Apache Kafka, and Apache Hive is crucial. 

Alternative career paths

While a direct path may involve education in data-related fields, alternative career paths can also lead to becoming a Data Engineer. Common alternative backgrounds include:

Software development

Professionals with a background in software development may transition to Data Engineering, leveraging their understanding of coding and system architecture.

Database administration

Due to their expertise in managing databases, individuals working as Database Administrators may transition to Data Engineering roles.

Business intelligence

Professionals with experience in business intelligence or data analysis may shift towards Data Engineering, capitalizing on their understanding of data needs and transformations.

What is a data engineer?

A data engineer is a professional figure who designs, develops, and manages the data infrastructure and systems that enable organizations to collect, store, and process large volumes of data. They work to ensure data availability, reliability, and accessibility for analysis by data scientists, analysts, and other stakeholders.

Do data engineers write code?

Yes, data engineers write code to build and maintain data pipelines, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes, and data integration solutions. They use programming languages like Python, Java, Scala, or others to develop scripts and applications that automate data processing and transform raw data into usable formats.

What does a data engineer do on a daily basis?

On a daily basis, a data engineer might design and develop data pipelines, troubleshoot issues with data flow, collaborate with data scientists and analysts to understand their data needs, optimize database performance. They may also implement security measures to ensure data integrity.

What is the difference between a data engineer and a data scientist?

While there is overlap in their skill sets, data engineers primarily work on the data infrastructure, while data scientists focus on data analysis and modeling. Data engineers' focus is on on building and maintaining data infrastructure, pipelines, and systems, enabling the efficient storage and processing of data. Data scientists, on the other hand, analyze and interpret data to extract insights, develop predictive models, and inform decision-making.

Do data engineers need to know SQL?

Yes, SQL (Structured Query Language) is essential for data engineers. SQL is necessary to interact with relational databases, extract and transform data, and perform queries. Data engineers use SQL to design database schemas, optimize data retrieval, and implement ETL processes.

Is python necessary for a data engineer?

While Python is not strictly necessary, it is widely used in the field of data engineering due to its versatility and robust libraries for data manipulation, scripting, and interaction with databases. Python is commonly used for writing ETL scripts and working with data processing frameworks.

Do data engineers need a degree?

A formal degree is not always a strict requirement for becoming a data engineer, but having a relevant degree in fields like Computer Science, Information Technology, or related disciplines can be advantageous. Practical experience, coding skills, and familiarity with data management technologies are also crucial.

What degree do you need to become a data engineer?

A University degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Technology, or other related fields is suitable for aspiring data engineers. These degrees provide a strong foundation in programming, databases, and software development, which are essential skills for data engineering roles.