Here is what we look for in a Data Engineer

There is plenty of information available on the role and responsibilities of a Data Engineer – a simple Google search can lead to hundreds of varying results. 


Here at Mackin we have a wealth of experience in sourcing Data Engineers for clients. We want to give you an inside look into exactly what our clients look for and what will make you, as a candidate, stand out from the crowd. 

What are the first steps on your road to becoming a Data Engineer? 

When it comes to seeking out a new role, you need to make sure you have the necessary skills and qualifications. Initially, your pathway to becoming a Data Engineer will begin with your education. Typical backgrounds include a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in: 

  • Software Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science 
  • Mathematics 
  • Business Information Systems

In addition to having the above qualifications, you may also have a certification from governing bodies such as the Certified Data Management Professional. If you don’t have a qualification listed above, by taking relevant courses in coding, algorithms and data management you will increase your chance of finding a position in this field. Building a portfolio can also be helpful in showcasing your suitability for a role. 

While education is important being able to display skills that can be applied to your role will make you stand out among other applicants.

Salary and compensation


In the US the average salary for a Data Engineer is between 105-120k/yr, depending on years of experience and location of position. An experienced Data Engineer can expect to earn up to $175,000 a year in markets like San Francisco, CA. Do your homework on sites such as Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, Zippia, and know your worth based on experience, qualifications and job location.

Average US Salary for Data Engineer

Skills for Success


As a Data Engineer, there are certain skills that are essential to carrying out the job effectively. These include:


  • Java, Python, and a number of visualization tools such as Tableau, SQL, R, etc. 
  • Perform analysis of data and trends to deliver insights about operational performance
  • Manage data in dynamic dashboards to support tracking initiatives in real-time
  • Clear and concise data reporting and analytical problem solving


In addition to essential hard skills, there are also soft skills that are necessary for those looking to enter into the career:


  • Analytical skills - especially important in reporting
  • Communication skills - clear and concise communication of data and reports
  • Interpersonal skills - collaboration and working across teams
  • Theoretical skills - exploring and thinking through all possibilities
  • Critical thinking - looking at all the components and making decisions accordingly 
  • Time management skills - to ensure the data algorithms are reporting in real-time
  • Problem solving skills - it’s inevitable, be prepared and ready to respond
  • Attention to detail



The Day-to-Day


As a Data Engineer, your day-to-day tasks will vary. However, there are tasks that will make up most of your average day’s work, such as:


  • Creating, maintaining and monitoring data algorithms 
  • Ensuring the current architecture supports the requirements of the business
  • Exploring new processes and create code to marry systems together 
  • Developing data sets
  • Designing, building, and launching efficient and reliable data pipelines
  • Recommending ways to improve current infrastructures to improve reliability and quality


The Inside Scoop

Here at Mackin, we know companies look for individuals who can: 

  • Work effectively as part of a team 
  • Thrive in a fast paced environment with minimal guidance
  • Show initiative and drive 
  • Work well under pressure 
  • Effectively manage changing priorities

Before applying for a position, make sure the company is the right fit for you. Research them thoroughly, look at their digital presence and ensure that their values and culture reflect yours.

Work with Mackin

Data Engineer is a highly sourced position at Mackin, all over the globe. If you are interested in positions currently available at Mackin, visit our Career Site and join our candidate pool. We will review your resume and keep you informed on current and future positions. 

Good luck in your career and we hope to have the opportunity to work with you at Mackin.