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what should you expect to make salary wise after 5 years as a data engineer a year out of school making 65k

5 years is a tough projection. It can be $65k or $250k or somewhere in between. I would say the median is probably $100k. The reason for the variation is because skill accounts for a small percentage of your earning potential -- a larger chunk is determination and whether you take advantage of opportunities (or conversely, if you take a bad risk, not let it slow you down). Your skills are on target for a very high salary ceiling -- the rest is up to you. My advice is to work your ass off, keep learning, always have an eye on opportunities (within your company or outside), don't waste your time on dead ends, and take risks.

Michal Klos

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