How Do I Check Data Type in PySpark?


Angela Bailey

When working with PySpark, it is important to be able to check the data type of your variables. This can help you ensure that you are working with the correct data and avoid any unexpected errors. In this tutorial, we will explore different methods to check the data type in PySpark.

Method 1: Using the printSchema() Method

The printSchema() method is a convenient way to check the data type of a PySpark DataFrame. It displays the schema of the DataFrame, which includes the column names and their respective data types.

To use this method, you first need to create a PySpark DataFrame.

Let’s assume we have a DataFrame called df. To check its schema, simply call the printSchema() method:


The output will be displayed in a hierarchical tree-like structure, with each column name followed by its respective data type.

Method 2: Using the dtypes Property

The dtypes property allows you to retrieve an array containing all column names and their corresponding data types. You can access this property by calling .dtypes on your DataFrame.

To print all column names and their data types using this method, you can iterate over the array returned by .dtypes:

for col_name, col_type in df.dtypes:
    print(col_name, col_type)

This will display each column name followed by its respective data type.

Method 3: Using the cast() Method

The cast() method in PySpark allows you to convert the data type of a column. Although this method is primarily used for type conversion, it can also be used to check the current data type of a column.

To check the data type of a specific column using the cast() method, you can cast it to its existing data type and then display the schema:"column_name").cast("current_data_type").printSchema()

Replace "column_name" with the name of your column and "current_data_type" with its current data type. This will print the schema for the selected column.

Method 4: Using the describe() Method

The describe() method provides summary statistics for numeric columns in your PySpark DataFrame. It includes information such as count, mean, standard deviation, minimum value, and maximum value. This method is particularly useful when working with large datasets.

To check the data types of numeric columns using this method, simply call .describe():


This will display summary statistics for all numeric columns in your DataFrame, including their respective data types.

In Conclusion

Checking the data type in PySpark is essential for ensuring that you are working with accurate and reliable information. By using methods like printSchema(), dtypes, cast(), and describe(), you can easily determine the data type of your variables and make any necessary adjustments to your code.

Remember to always check the data type before performing any operations or transformations on your data, as this will help you avoid potential errors and ensure the integrity of your analysis.

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