5 Augmented Reality Careers

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Discover five augmented reality career options in this increasingly popular industry and explore tips for getting started.

[Featured image] A woman uses an augmented reality app on a tablet to measure space for her interior design career.

Augmented reality (AR) is an exciting career choice, with AR and virtual reality (VR) technologies developing at a vast rate as part of the extended reality (XR) industry. XR is the umbrella term that AR and VR fall, along with other immersive technologies that bring virtual and physical worlds together. 

The experts at Mordor Intelligence expect it to grow 35 percent between 2023 and 2028, giving XR technology a global market value of $472 billion by 2028 [1]. Within the field of AR, you’ll find jobs in various industries, including education, health care, travel, automotive, retail, and marketing. 

In this article, you’ll learn about augmented reality careers, the requirements for a position, the salary you can expect, and tips on entering the industry. 

Read more: Augmented Reality: Types of AR

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality (AR) integrates the virtual and physical worlds by allowing users to experience an enhanced version of their physical space through digital elements such as sound, visuals, and sensory additions. An example of this might be consumer apps allowing customers to see how an item of furniture looks in their own sitting room. 

AR technology and VR technology are often combined and used together, both coming together under the broader umbrella of XR, but they are different. Where AR adds digital elements to our physical world, VR is a complete immersion into a virtual world using a VR headset or similar equipment. 

Let’s take a look at some possible augmented careers and the requirements for entry.

1. XR developer

Average annual US salary: $109,028 [2]

Job outlook: 25 percent annual growth [3]

Requirements: Employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering, programming, and application development, along with XR skills, project management skills, and relevant experience.

XR developers are software developers with specific skills in AR and VR. They may specialize in app development, game development, or web development using AR and VR, working in a developer role but in a virtual environment, creating immersive experiences. Like other software development roles, they design and develop software and work on debugging and upgrades alongside a team of programmers to meet a company's needs. 

2. XR designer

Average annual US salary: $71,789 [4]

Job outlook: 16 percent annual growth [5]

Requirements: Excellent programming experience, skills in AR and VR, and a bachelor’s degree with a relevant major such as computer science. 

XR designers are responsible for how an experience comes together by testing features and usability, making changes as needed, and making sure games, apps, and websites work seamlessly regarding navigation, interface, and interaction with the features of AR and VR. 

3. AR Project manager

Average annual US salary: $92,322 [6]

Job outlook: 16 percent annual growth [5]

Requirements: A technology background with experience in AR/XR and a degree in computer science or similar. 

AR project managers work in the AR and XR space, looking after the development process of digital products and projects using AR technology from idea to delivery, covering the entire project management lifecycle. AR project managers often worked as developers or engineers before taking on some management experience. 

4. AR technician 

Average annual US salary: $49,474 [7]

Job outlook: 5 percent annual growth [8]

Requirements: A degree in a technical field is useful but not essential. Having relevant technical skills and workplace skills like problem-solving and communication. 

Support technicians work on troubleshooting IT issues, assist users, and undertake repairs. AR technicians work specifically with AR technology. An increasing number of organizations use AR to offer customer support services and enhance staff training. AR allows people to train in real-world settings and in the field without leaving their desks. AR support technicians are on hand to sort out any issues. 

5. AR/VR Engineer

Average annual US salary: $139,341 [9]

Job outlook: 25 percent annual growth [3]

Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in a relevant major, such as computer science, programming, and technical experience, with skills in XR. 

AR/VR engineers write, maintain, test, and debug software using various programming languages. The software AR/VR engineers use XR tools and hardware to create XR experiences in video games, products, and entertainment, as well as in various industries, including health care and marketing. 

How to get into the field of augmented reality

The field of VR and AR is growing steadily, and extended reality careers are an exciting prospect. However, how to approach this depends on the area you are looking to enter. Building your technical skills within your specialism is an excellent start. If you want to work as a VR engineer, you’ll learn skills different from those of a VR project manager.

However, what is clear is that for any XR role, you want to build your AR, VR, and XR skills, knowledge, and experience with XR tools. Many employers prefer someone with a bachelor’s degree for the abovementioned roles. However, it is possible to enter the field through entry-level roles, and it is also useful to work towards relevant certifications, training, and self-study to build experience. 

AR skills

To work in AR, as well as the skills specific to the role you’re applying for, you need to build your technical skills in relation to AR, VR, and XR. You’ll also need various workplace skills, including customer service and problem-solving. 

AR skills to master include:

Getting started with Coursera

If you’re interested in augmented reality careers, consider starting your professional journey by taking online courses to build your skills and enhance your resume. Check out the Meta AR Developer Professional Certificate, which supports you to advance your software developer skills with AR technology. You could also take the Extended Reality For All Specialization, delivered by the University of Michigan, which includes online classes on both AR and VR, listed on Coursera. 

Article sources


Mordor Intelligence. “Extended Reality Market Size and Share Analysis - Growth Trends and Forecasts 2023-2028, https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/extended-reality-xr-market.” Accessed March 21, 2024.

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