How Much Does a Machine Learning Engineer Make?

Written by Coursera • Updated on

A machine learning engineer's salary can be many times more than the median income in the United States. Learn how much you can expect to earn from this in-demand career. 

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Machine learning (ml) engineers research, design, and develop critical artificial intelligence on data science teams. 

Whether they’re working on computer vision with deep learning or creating algorithms to make real-time stock predictions in milliseconds, machine learning engineers are in high demand in many industries throughout the world. And they’re well-compensated for their unique skill set, as a result.

Read more: What is a Machine Learning Engineer and How Can You Get Started?

In this article, you’ll learn the average salary a machine learning engineer can expect to earn in the United States and find out how it can vary by experience and location. You’ll also learn about the overall job outlook for machine learning engineers and the top sectors hiring them today. Finally, you’ll find steps to start working toward your career as a machine learning engineer – whether you’re a novice or an experienced professional. 

What is an average machine learning engineer salary? 

The average salary of a machine learning engineer is impacted by many factors, such as experience, industry, and geographic location. However, according to various salary aggregate sites, the average salary for a machine learning engineer ranges from $112,342 to $145,688. 


Whatever the salary, machine learning engineers can expect to make much more than the median salary in the United States, which sat at $35,805 as of 2020 [1].

Machine learning engineer salaries by experience

Experience has a big impact on what machine learning engineers can expect to make. Generally, the more experience a machine learning engineer has, the more they can expect to make in their role. According to Glassdoor, the experience breaks down as follows [2]:

  • 0-1 years: $123,569

  • 1-3 years: $126,669

  • 4-6 years: $132,034

  • 7-9 years: $136,047

  • 10-14 years: $143,728

  • 15+ years: $153,541

Those in more senior positions can typically expect to make even more. For example, according to Glassdoor, the average annual salary that a senior machine learning engineer makes is $135,908 across all years of experience [2]. Those with over 15 years of experience, meanwhile, can expect an average salary of $165, 514 [2].

Machine learning engineer industries 

As data becomes increasingly more valuable, so too do machine learning engineers capable of manipulating it with artificial intelligence. As a result, there are many industries where machine learning engineers can expect to find work. Here are the top five sectors, according to AI magazine [3]: 

  • Healthcare

  • Transportation

  • Finance 

  • Agriculture 

  • Cybersecurity

Neural Networks and Deep Learning

Salaries for related job titles

Machine learning engineer isn’t the only game in town for those with the required skill set. According to Glassdoor, here’s how other similar jobs’ salaries stack up: 

Software engineer – machine learning: $141,131

Research engineer: $110,265

Machine learning research scientist: $151,440

Machine learning scientist: $129,897


Machine learning engineer salaries by location 

Typically, salaries vary from region to region. Every location has its own cost of living and market competition, which inevitably impacts the salary that a machine learning engineer can expect to make. 

Here are the average salaries for machine learning engineers across the country – from the west coast to the east, the midwest to the south – courtesy of Glassdoor: 

CityAverage base salary (Glassdoor)
San Francisco, CA$132,599
New York City, NY$128,085
Seattle, WA$134,588
Los Angeles, CA$127,764
Austin, TX$130,796
Washington, DC$116,852
Madison, WI$128,887
Des Moines, IO$122,130
Saint Louis, MO$122,657
Chicago, IL$130,031
Colorado Springs, CO$119,962
Cincinnati, OH$127,270

Job outlook for machine learning engineers 

The job outlook for machine learning engineers is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information research scientists – the group under which machine learning engineers typically fall – are projected to grow by 22 percent between 2020 and 2030 [4]. 

In 2019, meanwhile, Indeed ranked machine learning engineer as the number one job in the United States, noting its high salary and the 344 percent job growth seen between 2015 and 2018 as key reasons [5]. 

Get started (or hone your skills) with Coursera

Becoming a machine learning engineer takes time and dedication. To get started, you might consider taking a relevant online course through Coursera.

Google’s Data Analytics Professional Certificate introduces beginners to the fundamentals of data analysis, including spreadsheets, SQL, and R programming.

DeepLearning.AI’s Machine Learning Engineering for Production (MLOps) Specialization, meanwhile, teaches advanced learners how to design an ML production system from end to end. 


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 Article sources

1. FRED St.Louis. “Real Median Personal Income in the United States,” Accessed April 22, 2022. 

2. Glassdoor. “Machine Learning Engineer Salaries,,25.htm.” Accessed April 21, 2022. 

3. AI Magazine. “Top 10 Sectors for Machine Learning,” Accessed April 22, 2022. 

4. BLS. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer and Information Research Scientists,” Accessed April 21, 2022. 

5. Indeed. “The Best Jobs in the U.S. in 2019,” Accessed April 21, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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