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.
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 in-depth knowledge and unique machine learning skill set, as a result.
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.
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 $112,832 to $143,180.
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 .
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 :
0-1 years: $126,393
1-3 years: $135,091
4-6 years: $141,066
7-9 years: $145,954
10-14 years: $154,438
15+ years: $164,899
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 $130,730 across all years of experience . Those with over 15 years of experience, meanwhile, can expect an average salary of $169, 508 .
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 :
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: $134,302
Research engineer: $118,135
Machine learning research scientist: $151,774
Machine learning scientist: $142,166
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:
|City||Average base salary (Glassdoor)|
|San Francisco, CA||$133,646|
|New York City, NY||$124,511|
|Los Angeles, CA||$125,313|
|Des Moines, IO||$123,904|
|Saint Louis, MO||$124,150|
|Colorado Springs, CO||$121,131|
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 .
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 .
Becoming a machine learning engineer takes time and dedication. To get started, you might consider taking a relevant online course through Coursera to hone your machine learning expertise.
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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1. FRED St.Louis. “Real Median Personal Income in the United States, https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEPAINUSA672N.” Accessed August 26, 2022.
2. Glassdoor. “Machine Learning Engineer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/machine-learning-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm.” Accessed August 26, 2022.
3. AI Magazine. “Top 10 Sectors for Machine Learning, https://aimagazine.com/top10/top-10-sectors-machine-learning.” Accessed August 26, 2022.
4. BLS. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer and Information Research Scientists, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm.” Accessed August 26, 2022.
5. Indeed. “The Best Jobs in the U.S. in 2019, https://www.indeed.com/lead/best-jobs-2019.” Accessed August 26, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.