Machine Learning Engineer Salary: How Much Can You 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. 

[Featured image] Two coworkers discuss a project at a desktop computer.

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. 

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 $112,832 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 [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: $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 [2]. Those with over 15 years of experience, meanwhile, can expect an average salary of $169, 508 [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: $134,302

Research engineer: $118,135

Machine learning research scientist: $151,774

Machine learning scientist: $142,166


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$133,646
New York City, NY$124,511
Seattle, WA$134,644
Los Angeles, CA$125,313
Austin, TX$128,883
Washington, DC$123,990
Madison, WI$125,774
Des Moines, IO$123,904
Saint Louis, MO$124,150
Chicago, IL$131,980
Colorado Springs, CO$121,131
Cincinnati, OH$127,236

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 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. 


professional certificate

Google Data Analytics

This is your path to a career in data analytics. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.


(99,020 ratings)

1,370,829 already enrolled


Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Spreadsheet, Data Cleansing, Data Analysis, Data Visualization (DataViz), SQL, Questioning, Decision-Making, Problem Solving, Metadata, Data Collection, Data Ethics, Sample Size Determination, Data Integrity, Data Calculations, Data Aggregation, Tableau Software, Presentation, R Programming, R Markdown, Rstudio, Job portfolio, case study

 Article sources

1. FRED St.Louis. “Real Median Personal Income in the United States,” Accessed August 26, 2022. 

2. Glassdoor. “Machine Learning Engineer Salaries,,25.htm.” Accessed August 26, 2022. 

3. AI Magazine. “Top 10 Sectors for Machine Learning,” Accessed August 26, 2022. 

4. BLS. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer and Information Research Scientists,” Accessed August 26, 2022. 

5. Indeed. “The Best Jobs in the U.S. in 2019,” Accessed August 26, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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.

Big savings for your big goals! Save $200 on Coursera Plus.

  • For a limited time, save like never before on a new Coursera Plus annual subscription (original price: $399 | after discount: $199 for one year).
  • Get unlimited access to 7,000+ courses from world-class universities and companies—for less than $20/month!
  • Gain the skills you need to succeed, anytime you need them—whether you’re starting your first job, switching to a new career, or advancing in your current role.