How Much Do AI Engineers Make? 2024 Salary Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Artificial intelligence (AI) engineers use technical expertise to program machines to think like the human brain. Look at how much they earn—by experience, industry, and location.

[Featured Image]:  A male AI engineer with short brown hair and wearing glasses and a gray sweatshirt, is sitting at his desk working on a laptop computer.  There is another computer monitor on his desk.

By 2030, AI could contribute up to USD$15.7 trillion to the global economy, more than China and India’s combined output today, according to PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study [1]. Organisations are turning to AI to help power their business decisions, increase efficiency, and, ultimately, become more profitable.

AI engineers help us rethink how we use machine learning (ML) algorithms, models, and tools to power our products, services, and global systems. They can easily make large salaries because this type of work requires plenty of technical expertise in high demand.

In this article, you’ll learn how much an AI engineer earns. We’ll break it down by experience, industry, and location, with tips for boosting your salary.

*All salary data and information as of December 2023

What is an average AI engineer’s salary?

Falling under the category of Artificial Intelligence Specialist, AI engineers can earn an annual median salary of ₹12,51,419, according to Payscale [2]. According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for an AI engineer in India is ₹11,67,563 per year [3].

Job outlook for AI engineers

According to Statista, India had the second-highest hiring rate globally for AI-related jobs between 2016 and 2020 [4]. Hiring for AI-related roles should continue throughout the country, as India had the highest penetration rate for AI skills worldwide from 2015 to 2022, according to Stanford University [5]. 

AI engineers typically work for companies, helping them improve their products, software, operations, and delivery. They are employed in the technology, finance, healthcare, and consulting industries.

Several factors can influence how much you earn as an AI engineer. Let’s examine how experience, industry, and location impact your earning potential.

AI engineer salaries by experience

One of the biggest factors influencing your salary is your experience level. It makes sense—the more experience you have working as an AI engineer, the more expertise you have, and the more you can expect to earn.

Here’s how experience can impact your AI engineer salary, according to Payscale:

  • Early career (1-4 years): ₹11,00,000 [2]

  • Mid-career (5-9 years): ₹24,56,588 [2]

  • Experienced (10-19 years): ₹25,00,000 [2]

Moving into leadership roles such as director or vice president of ML or AI can boost your salary by tens of thousands of dollars. However, you might focus on your expertise rather than managing a team, in which case you can earn more by switching companies or negotiating a higher salary by proving your value.

AI engineer salaries by industry

Not every industry requires AI engineers, but for those that do, such as tech, finance, healthcare, and retail, AI engineer salaries can vary widely. Typically, salary ranges reflect the respective industries. For example, technology and finance companies pay well across the board, so AI engineers who work for these industries will likely have higher salaries than average.

AI engineer salaries by location

Where you live can also impact how much you earn as an AI engineer. Working for companies in large cities such as Bangalore generally correlates to a higher salary. This is partly due to the higher cost of living in those areas. 

As companies continue to employ a geographically dispersed workforce that includes remote workers, employers may choose to offer location-based salaries. However, this can become tricky as these salaries must also account for merit and experience level, so location-based salaries can be considered unfair.

According to Glassdoor, in December 2023, the annual base salaries for AI engineers and similar titles in the following large Indian cities averaged:

  • Bangalore: ₹12,10,934

  • Pune: ₹9,30,830

  • Mumbai: ₹11,42,889

  • New Delhi: ₹13,08,158

Tips for earning more

Say you’re an AI engineer working for a few years. Here are a few ways you can boost your earning potential:

  • Get a master’s degree: It’s not necessary to have a master’s degree to land an AI engineer role. A master's degree can help you negotiate a higher salary because you’ll have solid credentials and expertise to back up your work experience.

  • Increase your technical skills: There is always more to learn in AI and machine learning. Keeping up with technical skills, significantly updated tools and systems, and expanding your repertoire of algorithm and modelling techniques can help you earn more. Drilling down into a particular industry can also boost your salary.

  • Negotiating: One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is not negotiating or not negotiating their full earning potential. According to Forbes, 70 per cent of managers expect negotiation when they make a job offer but don’t state that the offer is flexible [6]. If you choose not to negotiate, that wage gap can increase over time and keep you from reaching your full earning potential.

Curious about what jobs are similar to AI engineers and what they earn? Take a look at the salary breakdown according to data from Glassdoor in December 2023:

  • Machine learning engineer: ₹12,00,000 

  • Software engineer: ₹8,02,500 

  • Software developer: ₹8,02,500

  • Data engineer: ₹9,50,000 

  • Data scientist: ₹14,00,000 

Start learning today

Get started in a high-earning career as an AI engineer. Enroll in IBM’s AI Engineering Professional Certificate to learn how to provide business insights from big data using machine learning and deep learning techniques.

Article sources


PWC. “Sizing the prize: What’s the real value of AI for your business and how can you capitalise?,” Accessed December 4, 2023.

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

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.