AI Engineer Salary in the USA: Location and Roles

Artificial Intelligence is truly one of the more fascinating domains of operations in today’s world. Whether you look at specialized use cases like AlphaGo, AlphaZero, GPT-3, or specific business use cases like automation, Artificial Intelligence has truly made its presence felt across all industries. 

With time, and as more technologies have come to the fore, the field of Artificial Intelligence has both diversified and specialized. The area has diversified by introducing more complex and far-spreading domains like Neural Networks, Deep Learning, and Soft Computing. It has specialized by taking on specific problems and solving them using AI – like Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision, Robotics, Autonomous Vehicle Engineering, and more. 

Because of these reasons, Artificial Intelligence is truly one of the fascinating fields to work in. The bonus is that organizations pay AI experts and specialists generously because of the sheer value they add. 

According to a LinkedIn report, the salary of an AI Intelligence Specialist – which is a generic job title that covers different AI-specific roles – is among the top 15 pays for the year 2021. The salary figure of AI Intelligence Specialists also saw a 75% annual growth. Not only is this a well-paying field, but it is also one that offers high levels of job satisfaction, making it a highly rewarding career option. 

Through this article, let’s look at the AI Engineer Salary in the USA in depth. We’ll also look at the various roles that AI engineers need to take on in their journey! 


Salaries of AI Engineers in the USA

While the final salary is always a product of various independent factors – like job role, location, years of experience, company you’re working for, and more – the average annual salary of an AI Engineer in the USA is easily well over $100,000. If we look at the figures offered by, we can see that AI Engineers earn an average annual salary of $151,001. 

The above written salary figure fluctuates with your location of work. Typically, most of the jobs for AI engineers or AI specialists are concentrated in the key cities, including New York, Washington DC, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, etc. 

Let’s look at how the salary for AI Engineers in the USA varies according to their location. Please note that these are average figures that have been sourced from different job portals and then averaged out. It is to give you an idea of the range of salaries that you can expect. For precise salary figures, you’ll need to look at different job descriptions. 

Salaries of AI Engineers in the USA based on their locations

Here are some of the major cities in the USA where companies regularly hire AI experts, along with the average salary offered per annum:

  • San Francisco Bay Area – $187, 353
  • Seattle – $173,241
  • Washington – $172,138
  • Boston – $166,513
  • New York – $153, 590
  • Sunnyvale – $140, 212
  • Cambridge – $133,322
  • San Diego – $125, 069

What are the Roles of AI Engineers? 

Artificial Intelligence Engineers and experts work with building and testing different Artificial Intelligence models. They deal with everything from inception to completion of AI projects – this includes system maintenance, screening for problems, deciding on algorithms, debugging the model, and presenting the final model’s output in a comprehensive form. The role of AI engineers is primarily to act as the main decision-making body of all AI-related tasks in an organization. 

Most Artificial Intelligence Engineers come from computer science, mathematics, physics, or mechanical engineering background. However, this field is not restricted to just people with the mentioned academic background. If you are interested in AI, you can begin your journey irrespective of what you have studied so far.

To begin with, you need to acquire sufficient knowledge in calculus, linear algebra, probability, and statistics. From there, you will be on your way to exploring, understanding, and even improving different AI models and systems. 

While AI Engineers can write algorithms and modify them, that is not their only skill. AI Experts are expected to have top-notch analytical skills, command over programming concepts (mainly Python), and a collaborative spirit. The programming knowledge required for AI Engineers is not as extensive as for Software Developers since most of the algorithms of AI or Machine Learning are already built. You need to work to fit them into your problem statement – unlike traditional programming.

The AI algorithms are required to perform the tasks without much human intervention, which means the changes that have to be made are for the neural networks, as opposed to regular pieces of code. 

These specialized skills – from mathematics to computers, team management to machine learning – make AI Engineers eligible for such high salaries and rewarding careers. Further, the ever-evolving landscape of AI means that AI Engineers are supposed to be on their toes at all times.

This is because there’s so much movement happening in the AI sphere, and the most successful AI Engineer of today will be the one who is trying to make sense of all of these advancements in some or another way. Because of these reasons, too, the AI field tends to be a bit competitive. 

Build Your AI Skills for a Rewarding Career! 

The number of career opportunities in the world of Artificial Intelligence will only increase in the coming years. If you are fascinated by the field and want to become a part of this revolution, now is the right time to buckle up and start with your learnings. Bagging a well-paying and rewarding AI job comes down to you having the right set of skills, mindset, and a learner’s attitude. 

Luckily, upGrad is here to provide you with all of that and more. At upGrad, we have successfully mentored students from around the globe, in 85+ countries, with 40,000+ paid learners globally, and our programs have impacted more than 500,000 working professionals.

Our Machine Learning and AI Courses have been designed to help you start from scratch, learn about the most important fundamentals, and then build on that to work on complex projects and problems. Plus, with the dedicated guidance of our expert mentors, you are bound to be a job-ready candidate before you know it! 

What is the minimum salary of an AI Engineer in the USA?

While this is a varying figure, you can expect the minimum salary of an AI Engineer in the USA to be around $80k per year.

Is AI Engineering in the USA a good career?

Most definitely! AI Engineering is one of the most rapidly growing fields of today. If you are passionate about working on things that bring about real-world changes, a career in AI Engineering is just perfect for you.

Does AI Engineering require coding?

Yes, AI Engineering does require programming and coding skills. However, this is not like the programming expertise you require to be a Software Development Engineer. Programming is just one part of AI Engineering, and it can be mastered with a little effort!

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