AI Employment Outlook: Salary Trends and Future Projections

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At a time when science fiction has become science fact, where machines are becoming increasingly “human” , one thing is impossible to ignore: AI (artificial intelligence) has the potential to dramatically transform the employment landscape. 

The advent of AI technologies heralds a transformative era in the job market, bringing with it unparalleled opportunities and challenges. From autonomous vehicles and virtual assistants to predictive algorithms and advanced robotics, AI is not just a buzzword; it’s the new reality.

According to IT Salary Guide from tech recruiters, Motion recruitment, AI /Machine learning/deep learning were among the most in-demand skills over the last year. As we step into the future, understanding the implications of AI’s influence on the workforce has never been more critical and those embarking on a new career or considering their options could be well advised to consider the longer-term implications of a world where machines think, learn, and work alongside us. 

The Rise of AI

AI is no longer the preserve of fantasy films, tech gurus or the wealthy; machine learning and AI are part of most of our lives whether we realize it – and want it – or not. From stores to logistics solutions, AI is transforming how industries operate, how we live and how we work. 

The rise of AI as the backbone of many industries has seen a huge rise in demand for AI expertise, meaning that there are evermore enticing job opportunities available for those who possess niche skills. Companies that integrate AI are not just enhancing their processes; they’re often reimagining their entire business models. AI is driving innovation in product development, customer service, and decision-making. This translates to an increased need for professionals who can navigate this transformative landscape.

This impact transcends industries and boundaries; AI is everywhere, and it appears that it is here to stay. 

AI Salaries

The value of any commodity is primarily dictated by demand and scarcity. In a time where organizations are competing to fulfil their AI needs as well as the changing demands of their customers, there is high demand for AI specialists. Coupled with the fact that there are relatively few people who possess a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience across this relatively new field, it is not surprising AI salaries are on the rise. According to Forbes, 2022 saw more than a 10% rise in wages for AI professionals, with managers seeing the highest levels of increase. In 2022 robotics engineers earnt an average of $95,000, with machine learning engineers topping out at just under $133,000 average earnings.  

Factors affecting AI salaries

Levels of experience and geographical location are two of the biggest influencing factors on AI salaries. For robotics engineers, the average salary goes from $81,000 at entry level to $112,000 for those with more than ten years’ experience, and machine learning engineers going from $105,000 to $132,000. Geographical variations, meanwhile, depend on a host of factors including demand within the area, local cost of living, and the local job market. For example, the average robotics engineer salary is $86,000 in Columbus, OH, compared to $119,000 in San Francisco; with more job opportunities in Silicon Valley, organizations need to offer increasingly attractive employment packages in order to attract the right talent. 

An upward trend

The increase of salaries for jobs in tech is unlikely to settle down in the near future, as employees with a good grasp of AI skills are likely to continue to be in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs in computer and information research science are predicted to rise by 23% over the next decade; and that could be a conservative assessment. 

Increasing your earning potential as an AI professional

While it is not possible to gain more years in the job than you have already, there are things that you can do to improve not only your employability, but your retainability; the amount that your organization might be willing to pay in order to avoid losing you to a competitor. These include: 

  • Upskilling – make sure that you stay ahead of the ever-moving AI industry. Absorb knowledge form every available source and focus on keeping your existing skills up to date while adding new skills to your repertoire. Take a look at the top ten AI books here
  • Certification – as can be expected in a rapidly growing industry, there are evermore certifications and qualifications surrounding technology and specifically AI and machine learning. If you have a specific job or organization in your sights, find out what certifications and accreditations they prefer; if you are unsure, speak to a recruiter or mentor to see what they advise. 

Technology is here to stay, so those making longer term career plans would be wise to factor in the impact that AI could have on their future opportunities and leverage the rise in demand for AI professionals by upskilling accordingly. With a host of opportunities available, not to mention the chance to be part of an industry that is changing the way we exist, the future for AI professionals is very exciting indeed. 

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