Blog

AI Developer Salary and Hourly Rates in 2022

An overview of how much AI developers and related roles make in the United States. Tips to hire expert AI development specialists.

The demand for artificial intelligence (AI) developers is skyrocketing as the AI domain gains more traction across industries. American companies are willing to pay 91k-145k (or even more) dollars per year to AI developers and related roles because these jobs require high expertise in complex technologies, such as deep learning, data mining, and natural language processing.

In this blog, we will answer the question: "How much do AI developers earn in the United States?" and provide some information about the entire AI domain.

AI Software Development

Artificial intelligence is a cross-disciplinary term that refers to systems that mimic aspects of human intelligence, such as learning and problem-solving. It is one of the most popular software development domains.

SUCCESS STORY

84% of technology executives in the United States believe they need to adopt and leverage AI technologies like natural language processing, deep learning, and cognitive computing into their software projects to accelerate business growth. Tech leaders like Google, HP, and Salesforce are trying to increase their market share by integrating AI into their products.

Here are the top 12 companies making the most significant investments in AI software development and related technologies:

  • Amazon
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Salesforce
  • Alphabet
  • NVIDIA
  • Baidu
  • SAP SE
  • Oracle Corporation
  • Meta
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Apple

Artificial intelligence developers work with data, algorithms, and code to create intelligent systems that can predict, guide, and control. These professionals are at the forefront of a digital revolution, making it possible to develop and adopt AI technologies with in-depth understanding, self-learning capabilities, and high levels of accuracy.

Data scientist, machine learning engineer, AI researcher, and BI developer are some of the most popular AI-related roles in software development.

AI Developer Salary Overview

The global AI software market will grow in the next few years, reaching around 126 billion U.S. dollars by 2025, as Statista forecasts. This tendency will inevitably lead to an increased demand for AI developers across fast-growing industries, such as healthcare, financial services, automotive, and ed-tech.

Revenues from the AI software market worldwide (2018-2025)

Revenues from the artificial intelligence (AI) software market worldwide from 2018 to 2025 (Statista)
Source: Statista.com

According to Zippia, AI tech will generate around 58 million new jobs worldwide by 2022. Tech giants like Cisco, Amazon, and Samsung are already recruiting thousands of AI-proficient engineers.

As a result, specialists in artificial intelligence-related fields often receive higher salaries than other software development roles.

According to the latest Indeed report, American AI development specialists earn up to 145,000 dollars annually and 65 dollars hourly. On the other hand, traditional software development roles like iOS/Android app developers and PHP web developers, in general, earn around 129,000 dollars in the United States.

PayScale and ZipRecruiter report even higher salaries for AI programmers. For example, a senior machine learning (ML) engineer earns as high as $178,000 annually and $93 hourly. Moreover, in leading tech companies like Alphabet, Meta, and Microsoft, the yearly salaries can reach $190,000.

AI Role Salary Comparison Table

The following table shows the median salaries and hourly rates for different AI development roles in the United States (as of October 2022 by Indeed.com):

AI RoleTypical Job RequirementsAverage Salary
AI ArchitectThis senior AI role requires in-depth knowledge of ML and deep learning workloads and designing AI architecture, data models, and training pipelines. Skills: Git, containers, Kubernetes, CI/CD, SAS, R, Python, TensorFlow, random forest, other algorithms.$103,000 per year
$65 per hour
Machine Learning EngineerML engineers develop data models and software components that work with minimal human supervision and generate insights for fine-tuning. Skills: Python, SQL, Java, C++, TensorFlow, PyTorch, MATLAB, Apache Kafka, Spark and Hadoop, Google Cloud ML Engine, IBM Watson.$125,641 per year
$54 per hour
AI Developer/EngineerAI developers create, test, and deploy code for AI-enabled cloud and on-premise software/models. Skills: C++, Python, Java, Scala, linear algebra, APIs, algorithms, SciPy, TensorFlow, NumPy, shell scripting, and statistical analysis$120,366 per year
$56 per hour
Big Data EngineerBig Data engineers design systems for mining and processing massive pre-existing data to obtain valuable insights. Skills: C++, Java, Python, DBMS, Weka, KNIME, ETL/ELT, data warehousing, Hadoop, Spark, Talend, data mining & modeling.$137,707 per year
$59 per hour
Data ScientistThis role requires you to analyze and interpret data for actionable insights. Skills: Python, R, Scala, MongoDB, MySQL, vector models, calculus, regression techniques, Tableau, Power BI, BeautifulSoup, Pandas, RapidMiner, Spark.$144,737 per year
$62 per hour
Research Scientist/ AI ResearcherAI research scientists develop and adopt AI methods and approaches and prototype intelligent systems for collecting and analyzing data. Skills: AI models (Gaussian Mixture Models, Naïve Bayes, Hidden Markov Models), intelligent virtual agents, DBMS (MongoDB, PostgreSQL, AWS, Cloudera), ML fundamentals, Java, C++, Python.$78,237 per year
$34 per hour
ML OpsML Ops specialists integrate machine learning models into the existing data infrastructure and ensure they are functional in production. Skills: Cloud solutions (AWS, GCP, Azure), ML frameworks (Keras, PyTorch, Tensorflow), Docker, Kubernetes, Linux, Windows, MLOps frameworks (DataRobot, Kubeflow, MLFlow).$126,366 per year
$54 per hour
BI DeveloperBusiness intelligence developers create BI interfaces and tools that make technical language and complex information simple for non-technical staff to understand. Skills: ETL/ELT, Python, Javascript, PHP, Java, data formatting, DBMS, SQL/NoSQL, APIs, Power BI, Tableau, Oracle Analytics Cloud, Sisense$91,155 per year
$58 per hour

Factors Influencing AI Developer Salaries and Rates

Companies pay for the services of AI developers depending on three factors: skills, location, and project complexity. All of these aspects have a significant impact on the final rate.

1. Skills

Skills are one of the main factors influencing AI development salary rates. The higher and more complex these skills are, the higher the overall salary rate is. Experience is also essential. It enables the specialists to earn more money.

Here are some of the high-paying AI skills:

  • Programming: Python, Java, R, C++
  • Big data processing: Hadoop, Storm, Hive, Spark
  • Machine learning and algorithms: TensorFlow, MXNet, Keras, Theano

2. Location 

Location is another critical component of the AI salary calculation process. Employers tend to pay higher wages in major business centers, but this is not always the case. Depending on the state's economic situation, employers may offer higher or lower salaries than the national average. Also, offshore AI developers from Canada and Mexico can earn more money than their American counterparts.

15 U.S. Cities with the Highest AI Developer Pays (Median)

AI Role Average Annual Base Salary Average RPH
San Francisco, CA $141,275 $68
San Jose, CA $137,083 $66
New York, NY $133,973 $64
Seattle, WA $132,570 $64
Washington, DC $131,785 $63
Boston, MA $131,498 $63
Los Angeles, CA $128,853 $62
New Haven, CT $126,673 $61
Chicago, IL $126,040 $61
Hartford, CT $125,968 $61
Sacramento, CA $125,339 $60
Denver, CO $124,068 $60
Minneapolis, MN $123,697 $59
Baltimore, MD $123,426 $59
San Diego, CA $122,534 $59
Nationwide $120,366 $56
Source: ZipRecruiter

3. Project Complexity

As artificial intelligence is a complex domain, organizations are willing to spend more money on research and development tasks. AI projects focusing on machine learning and natural language processing are usually complicated and require more time and resources. As a result, AI developers specializing in these technologies tend to get high salaries.

How to Hire Expert AI Developers

If you are looking for artificial intelligence expertise, you have several great resources to hire talented AI developers online, as follows below:

1. Intersog staffing services

Companies like Tesla, CDW, and Mitsubishi hire Intersog to find highly-qualified and reliable IT specialists. AI developers are no exception. Intersog sources its clients with top AI developer candidates and ensures that each AI development project completes on time. Our delivery centers are in Chicago, Guadalajara, Vancouver, and Odesa.

The weak side for some businesses could be that Intersog only provides long-term contracts (3-6 months and more).

2. Freelance marketplaces: Toptal, Upwork, Turing.com

These recruitment platforms are perfect for short-term and uncomplex projects. Freelance marketplaces publish many job openings and are one-stop shops for hiring self-employed AI developers and other software professionals. The weak side is that you must review many CVs before choosing the best specialist for your project.

3. Job search engines: Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter

Job search engines are great resources for finding AI specialists with five-star ratings and many positive reviews. In addition, these websites scan social networks and other sources to help companies find the best developers.

The disadvantage of job boards is that you don't have any control over the recruiting process, and hiring a talented AI specialist is a lengthy process that can take weeks or even months.

4. LinkedIn and other professional networks (Meetup, Xing)

LinkedIn is one of the most effective tools for recruiting artificial intelligence professionals. Each LinkedIn member has a high profile and is known in their field. LinkedIn group pages are also great places to find talent, with active communities that help companies find the right specialist in their area of expertise.

The weak side is that recruiters and potential employers may not showcase their professional experts and interests well. As a result, it might take some time for the two sides to build trust and connections on LinkedIn.

Read this guide to learn more about hiring AI developers.

Will AI Developer Salaries Increase or Decrease in the Next Few Years?

AI software development has become a desirable career path considering that AI-based solutions are in great demand across many areas, such as customer service, healthcare, marketing, and finance. In the nearest future, experts predict that the need for AI engineering specialists will continue growing yearly.

On the supply front, a growing number of STEM graduates will flood the software engineering job market by 8% annually. This tendency will lead to an increased number of AI engineers respectively.

On the demand side, an increasing number of organizations will continue to apply AI technologies. As a result, AI developer salaries will increase over the next 3-5 years.

Tech Industry Layoffs 2022

In June 2022, many tech companies, including Meta, Twitter, and Amazon, started laying off significant numbers of their tech people, including AI developers and engineers. This unexpected event pulls down most of the tech industry, causing a noticeable spike in unemployment and a chill in consumer confidence.

Tech Industry Layoffs 2022
Source: news.crunchbase.com

The unemployment rate remains higher than before the layoff, but it is not getting worse anymore. The growth of the labor market is still lower than that in 2018. The Tech industry is growing more down than before the layoff. And the salary of AI engineers will likely decrease to some extent.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, you should know that AI development specialists are in high demand. Their salaries are also increasing yearly. Given the job market trends, AI roles will be among the highest-paid professionals in the IT industry in the next few years.

IT and talent solutions
Intersog is a leading IT solutions provider in the United States and beyond. The company has provided agile software engineering and staffing services for Fortune 500 corporations, tech startups, and SaaS businesses for over fifteen years. Why Intersog.