Rising Demand, Rising Pay: How Much Do AI Engineers Make in 2024?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly evolved, becoming a cornerstone of modern technology and industry. AI engineers, the driving force behind this innovation, command impressive salaries. 

As the impact of AI on sectors like healthcare, finance, and transportation grows, AI engineers become more essential. Consequently, the demand for skilled AI professionals continues to rise—leading to competitive salaries and numerous career opportunities in the dynamic field.

This article delves into the financial landscape of AI engineering, providing a detailed statistical analysis of salaries across various parameters. Check it out. 

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• AI engineers worldwide earn $120,000 annually, which is 30% higher than other engineering roles.
• The average AI engineer salary in the US is $140,000—with San Francisco reaching $160,000.
• In Europe, the average pay for AI engineers is $110,000
• AI engineers in Australia typically get paid around $105,000 a year
• Africa pays AI engineers an average salary of $80,000.
• Salaries of AI engineers are expected to grow 8% annually, reaching $250,000 by 2034. 
• Specializations can increase salaries by 30%.

Unveiling AI Engineer Compensation in 2024

AI engineering is a rapidly growing field driven by machine learning, data science, and computational power breakthroughs. The rising demand for automation and intelligent systems has opened numerous career opportunities. 

With the high demand and specialized skills requirements, it is not surprising that AI engineers get competitive salaries. The compensation in the field is known to be significantly higher than average tech industry salaries.

Global Overview of AI Engineer Salary

AI engineering is a lucrative career globally, with average salaries reflecting the high demand and specialized skills required. Explore how different parts of the world deal with the pay scale of AI engineers with the stats below. 

1. The average salary for AI engineers worldwide is $120,000 per year. 

The average salary for AI engineers globally is approximately $120,000 per year. It is about 30% higher than the average salary for other engineering roles, typically around $92,000 annually.

AI engineering salaries have grown consistently at 10% annually over the past decade, driven by the increasing adoption of AI technologies.

Regional Insights on AI Engineers' Compensation

Salaries for AI engineers vary significantly across different regions due to economic factors, demand, and the presence of tech hubs.

2. An average AI engineer in the United States earns $140,000 per year.

In major tech hubs with high demand for AI talent and a higher cost of living, salaries can be as much as 14.3% higher than the national average.

3. The average salary in San Francisco is $160,000.

The estimated total pay for an AI engineer in San Francisco is $255,693 per year, with an average salary of $159,878 annually. 

Meanwhile, the average salary for AI engineers is $150,000 in New York. In Seatle, it is $145,000. Senior-level AI engineers with specialized skills and experience can command salaries well into the $200,000+ range.

Average Salary of AI Engineers in Top-Paying US Cities

Average AI Engineer Salaries in Top-Paying US Cities

4. The average salary for AI engineers in Europe is $110,000 per year.

With a projected annual growth rate of 7%, the average salary for European AI engineers could reach approximately $189,000 by 2030.

5. Switzerland leads the European AI salary landscape, with an average of $135,000 annually.

Switzerland's average AI engineer salary has increased by 10% compared to 2024, solidifying the country’s position as the European leader in AI compensation. Munich's AI engineer salaries also have experienced a steady 5% growth year-over-year.

On the other hand, London's AI engineers command an average salary of $125,000 annually. It is the UK's top-paying city for AI talent. With a 15% surge in AI-related job postings in the past year, London's demand for AI expertise continues to outpace other UK cities. 

6. The average salary for AI engineers in Australia is $105,000 per year.

This figure represents a 7% increase compared to last year’s average of $98,000, reflecting the growing demand for AI expertise in the country.

7. Sydney leads Australian AI engineer salaries with an average of $110,000 annually.

Sydney’s AI salaries have experienced an 8% jump from last year’s $102,000 average. Meanwhile, Melbourne’s AI salaries have seen a steady 6% growth compared to last year.

Average AI Engineer Pay in Australia

Average AI Engineer Salaries in Top-Paying Australian Cities

8. The average salary for African AI engineers is $80,000 annually.

This figure represents a significant 14% increase from last year's average. The highest-paid AI engineers in Africa can earn upwards of $120,000 annually.

9. South Africa leads the African AI engineer salary landscape with an average of $90,000 annually.

South Africa’s AI engineer salaries have increased 11% compared to last year’s average of $81,000. Nigeria follows suit. Africa's second-highest average AI engineer salary is $85,000 annually.

10. Kenya’s AI engineers earn an average of $82,000 every year.

Kenya has experienced a steady 5% growth compared to last year’s average of $78,000 annually. Meanwhile, Nairobi, a central tech hub in East Africa, stands out with an average salary of $85,000 for AI engineering professionals.

11. The average salary for AI engineers in the Middle East is $100,000 yearly.

This figure represents a significant 11% growth from the 2024 average of $90,000. The increase indicates the region’s rising investment in AI technologies and increasing demand for skilled professionals.

12. The UAE leads the Middle East in AI engineer salaries with an average of $110,000 per year.

The UAE’s average AI salary has grown by 10%, marking its position as the regional leader in AI compensation. Dubai, a global hub for innovation and technology, boasts the highest average salary of $115,000 annually.

Similarly, Saudi Arabia also saw a 10% increase. From last year’s $95,000, the country now offers AI engineers an average salary of $105,000 annually. The growth is driven by the government’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan. 

13. The average annual salary of an AI engineer in Russia is $95,000.

An average AI engineer in Russia earns around $95,000 per year. It is a substantial 26% increase compared to 2024. The top-paying cities in the country are:

  • Moscow - $100,000
  • Saint Petersburg - $97,000
  • Novosibirsk - $95,000
AI Engineering Pay in Russia

Average AI Engineer Salaries in Russia

Experience-Based Data on AI Engineer Salary

Experience is crucial in determining an AI engineer's salary, with a potential 120% increase from entry-level to senior-level positions.

14. Entry-level AI engineers can expect to earn an average salary of $85,000 per year.

This figure represents a substantial 30% increase compared to five years ago when entry-level salaries averaged around $65,000. Mid-level AI engineers also see a significant yearly salary increase to $120,000.

Meanwhile, senior-level AI engineers command an impressive average salary of $160,000 annually. The 33% difference from mid-level salary highlights the significant impact that senior AI engineers can have on organizations.

AI Engineer Pay Scale by Experience

Average AI Engineer Salary by Experience

15. Over a 20-year career, AI engineers can expect an average annual salary growth rate of 6%.

The estimated earnings of an AI engineer in 2030 are expected to reach $187,000 annually. 

Sector-Wise Distribution of AI Engineer Earnings

Different industries offer varying salary levels for AI engineers, influenced by the specific applications of AI.

16. The technology industry leads AI engineers' salaries to an average of $140,000 annually.

This impressive figure is 16% higher than the overall average salary for AI engineers.

17. AI engineers in the finance industry earn an average salary of $130,000.

AI engineers earn an 8% premium over the average salary in the financial sector. This reflects the industry's growing reliance on AI for risk assessment, fraud detection, and algorithmic trading. 

Meanwhile, AI engineers earn an average salary of $120,000 annually in the healthcare industry. With the healthcare AI market projected to reach $67.4 billion by 2027, this sector's demand for skilled AI engineers is expected to continue growing.

Educational Influence on AI Engineer Salaries

Educational qualifications significantly impact AI engineer salaries. Higher educational attainments can enhance an engineer’s earning potential and provide even better career opportunities. 

18. The average annual salary for an AI engineer with a bachelor’s degree is only up to $40,000.

In countries with lower average salaries or emerging AI markets, entry-level AI engineers with a bachelor's degree earn as low as $30,000-$40,000 annually. 

On the other hand, AI engineers with a master's degree earn about $120,000 annually. Further education significantly impacts earnings, as a PhD boosts the average salary to $140,000 annually, marking a 17% increase from a master's degree.

Average AI Engineer Salary by Educational Attainment

Average AI Engineer Salary by Educational Attainment

AI Engineer Pay Scale Based on Skills and Specialization 

Specialized skills in AI can lead to higher salaries. AI engineers with specialized skills can earn between $150,000 and $200,000 annually, depending on the specific skill set, experience level, and industry.

19. Machine Learning Specialists have an average salary of $130,000 per year.

Depending on their skills and experience, top machine learning AI engineers at OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, have been reported to earn salaries exceeding $900,000 annually. 

Besides being an ML specialist, other specialized skills that offer higher salaries include:  

  • NLP Specialists ($135,000 per year)
    With the NLP market projected to reach $49.4 billion by 2027, this specialization is lucrative and offers promising career prospects for those seeking to advance in the AI industry.
  • Computer Vision Specialists ($140,000 per year)
    The computer vision market will reach $41.11 billion by 2030, with professionals earning over $250,000 annually.

Gender and Salary Dynamics of AI Engineers

The gender pay gap in AI engineering has narrowed by 2% over the past five years. The representation of women in AI research publications has also increased by 18% over the same period.

However, addressing the gender pay gap remains critical in AI engineering. The data below will help you learn more about the dynamics between gender and salary in the field of AI engineering. 

20. Women AI engineers earn 20% less than men in the same field. 

Male engineers in the AI field earn an average salary of $125,000 per year. This figure highlights a persistent 9% gender pay gap that mirrors broader societal inequities. 

Female engineers, on the other hand, earn an average of $115,000 per year. Recent studies indicate this disparity may widen at senior levels—with female AI executives earning up to 20% less than their male peers.

AI Engineer Pay Difference by Gender

Average AI Engineer Compensation by Gender

Forecasts on AI Engineer Compensation 

The future of the AI engineer pay scale looks promising, with demand surging for specialized skills. As AI advances, competitive salaries and abundant career opportunities will continue to attract top talent.

Check out the projections below to learn more about the future state of compensation in AI engineering. 

21. The demand for AI engineers continues to rise, driving future salary growth by 8% annually.

Salaries are expected to grow by 8% annually over the next decade, with the average wage for AI engineers projected to reach approximately $250,000 per year by 2034. This growth stems from a 42% increase in AI-related job postings anticipated by 2025, reflecting a significant surge in demand for skilled AI professionals.

22. Salary boosts from new AI advancements are expected to reach 30%.

AI engineers specializing in quantum computing can command a salary premium of up to 30%, reflecting this expertise's high demand and developing nature. The global AI market will reach $1,597.1 billion by 2030, creating ample opportunities for AI engineers to capitalize on this growth with competitive salaries.

Navigating the Promising Financial Landscape for AI Engineers

The financial landscape for AI engineers is highly lucrative, with global average salaries around $120,000 per year, 30% higher than other engineering roles. In the United States, AI engineers earn an average of $140,000 annually, with tech hubs like San Francisco offering up to $160,000. Europe and Australia also show strong figures, with average salaries of $110,000 and $105,000, respectively, and leading cities like Zurich and Sydney offering even higher pay.

AI engineer salaries are forecasted to grow by 8% annually, potentially reaching $250,000 by 2034. Specializations in emerging technologies, such as quantum computing, could boost wages by up to 30%. These statistics highlight the significant and growing financial opportunities in AI engineering.


Which AI engineer has the highest salary?

The highest salaries for AI engineers are typically found in senior or specialized roles, where expertise in cutting-edge technologies is highly valued.

Who earns more, AI or ML engineer?

AI engineers generally earn more than ML engineers due to their broader work scope. The former's comprehensive skill set is highly sought after, resulting in higher compensation.

Which country pays AI engineers the most?

The United States pays AI engineers the most. The high demand for advanced AI skills, combined with support from major technology companies or startups in the country, drives salaries up in the US.



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