How to Become an AI and Machine Learning Engineer?

Are you thinking of becoming an AI and Machine Learning Engineer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become an AI and Machine Learning Engineer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new AI and Machine Learning Engineer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
"Machine Learning Engineer" was the nearest match for you query "AI and Machine Learning Engineer".

Steps to Become a Machine Learning Engineer

A machine learning engineer designs and creates artificial intelligence algorithms to perform certain tasks. If you have a strong background in mathematics and computer science, you might benefit from a career as a machine learning engineer. In this article, we cover the five steps needed to become a machine learning engineer.

Obtain a degree in computer science or mathematics.

To become a machine learning engineer, you need a strong grasp of computer science, computer programming, data science, and mathematics. Ideally, you should have an undergraduate degree in one of those disciplines. Alternate degrees in physics and statistics are also applicable. Some companies might require an advanced degree, which you can obtain in computer science, statistics, math, data science, software engineering, or a related discipline.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Machine Learning Engineer?

68% of people working as a Machine Learning Engineer earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Machine Learning Engineer?

  • Machine Learning
  • Pytorch
  • Tensorflow
  • Deep Learning
  • Keras
  • Python SAS
  • Scikit
  • Statistics
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Machine Learning Engineer in the United States.

Get programming experience.

You might also be able to transition from a role as a software engineer or data engineer into a career as a machine learning engineer. Regardless, one of the most important factors to getting a machine learning engineer job is to obtain experience in computer programming where you hone your coding skills. Python is the most popular programming language that machine learning engineers use simply because it's so easy to learn and well supported. Other programming languages you should learn include R, Java, and C++.


Familiarize yourself with concepts and tools.

Once you've learned programming languages, you should become familiar with commonly used tools and concepts that machine learning engineers use. For instance, many engineers use tools such as Spark, TensorFlow, and Apache Kafka, so make sure you know how to use those. You will also be tasked with training chatbots or virtual assistants, so you need to understand informational retrieval, natural language processing, and regression models.


Land an entry-level job as a software engineer.

If you have aspirations of working as a machine learning engineer, you should know that this isn't an entry-level job. You must work your way up after you gain experience. One job that can help you hone your skills in becoming a machine learning engineer is software engineer. In this position, you will use your experience in computer science, engineering, and math to write, test, and fix computer programs. You might be asked to analyze and design software systems, write training manuals, and work directly with software developers and programmers to bring an entire project together.


Earn a certification, like in Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform.

Certification can be a valuable asset if you're in consulting and want to signal to your potential employer that your skills meet certain standards. A professional certification might also help you obtain a management position by proving you have the skills and knowledge. Consider accessing one of the three certifications offered by the following companies:

  • Microsoft Azure: Microsoft offers associate-level certifications for data scientists and artificial intelligence engineers.
  • Google Cloud Platform: Google is working on a machine learning engineer certification, but it currently offers a data engineer certification.
  • Amazon: Amazon offers a specific machine learning certification, unlike the other two. This is the most popular certification option for machine learning engineers.

AI and Machine Learning Engineer Career Path

Machine Learning Engineer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$125K - $186K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More
32% advanced to

Senior Machine Learning Engineer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$144K - $207K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Lead Machine Learning Engineer

5 - 7Years of Experience
$140K - $199K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Total Pay Trajectory

AI and Machine Learning Engineer Career Path

Summer Intern Machine Learning Engineer
Machine Learning Engineer
Senior Machine Learning Engineer
Machine Learning Engineer Manager
Lead Machine Learning Engineer
Senior Manager of Machine Learning
Principal Machine Learning Engineer
Senior Principal Machine Learning Engineer
Director of Machine Learning
Vice President of Machine Learning
Are you paid fairly? Get a free, personalized salary estimate based on today's job market
Get Your Estimate

Related Careers in the Engineering Industry

Interested in other Engineering careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with AI and Machine Learning Engineer skills. Discover some of the most common AI and Machine Learning Engineer career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Software Engineer
0% skills overlap
14% transitioned to Software Engineer