Low Level AI specialists make $300K-500K and top names make Pro Athlete money

Typical A.I. specialists, including both Ph.D.s fresh out of school and people with less education and just a few years of experience, can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock, according to nine people who work for major tech companies or have entertained job offers from them.

Well-known names in the A.I. field have received compensation in salary and shares in a company’s stock that total single- or double-digit millions over a four- or five-year period. And at some point they renew or negotiate a new contract, much like a professional athlete.

At the top end are executives with experience managing A.I. projects. Google revealed that one of the leaders of its self-driving-car division, Anthony Levandowski, a longtime employee who started with Google in 2007, took home over $120 million in incentives before joining Uber last year through the acquisition of a start-up he had co-founded that drew the two companies into a court fight over intellectual property.

In the entire world, fewer than 10,000 people have the skills necessary to tackle serious artificial intelligence research.

According to a 2016 Markets and Markets Report, The artificial intelligence (AI) market is expected to be worth $16.06 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 62.9% from 2016 to 2022. Several U.S. companies have raised $1 billion dollars or more to fuel artificial intelligence (AI) development.

8 thoughts on “Low Level AI specialists make $300K-500K and top names make Pro Athlete money”

  1. So, you take the salary and compensation of a divisional exec(10’s million), lump it in with fresh AI phd grads(barely 6 figures) and average it all to get mid 6 figures. Wow, no AI job for you.

  2. A word of warning, before you jump on the latest bandwagon remember that Computer Science has fads that last for sometime just a few years and then many people are then ready to off to jump on the next bandwagon. Start working in a field because it interests you and not because you think there is gold in them thar hills because in a couple of years you might find yourself struggling to find a job in the field.

    • There’s a whole batch of Indian and Chinese universities preparing a truckload of graduates a couple years hence, so I concur: better do what you really want to do not what is faddish at the moment in CS, which comes and goes like morning dew in the summer’s sunshine.

  3. You mean I’ll be able to earn my Microsoft Certified AI Specialist certificate in two months and start raking in the dough? Hah – and you all paid for University – suckers!

    • You probably can’t turn that into a 300K job but if have a BS from a school with a decent program where you took ever AI class they’d let you in without being in the graduate program then in a couple of years you’d probably be making those kind of bucks. This assumes that the fad is still happening.

  4. You “can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year”
    Sounds familiar, usually associated with junk mail filter not working properly

    Sure if you have enough experience to call yourself a “specialist” that’s amount if pretty normal
    But with just a few years of experience? Well if that’s true some employees at my company are getting shafted…

    • Not all experience is equal. Note, your employer might be significantly underpaying people, it happens.

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