What comes to mind when you think of artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning? Self-driving cars? Automated robots? Virtual assistants? You come into contact with machine learning technology daily. Streaming services, transportation, healthcare, and even the CAPTCHA you answer to prove you'renot a robot utilize machine learning technology.

Because of the growing interaction and need for machine learning professionals, several jobs pay well over $100,000 – even for beginners. So let's examine why this profession is exploding and how you can capitalize on it in the United States and worldwide. 

Industries Driving The Demand For Machine Learning Professionals

Jobs in the technology sector are booming, but specific factors set machine learning apart. This innovative field combines software engineering, data science, and cognitive technologies to build intelligent systems that can "learn" by working effectively with data. 

A branch of artificial intelligence, machine learning is the process of building applications that learn from data like humans do while improving their accuracy without increased programming. According to Forbes, five industries will utilize machine learning technology in 2022.

Autonomous Vehicle Navigation

Autonomous vehicles are the most futuristic example of an industry using machine learning technology. Though still not 100% fully operational, self-driving cars are beginning to show consistent performance, especially for things like self-braking, lane assistance, and more. 


Robots have replaced humans on the factory floor, but that's not the only place machine learning and AI have flourished in this field. One business resource reveals these integrations improve the process cycle, product development, quality control, and even security. 


The machine learning technology used for medical testing, diagnostics, and wearable monitoring has helped save millions of lives. Some of the newest advances in machine learning fall under the robotics category, with autonomous robot surgeons performing operations using machine-learning algorithms based on convolutional neural networks. 


Machine learning has helped improve all harvesting stages, plant breeding, water management, livestock management, and crop and disease predictions. At the same time, autonomous robots work alongside farmers in the fields. 

Customer Service

AI and machine learning technologies make customer service interactions more efficient. For example, highly-personalized services, virtual call centers, automated chat boxes, and even suggestions from Siri, Alexa, or any number of streaming services use machine learning and AI to increase the customer experience.

Cybersecurity, transportation, banking and financing, and education also rely heavily on machine learning technology. As a result, machine learning elevates business and consumer values and helps cut costs for many companies. 

Skills Needed For High-Paying Machine Learning Jobs

Now you know the industries that implement machine learning, what skills do you need to be successful? Most AI and machine learning jobs call for a healthy dose of analytical and problem-solving skills and a love of data science and software. Skill requirements typically associated with specific job titles include:

  • Cognitive Science 

  • Robotics 

  • Mathematical modeling 

  • Ability to write code

  • Statistics 

  • Data analysis 

  • Cloud environments  

Top 5 Highest Paying Machine Learning Jobs

Machine learning pays well! Below are the average salaries of machine learning professionals by job title. These salaries can be higher or just slightly lower depending on the city you live in, the industry you work for, and your technical skills. For example, AI engineers' salaries at the ten highest-paying companies start above $200,000 a year.

Human-Centered Machine Learning Designer

Average Salary - $110,184 (according to ZipRecuiter.com

Think Netflix, YouTube, or any stream service recommendations. This role revolves around human behavior and the ability to build a data workflow based on the habits and practices of humans and their relationship with machines. 

Machine Learning Research Engineer

Average Salary - $114,813 (according to Salary.com)

These professionals are responsible for interpreting data sets and building AI systems. It helps if they have a decent understanding of engineering, designing, writing, and implementing code and algorithms and have a background in university research.

Machine Learning Data Scientist

Average Salary - $135,741 (according to Glassdoor.com)

Data scientists analyze and interpret data sets in a way that helps companies make better decisions on products, clients, customers, or employees. In addition, those data scientists that work in the machine learning and AI sectors will help design, develop, and create analytical solutions using machine learning and emerging AI technology.

Machine Learning Engineer

Average Salary - $145,600 (according to BuiltIn.com)

Working with data researchers, software engineers, and product management, machine learning engineers analyze data sets, develop software based on their findings, and create ways to incorporate machine learning models in production.

Machine Learning Algorithmist

Average Salary - $150,00 (according to Comparably.com)

One of the highest-paying machine learning jobs naturally revolves around creating the algorithms for data sets that help drive artificial intelligence. Candidates for this in-demand position typically use machine learning algorithms such as supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning.

Start Your Career In Machine Learning

Whether you already work in data technology or geek out on algorithms, programming, and everything robotic, it's easy to jump-start your career in Machine Learning. The University of California San Diego Extended Studies' Machine Learning Bootcamp can prepare you for a job in one of the fastest-growing professions worldwide. In this 100% online program, you'll learn the foundations of machine learning and deep learning — and how to implement them at scale through carefully curated content and expert mentors. 

Successful students work in a variety of fields related to the industry. Are you ready? Please take our quick machine learning technical survey to see how your skills stack up or for more information, or reach out to the UC San Diego Admissions team for more information on our Machine Learning Bootcamp Program.