How to Become an Artificial Intelligence Developer

If you’re interested in the booming world of artificial intelligence and you also enjoy working with algorithms and computer programming, you should consider a career as a highly sought-after (and well-paid) artificial intelligence developer. The position of software developer made the list of Indeed’s 10 most in-demand AI jobs — all of which pay at least $95,000 a year. Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of this essential artificial intelligence position.

What Does an Artificial Intelligence Developer Do?

Why Artificial Intelligence Developers are in Demand

Job Responsibilities for an Artificial Developer

Real Quotes from People in the Field About This Career

Programming Language Proficiency Needed

Education Requirements for an Artificial Intelligence Developer

Skills Needed to be an Artificial Intelligence Developer

How to Make an Impression in an AI Developer Job Interview

Artificial Intelligence Developer Salary

How to Move Up the AI Developer Ranks

Companies (By Industry) Hiring AI Developers

Artificial Intelligence Career Outlook

What Does an Artificial Intelligence Developer Do?

First, let’s explain the role of a developer, which is defined by ZDNet as an IT professional who creates computer software by using different programming languages such as R, Java and Python. This role is also sometimes called a programmer, coder or software engineer.

An artificial intelligence developer certainly has a lot of the same responsibilities and functions — but with an AI focus.

“Artificial intelligence developers build AI functionality into software applications,” according to The Enterprisers Project. “The role is generally focused on integrating and implementing AI algorithms and logic into the deliverables of an IT project.”

Why Artificial Intelligence Developers are in Demand

Chatbots, self-driving cars, smart assistants like Alexa and Siri, disease mapping, social media monitoring — these are just a handful of artificial intelligence applications in business. And in order to execute these applications, companies and organizations need to hire skilled artificial intelligence professionals.

The global artificial intelligence market is expected to reach a market value of $190.61 billion by 2025. DataProt estimates that the global AI market value will reach $267 billion by 2027.

“While AI may cause some job losses, they are likely to be broadly offset by new jobs created due to a stronger and wealthier economy made by AI technologies,” according to Semrush.

Job Responsibilities for an Artificial Developer

The exact responsibilities of an AI developer will depend on the position, but here is an overview of typical responsibilities, as listed by coding school Le Wagon:

  • Answer business challenges using AI software
  • Design, develop, implement and monitor AI systems
  • Explain AI systems to project managers and stakeholders
  • Develop data ingest and data transformation architecture
  • Keep up to date on the latest AI technologies
  • Train team members on the implementation of AI systems

AI developers also use a variety of tools, resources and programs, which include:

  • Programming languages such as Python, Java and Scala
  • Deep learning platforms
  • Deep learning libraries
  • Google assistants
  • Cloud platforms
  • IBM Watson AI solutions
  • APIs
  • Profiling tools
  • Analytical tools

Real Quotes from People in the Field About Artificial Intelligence Careers

Here’s a sampling of what some of the top experts in the field have to say about AI:

“Our intelligence is what makes us human, and AI is an extension of that quality.” – Yann LeCun, Professor, New York University

“Nobody phrases it this way, but I think that artificial intelligence is almost a humanities discipline. It’s really an attempt to understand human intelligence and human cognition.” – Sebastian Thrun, Computer Scientist and Google Fellow

“As more and more artificial intelligence is entering into the world, more and more emotional intelligence must enter into leadership.” – Amit Ray, AI Scientist, Author of Compassionate Artificial Intelligence

“Dig into every industry, and you’ll find AI changing the nature of work.” – Daniela Rus, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

“The beautiful thing about AI and robotics is that you’re never done.” – Manuela Veloso, head of AI research at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Programming Language Proficiency Needed

According to Ideamotive, the best programming languages for AI development in 2021 include:

  • Python
  • Lisp
  • R
  • Prolog
  • JavaScript
  • C++
  • Java
  • Scala
  • Julia

Education Requirements for an Artificial Intelligence Developer

In most cases, a bachelor’s degree is required for entry-level positions. This includes a focus in computer science, artificial intelligence, robotics, engineering or a related field. An advanced degree may or may not be required, depending on the position. Either way, a master’s degree can position you for greater career success and give you the industry insight and knowledge you need to gain an edge over other applicants.

Skills Needed to be an Artificial Intelligence Developer

While there are many skills needed to become a successful AI developer, two of the top ones are programming and knowledge of coding, including Java, Python and R. Cloud experience is also important, in addition to soft skills such as problem-solving, logical thinking and the ability to collaborate.

Other soft skills that employers tend to look for, regardless of position or industry, include leadership, good communication and a solid work ethic.

How to Make an Impression in an AI Developer Job Interview

If you’re applying for an AI developer position and have received an interview, congratulations! But how do you secure the job? Here are some helpful tips from The Enterprisers Project to keep in mind:

  • Prove you can do more than code.
  • Show that you’re creative, have problem-solving skills and demonstrate out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Share examples of previous work and projects you’re proud of.
  • Make sure you’re up to date on the latest AI and developer industry trends.

Also, don’t forget general job interview advice, such as:

  • Practicing beforehand with potential interview questions
  • Researching the company ahead of your interview
  • Asking questions and seeming engaged during the interview
  • Wearing the appropriate clothing
  • Showing how you’re a great fit for the position
  • Following up after the interview with an email or phone call

Artificial Intelligence Developer Salary

AI developer salaries will vary depending on a number of factors, including the specific nature and responsibilities of the position, geographic location of the job, your background and how much experience is required. We’ve included some salary ranges below, but note that they are updated in real time and therefore may change daily.

How to Move Up the AI Developer Ranks

As with any position, you will move up the ranks by honing your skills and gaining experience. For AI developers, this means specifically building programming skills and keeping up to date on the latest AI news and knowledge. Acquiring certifications and participating in training will also help demonstrate your desire for continued education in the field.

Companies (By Industry) Hiring AI Developers

When you search for “AI developer,” you will come across a variety of postings that overlap with other developer and AI-related positions. You will likely see the following job titles: Software Engineer, Full Stack Engineer, Developer, Full Stack Developer, Web Developer, Data Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer, Programmer, Python Developer, AI Engineer and Research Scientist.

It’s important to point out that AI development is a key—if not critical—credential to have when pursuing a variety of artificial intelligence positions, not just developer positions.

Below is a list of companies by industry that recently posted for AI developer (or related) positions. This information was compiled from LinkedIn and Indeed.

Information Technology/Services

  • Deloitte
  • Salesforce
  • Microsoft
  • Open Systems Technologies
  • Oracle
  • Apple

Retail

  • Amazon
  • The Home Depot
  • Walmart
  • Saks Fifth Avenue

Sports/Entertainment

  • Meta
  • WarnerMedia
  • PlayStation
  • Netflix
  • DraftKings
  • NFL
  • FanDuel

Education

  • Pearson
  • Princeton University
  • ClassDojo
  • The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Business and Financial Services

  • Fidelity Investments
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Citi
  • T-Mobile

Government/Military

  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
  • Oak Grove Technologies
  • South Florida Water Management District

Health Care 

  • Anthem
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Labcorp
  • Aspen Dental

Food/Hospitality

  • Starbucks
  • Hilton
  • Airbnb
  • Marriott Vacations Worldwide
  • PepsiCo

Artificial Intelligence Career Outlook

The outlook for artificial intelligence jobs in general is extremely promising. Computer and information technology jobs are booming, with employment projected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030.

AI is expected to create 12 million new jobs by 2025. This is a result of an expected elimination of 85 million jobs and the creation of 97 million new ones.

Advance Your AI Developer Career with a Master’s Degree

Exciting, high-paying career opportunities in AI continue to expand across a variety of industries. The University of San Diego — a highly regarded industry thought leader and education provider — offers an innovative, online AI master’s degree program, the Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence, which is designed to prepare graduates for success in this important fast-growing field. This program includes a significant emphasis on real-world applications, ethics, privacy, moral responsibility and social good in designing AI-enabled systems.

Considering a Master’s in Artificial Intelligence?

Free checklist to help you compare programs and select one that’s ideal for you.

Cover of 8 Questions to Ask Before Selecting an Artificial Intelligence Master's Degree Program Book