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11 US States with the Highest Average AI Engineer Salaries

11 US States with the Highest Average AI Engineer Salaries

AI engineer salaries sky-rocketed in the past year, and it shows no signs of slowing down. As the demand for artificial intelligence (AI) continues to rise, so does the need for AI engineers who can develop and implement this cutting-edge technology.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an AI engineer in the United States is $131K per year. However, some states offer significantly higher salaries than others. In this article, we will explore the 11 US states with the highest average AI engineer salaries.

So, if you’re considering hiring an AI engineer or pursuing a career in this field, keep reading to find out which states offer the most competitive salaries.

Why the High AI Engineer Salaries

There are several factors that contribute to the high salary for AI engineers. The surge in AI innovation has ignited a competitive rush among firms to incorporate AI technologies into their business practices, leading to a scarcity of skilled experts. Consequently, this heightened demand for specialized competencies enables AI engineers to secure higher remuneration.

For instance, OpenAI’s ChatGPT recently released GPT-4, an advancement over its predecessors, and is now training GPT-5 (not yet announced, but coming). Such continuous innovation requires the expertise of AI engineers adept at handling complex algorithms and developing cutting-edge technology.

Similarly, Anthropic released Claude 3, offering variations such as Claude 3 Haiku, Claude 3 Sonnet, and Claude 3 Opus, each showcasing unique advancements and capabilities. These models necessitate a deep understanding of language processing, machine learning, and creative problem-solving skills.

Then, there’s Google’s introduction of Gemini, its latest iteration in Generative AI, representing another leap forward in AI technology. Each of these developments underscores the critical role AI engineers play in advancing technology, necessitating their high remuneration in the field.

Given these attributes, companies are relentlessly pursuing the integration of these innovative AI models into their businesses. Whether it’s creating a new layer on top of an existing API or developing a specialized subset of the technology, the demand for talent capable of researching, designing, architecting, and developing AI solutions far exceeds the supply.

In response to this talent shortage, employers are willing to offer highly competitive salaries to attract and retain the top AI professionals in the industry. This economic dynamic further elevates AI engineering positions to some of the most lucrative roles in the tech sector today.

11 US States with the Highest Average AI Engineer Salaries

Top Factors Influencing AI Engineer Salaries

AI Engineer salaries are influenced by a combination of factors, each playing a significant role in determining the overall compensation package. Here are the top five factors:

Experience: Experience is a critical factor in the tech industry, and AI engineers are no exception. Those with several years of relevant experience in AI fields can command higher salaries as they bring a wealth of knowledge, insights, and solutions to complex AI challenges.

Industry: The industry in which an AI engineer works significantly impacts their salary. High-tech companies, finance, healthcare, and automotive industries often offer higher salaries due to their deep reliance on AI technologies for innovation and competitive advantage.

Location: Geographic location plays a major role in salary differences. Urban centers and tech hubs, such as Silicon Valley, tend to offer higher salaries due to the high cost of living and the concentration of tech companies competing for talent.

Education: A well-rounded education in computer science, mathematics, or a related field, particularly with a focus or specialization in artificial intelligence, can significantly impact an AI engineer’s salary. Advanced degrees like a Master’s or Ph.D. can further enhance earning potential.

Skills: Proficiency in specific AI-related skills and technologies, such as machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, or deep learning frameworks, can make an engineer more valuable. Engineers who stay updated with the latest advancements and continuously upgrade their skills tend to earn more.

Top 11 US States for AI Engineer Salaries

The landscape of AI engineer salaries across the United States showcases a diverse range of compensation that varies significantly by geographic location. Here are the top 11 states where AI engineers can expect to command the highest average salaries:

  1. Delaware: Engineers in Delaware lead the chart with an astonishing average salary of $205,000, reflecting the state’s burgeoning interest in AI technologies.
  2. New Mexico: In New Mexico, AI engineers enjoy an impressive average salary of $171,600, indicative of the region’s growing tech landscape.
  3. Washington: Home to tech giants, Washington offers AI engineers an average salary of $170,225, highlighting its status as a leading tech hub.
  4. New York: With an average salary of $167,140, New York stands out for its vibrant tech scene and competitive compensation packages for AI professionals.
  5. Missouri: Missouri surprises many with its substantial average AI engineer salary of $166,060, showing emergent tech opportunities.
  6. Wisconsin: AI engineers in Wisconsin benefit from an attractive average salary of $164,268, showcasing the state’s increasing investment in technology.
  7. Connecticut: In Connecticut, AI engineers can expect an average salary of $163,500, reflecting the state’s growing demand for AI expertise.
  8. Maryland: Maryland’s average salary for AI engineers stands at $162,500, demonstrating the state’s commitment to advancing its tech industry.
  9. California: Despite being home to Silicon Valley, California’s average AI engineer salary of $160,000 shows the intense competition for talent.
  10. Virginia: With a strong tech sector, Virginia offers AI engineers an average salary of $158,300, underlining its role in the industry’s growth.
  11. Utah: Rounding off the list, Utah presents an average salary of $156,250 for AI engineers, highlighting its emerging status as a tech hub.

These figures reflect the competitive nature of the AI job market across the United States and indicate the premium placed on AI expertise in these locations. The variation in salaries can be attributed to several factors, including the cost of living, the concentration of tech companies, and the local demand for AI technologies in various industries. This diversity highlights the importance of geographic location in an AI engineer’s career decisions and underscores the lucrative opportunities available in this field across the country.

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AI Engineer Job Outlook and Growth

The future for AI engineers looks exceptionally bright, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that careers in artificial intelligence will witness a robust growth of 21 percent from 2022 to 2032. This is significantly higher than the average for all occupations, underscoring the accelerating adoption of AI technologies across various sectors. AI engineers are not confined to a single industry; their expertise is sought after in a wide array of fields, highlighting the versatility and broad applicability of their skills.

The technology sector, unsurprisingly, remains the predominant employer of AI engineers. As tech companies continue to push the boundaries of innovation, incorporating more AI solutions into their products and services, the demand for skilled AI professionals in this field is expected to remain strong. However, the finance industry also presents a substantial opportunity for AI engineers. Utilizing artificial intelligence for tasks such as predictive analysis, risk assessment, fraud detection, and portfolio management has become increasingly commonplace, signaling a growing need for AI expertise in the financial sector.

Furthermore, the healthcare industry is on the cusp of a technological revolution, with AI systems being developed for diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and even the creation of personalized medicine solutions. This highlights another major avenue for AI engineers to impact the world positively.

Lastly, the consulting industry’s growing appetite for AI engineers cannot be overlooked. As various businesses across sectors look to harness the power of AI in their operations, they frequently turn to the specialized knowledge of AI engineers to guide these digital transformations. This trend further emphasizes the broad range of industries that value and seek the expertise of AI engineers, cementing their role as pivotal players in the modern economy.

So, whether you are building the next awesome Generative AI, or powering the next smart assistant, get ready to pony up some top dollars for an AI engineer. With the demand for AI expertise steadily increasing, it’s safe to say that these salaries will continue to remain highly competitive.

Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: john@lastartups.com

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