AI Engineer

Artificial intelligence is not new. It’s been around in various forms since even before the term was coined in 1954.

But, over the past few years – and especially since the buzz around ChatGPT embedded it more broadly into the public consciousness late last year – talk about AI and its how it is changing the way we work has become ubiquitous.

Even for those that have been working with artificial intelligence, the speed at which it evolving and becoming embedding in businesses big and small is astonishing.

Mark Minevich is an AI strategist and the president and founding partner of Going Global Ventures.

“AI has become democratized completely and AI is now very prevalent in every single corporation, in every single group. And everybody’s trying to figure out what are the use cases beyond the simple ones, beyond just having content, beyond just doing simple reporting, beyond just figuring out a set of questions and getting answers to it,” says Minevich.

“People are looking for AI to be involved in workflow, in optimization, in supply chain, in helping to handle complexity of different information at work, making sense of that complexity. So AI is everywhere. It’s pervasive.,” he adds.

Minevich warns that businesses that do not embrace artificial intelligences are in jeopardy of going out of business. “People without AI simply cannot compete, you are not competitive any longer. If you have AI, you give yourself an enormous business advantage.”

Employers are paying attention to the potential it has to increase their productivity and profits, and they are looking closely at their workforces and taking action to keep their competitive edge.

AI skills are in-demand skills

A new report from General Assembly finds that 84% of top tech recruiters surveyed foresee a “somewhat or significant increase in hiring talent with AI skills in the coming year. 23% believe it will be a significant increase.”

Job postings that mention AI have already more than doubled on its platform over the past two years, according to LinkedIn. In that same report, LinkedIn said that the demand for AI engineers, in particular, in Q3 was the second fastest-growing job posting for the second quarter in a row.

The demand for workers with AI skills is undoubtedly there. Since AI engineers are getting the biggest attention in the labor market over the past six-plus months, it’s worth taking a deeper dive into that job.

So, what is an AI engineer, do you have the necessary skills, and do you even want the job?

Let’s start with a definition

I combed through various descriptions on many sites for what an AI engineer actually does, and the good news is there is a consensus.

An artificial intelligence engineer is responsible for developing the tools and systems and then programming and training AI algorithms and applications to mimic human functions.

AI engineers generally don’t need to know how to write software codes, just implement them. Skills needed include expertise in data science, systems development, testing, and clear communications.

It’s also important to keep up-to-date on how AI is evolving, since those changes are coming at us nonstop.

How do you prove you can do the job?

While many job postings for AI engineers require job seekers to have a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, a growing number of postings are accepting equivalent work experience.

According to that same General Assembly report cited previously, employers are also investing in their current talent, upskilling them to meet their business’ growing needs. 84% of the companies in the survey are offering AI training to upskill their junior staff and the remaining 16% plan to offer the training very soon.

There are many online certifications to prove your expertise in doing the required work.

Here are two certification pathways worth examining.


The IBM AI Engineering Professional Certificate is offered through Coursera and comes with an IBM Digital Badge, an employer-recognized credential recognizing your proficiency in AI engineering. This six-course certificate takes about 95 hours to complete and includes professional-level training from IBM.


Microsoft offers training for AI Engineering two ways – self-guided learning or instructor-led training. Whichever pathway you choose, once you’ve completed it, there is also an option to try a practice assessment to see if you are ready to take and pass the Microsoft certification for Azure AI Engineer Associate.

Yes, it’s worth the time and investment

Overall, AI has the potential of contributing more than $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030, with North America and China getting the biggest GDP boosts, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report.

Businesses see the potential of artificial intelligence in increasing their their financial bottom line. And they are willing to pay a premium for it.

The mean annual salary for all occupations in the U.S. is around $58,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. AI engineers do considerably better.

Glassdoor data shows that the annual salary for AI engineers ranges from $124,000 to $193,000 a year with the average salary of around $127,000. Additional pay could be up to $26,000 a year in cash bonuses and profit sharing.

Finally, it’s worth repeating that artificial intelligence is changing rapidly, so it is important to continue the investment in yourself by keeping your knowledge and skills current. The reward is a quality job with seemingly unlimited potential.

Editor’s note: Mark Minevich also sits on the WorkingNation Executive Committee.