How does x ai make money

This is how much artificial intelligence experts earn

Artificial intelligence will change our everyday life, our workplace and our whole life. That's how you hear it over and over again. The federal government is also convinced of this and wants to make Germany the leading AI location. But that could be difficult - and expensive. Because we are amazed at the salaries of AI experts.

In the USA, AI experts have horrific annual salaries with just a few years of professional experience. In Germany, their incomes are slightly lower, but none of them have to suffer in this country either.


According to research by the New York Times, there are only 10,000 artificial intelligence experts in the world. That drives up their salaries. Even with just a few years of professional experience, you can claim annual salaries between 300,000 and 500,000 US dollars in the industry. Ilya Sutskever, one of the leading figures in the AI ​​scene, collected more than 1.9 million US dollars in 2016 alone - and that at a non-profit organization. This emerged from the tax return of his employer, OpenAI. OpenAI is a San Francisco-based NGO researching artificial intelligence. Also colleague Ian Goodfellow, a specialist in deep learning and meanwhile at Google Brain, was rewarded royally by OpenAI with 808,000 US dollars in 2016. Robotics specialist Pieter Abbeel, now a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, came to $ 425,000.

That's how much AI experts earn in the United States

Such salaries are extraordinary, however, here a number of factors come together. The average salary for an AI position in the USA is approximately $ 111,000 per year, according to evaluations by the employer rating platform Glassdoor. That is the equivalent of around 97,800 euros (as of March 2019). The main reason for this high average salary is because the artificial intelligence labor market is highly concentrated in the United States. There are almost only jobs in the metropolitan regions. 67% of AI jobs are in New York City, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Seattle, according to Glassdoor.

According to Indeed, a machine learning developer in the Bay Area earns almost 170,000 US dollars annually (approx. 150,000 euros). A software developer without AI competence comes to around 134,000 US dollars annually (approx. 118,000 euros)

The salary platform Paysa calculates an average salary of 171,700 US dollars (approx. 150,000 euros) annually for an AI developer in the USA. However, the average base salary would be "only" $ 114,900. In addition, there would be company shares, entry bonuses and other bonuses.

For an AI job, you usually have to provide an academic certificate. A lateral entry is possible, however. According to Paysa, 81% of AI developers have at least a bachelor's degree, while 19% do not.

That's how much AI experts earn in Germany

And here? In Germany, too, everyone is talking about artificial intelligence. The salary platform selected the "developer for artificial intelligence" as one of the "trend professions 2019" at the beginning of the year. According to this, AI developers earn an average of 69,300 euros a year. However, this does not even mean that they are unchallenged at the top of the trend professions. So cryptologists even come to over 74,000 euros. Cryptologists encrypt sensitive information and contribute to IT security in the company.

Incidentally, the salary figures are not representative. The salary experts from based their determination of the AI ​​salaries on only 31 data records, as they announced when asked by The profession is still very new and therefore a special case. New data would only be added gradually. According to estimates by the business network Xing, the standard salaries for software developers in the area of ​​machine learning are somewhat lower - at 58,000 euros to 62,000 euros per year.

The salaries can also be approached using specific information in job advertisements. Some companies have started specifying the expected salary or a salary range. gives you some examples of AI salaries from current job advertisements (as of March 2019). These show: Six-digit salaries are rare for AI experts in Germany - but not impossible:

  1. Business intelligence and data consultant with first experience with Hadoop or machine learning in Berlin: 85,000 euros
  2. Data scientist with machine learning skills in Munich: 60,000 to 100,000 euros
  3. Data engineer with 1 year of professional experience in the field of machine learning and predictive analytics in Berlin: 85,000 euros
  4. Artificial intelligence developer with many years of experience in Munich: 55,000 to 90,000 euros
  5. Machine learning engineer in Munich: 50,000 to 90,000 euros
  6. Machine learning developer specializing in autonomous driving, computer vision, deep learning in Munich: 55,000 to 75,000 euros
  7. Consultant for machine learning and artificial intelligence in Berlin: up to 90,000 euros
  8. Software developer in the field of image processing with experience with deep learning processes in Munich: 50,000 to 65,000 euros

Artificial intelligence: these jobs exist

Data scientists and robotics engineers also deal with artificial intelligence. Non-technicians are also increasingly coming into contact with it: consultants, product managers, recruiters and technical writers. There are even jobs for creative writers who give a bot a personality.

The classic AI profession, however, is the developer. It is no longer only used in large corporations or research institutions. Small and medium-sized companies also register their needs. AI developers are developing chatbots for company websites, tools for online marketing, and schedulers that automatically arrange a meeting via email. The Top ten skills for an AI expert are therefore:

  1. Machine learning
  2. Python (programming language)
  3. R (programming language)
  4. Data science
  5. Hadoop (data processing software)
  6. Big data
  7. Java (programming language)
  8. Data mining
  9. Spark (data processing software)
  10. SAS (data processing software)

If you want to know what a developer does for machine learning, read the interview with Damian Borth, Director of the Deep Learning Competence Center at the German Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).

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The IT engineer - wanted everywhere, but hard to find

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A contribution from:

  • Sebastian Wolking

    Sebastian Wolking is a freelance journalist and writes primarily on career topics.