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What is a machine learning engineer?

What is a machine learning engineer. An IT professional specializing in research, development, and design of self-running artificial intelligence (AI) systems to automate predictive models is known as a machine learning engineer (ML engineer). The definition of machine learning is the design and creation of AI systems that can learn and make predictions.

An ML engineer generally collaborates with data scientists, deep learning engineers, administrators, data analysts, data engineers, and data architects as part of a wider data science team.

ML engineers serve as a link between data scientists who concentrate on statistical and model-building work and the development of machine learning and AI systems. They have a strong background in computer science, mathematics, and statistics.

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Roles and responsibilities of a machine learning engineer

As they run tests and refine ML systems and algorithms, machine learning engineers evaluate, analyze, and organize massive amounts of data.

Making machine learning models and retraining systems as necessary are the main objectives of an ML engineer. The duties of this position vary based on the organization, but some typical ones are as follows:

  • ML system design.
  • Examining and establishing ML tools and methods.
  • Choosing pertinent data sets.
  • Choosing the best data representation techniques.
  • Recognizing variations in the distribution of data that have an impact on model performance.
  • Examining the data’s quality.
  • Conversion and transformation of data science prototypes.
  • Analyzing data statistically.
  • Doing tests for machine learning.
  • Use outcomes to enhance models.
  • Systems for training and retraining as necessary.
  • Expanding the libraries for machine learning.
  • Creating ML applications in accordance with client needs.
  • Keeping abreast with fresh developments in ML and AI.

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Skills and qualifications to become a machine learning engineer

An individual should possess the following abilities and credentials to work as an ML engineer:

  • Knowledge of advanced mathematics and statistics, including Bayesian statistics, calculus, and linear algebra.
  • A doctorate in computer science, mathematics, statistics, or a closely connected subject.
  • A master’s degree in artificial intelligence, deep learning, neural networks, or a related discipline.
  • Strong teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
  • Abilities in software engineering.
  • Knowledge of data science.
  • Scripting and programming knowledge in languages like Python, Java, C++, C, R, and JavaScript.
  • Working knowledge of ML frameworks.
  • Working knowledge of ML libraries and software, including the Natural Language Toolkit.
  • Knowledge of software architecture, data modeling, and data structures.
  • Familiarity with computer architecture.
  • Proficiency with cloud computing technologies like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Certifications an ML engineer might need

Engineering with ML is a new field. The market has becoming more cutthroat as demand for these professionals keeps rising. Candidates can demonstrate their skills to future employers, demonstrate their knowledge, and develop a deeper understanding of the technical concepts and tools required to handle real-world situations by enrolling in certification courses and exams.

All current and future ML developers should think about getting the following prominent machine learning certifications:

IBM Machine Learning Professional Certificate

This online course is provided by IBM through the Coursera network. Students who achieve this certificate will be knowledgeable in Python programming, data science, and machine learning algorithms. It includes subjects like model evaluation and deployment, deep learning, and data preprocessing. Students receive a certificate from Coursera and a digital badge from IBM to indicate their machine learning proficiency after completing the program’s six courses. Both people seeking careers as machine learning engineers and professionals looking to advance their knowledge and abilities in the field can benefit from this program. This certification costs $49 per month for a Coursera subscription and has no prerequisites.

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AWS Certified Machine Learning — Specialty certification

This Amazon certification is more concentrated than other certifications. By utilizing models with the AWS Cloud, it seeks to enhance a person’s capacity to design, develop, and produce machine learning. This curriculum is accessible to data professionals worldwide and is available in English, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. To pass the certification exam, one must receive a score of at least 750 out of a possible 1,000. This test will cost you $300 to take.

Google’s Professional Machine Learning Engineer certification

This certification verifies a candidate’s proficiency in creating, implementing, and using machine learning models using Google Cloud and tried-and-true methods. Candidates must take and pass a two-hour test with 50–60 multiple-choice questions covering subjects like problem framing, solution architecture, and model building in order to receive this certification. The certification is good for two years and costs $200 plus taxes; after that, it must be renewed.

Certificate in Machine Learning by Stanford

An 11-week course on machine learning is offered by Stanford University and covers fundamental subjects like arithmetic and statistics. Experts in machine learning commend this well-known application, which is offered in ten languages. Throughout the course, professors delve into fundamental machine learning techniques and their real-world applications in fields like computer vision, audio editing, data mining, and medicine. The course is available for a seven-day trial, after which it costs $49 per month.

Harvard Data Science: Machine Learning certificate

Students will learn about numerous data science approaches in this course, such as cross-validation and ML algorithms. Students are also assisted in developing useful, real-world applications like image classifiers and recommender systems. Users may select either verified for $109 or auditing for free.

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Types of ML engineer titles

Different organizations and industries may use different job names for machine learning engineers. The responsibilities of data scientists, data engineers, and data analysts may also overlap in some cases. It’s crucial to remember that these are two distinct professional paths with different duties.

The following are some titles for ML engineers:

  • Machine learning research scientist.
  • ML developer.
  • Junior machine learning engineer.
  • Senior machine learning engineer.
  • Machine learning software engineer.
  • Algorithm engineer.
  • Deep learning engineer.
  • AI/ML engineer.
  • Natural language processing engineer.

ML engineer salary and job demand

The demand for AI and machine learning specialists is anticipated to increase by 40% between 2023 and 2027, according to online training provider 365 Data Science.

The pay for a machine learning engineer can vary depending on their location, industry, and level of expertise, among other factors. Machine learning engineers typically earn between $112,832 and $143,180 per year in the United States, according to salary aggregation websites like Payscale, ZipRecruiter,, and Glassdoor.

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According to their level of experience, Payscale has categorized the average wages of ML engineers as follows:

  • The typical starting pay for ML engineers is $93,867.
  • The typical compensation for junior-level ML engineers is $111,914.
  • $141,720 is the typical mid-level ML engineer pay.
  • Senior ML engineers typically make between $147,630 and $150,322 per year.

According to Indeed, the following are the typical ML engineer salaries based on a number of U.S. cities and states:

  • Boston: $126,585.
  • California: $119,732.
  • Florida: $106,295.
  • Los Angeles: $121,046.
  • New York City: $127,759.
  • San Francisco: $134,901.
  • Seattle: $123,937.

Machine learning engineer vs. data scientist

The tasks of a machine learning engineer and a data scientist are comparable since both jobs frequently involve handling vast volumes of data, call for specific qualifications, and utilize related technologies. Data scientists, on the other hand, draw meaningful conclusions from massive data sets, whereas ML engineers concentrate on building and managing AI systems and predictive models.

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Comparison table between a machine learning engineer and a data scientist.
Review the distinctions between data scientists and machine learning engineers.
Massive amounts of data must be gathered, examined, and understood by a data scientist. Inferences and hypotheses are made using this data, and market or customer patterns are also examined. For this job, you’ll need to be proficient in arithmetic, statistics, cluster analysis, visualization, and advanced analytics technologies like predictive modeling and machine learning.

Utilizing various analytics and reporting tools to find patterns, trends, and relationships in data sets is one of a data scientist’s other fundamental duties.

Data scientists and machine learning engineers collaborate often, and both professions require a strong understanding of data management.

FAQs on What is a machine learning engineer

What is the role of a machine learning engineer?

A Machine Learning Engineer is responsible for designing and developing machine learning systems, implementing appropriate ML algorithms, and conducting experiments. They possess strong programming skills, knowledge of data science, and expertise in statistics.

What is the difference between AI and ML engineer?

AI engineers build systems that exhibit human intelligence but work faster and more accurately than their human counterparts. ML engineers focus on one particular component of an AI system to optimize the output.

What is required for machine learning engineer?

Machine learning engineers typically need at least a bachelor's degree and certifications in machine learning. It's also good to have a few years of work experience in machine learning, software design, data engineering, or a related field.

Do machine learning engineers code?

Machine Learning Engineers are part software engineers and part data scientists, utilizing their coding and programming skills to collect, process, and analyze data. They create algorithms and predictive models utilizing machine learning to help organize data.

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