Machine Learning Engineer: Job Description, Skills & Salary Details

The Learning Machine or machine learning is increasingly used by companies from all sectors. This subcategory of artificial intelligence allows computers to learn to perform a task and progress independently without having to be programmed for this purpose.

However, for this revolution to be possible, it is necessary to develop algorithms that allow machines to learn by themselves. This is one of the roles of the machine learning engineer

In addition to this task, which he shares with the Data Scientist, the Machine Learning Engineer is also responsible for the production (industrialization) of artificial intelligence models. This expert, therefore, has the double hat of data scientist and software developer.

Job Description

The Machine Learning Engineer is a computer programmer. However, rather than programming machines to perform specific tasks, this expert creates programs that allow machines to perform tasks without being specifically programmed for this purpose.

It creates algorithms for processing large volumes of data of different types. These algorithms must make it possible to answer mathematical modelling problems. The role of the engineer will, therefore, be to choose the most efficient model among different families of algorithms.

Among the missions entrusted to him and the tasks he must master, the Machine Learning Engineer must program algorithms for Machine Learning, train deep neural networks (Deep Learning), model complex and unstructured data such as images and texts, or even carry out a research project and carry out proofs of concept.

However, the Machine Learning Engineer is also responsible for industrializing artificial intelligence models. This start-up is anticipated from the design phase, and therefore brings new challenges.

The specialist will also manage the life cycle of models and data. He will have to manage to deploy the models and make them live overtime via software development, performance monitoring or even the detection of drifts in the data.

There are a large number of applications for engineer’s work in Machine Learning. For example, it can develop the software system of an autonomous car. He can also design the recommendation engine for a website or social network.

Skills Required For Machine Learning Engineer

The Machine Learning engineer is given very sophisticated programming tasks. Therefore, it is essential to exercise this profession to have exceptional skills in mathematics: real analysis, algebra, probabilities, statistics … these skills will allow to perform complex calculations and work with the algorithms involved in this type of programming. Here are the required skills.

  • Computer and programming skills
  • Mathematical expertise in probability and statistics
  • Data modelling and evaluation
  • Application of Machine Learning models and libraries
  • Software engineering
  • Communication

This professional must also know and master the different programming languages, such as Python, and the main Cloud applications. He must also know the Data Science libraries, and have computer skills in the fields of algorithms and databases.

In addition, communication skills are necessary in order to be able to explain the processes to people who are not programming experts. In some cases, the machine learning engineer will also have to publish articles on his work.

Finally, analytical skills are essential since predicting results and isolating problems to be solved are an integral part of this job. The Machine Learning Engineer must also master data collection via APIs or SQL queries. He must, therefore, be an expert in computer programming, mathematics, data analysis and communication.

Machine Learning Engineer Salary

According to PayScale, in the United States, a machine learning engineer can expect a median annual salary of $ 111,657. In European countries, the annual median salary is 45,000 euros. A trainee type beginner can earn 9528 euros, while the most experienced profiles can earn up to 76 500 euros per year.

Thus, according to Hired, the average annual salary of ML engineers reached 56,000 euros in 2018. In general, it is, therefore, preferable to move to the United States to exercise this profession. For example, Apple pays its Machine Learning Engineers up to $ 144,000 a year.

Obviously, these figures relate to employees. You should know that the profiles of Machine Learning Engineers are very sought after by companies and will have no difficulty in obtaining a permanent contract. In freelance, invoices can go up to 1200 euros per working day.

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