Tech workers look like the real winners of the AI talent war

Microsoft, OpenAI, and Google announced new AI features in May

Big Tech firms such as Google and Microsoft are competing for top AI talent.But workers may be the real winners of the battle as they’re securing bigger compensation packages.Recent data from Levels.fyi and PwC shows AI-skilled jobs are offering higher salaries. 

Tech companies are embroiled in an intense war for top AI talent.

The likes of Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Meta are fiercely competing to woo workers with AI skills.

But the true victors of the contest may be the workers who are winning big compensation packages.

Ram Srinivasan, a future of work expert and managing director of consulting firm JLL, told Business Insider that the AI talent race is “creating a promising landscape for tech professionals.”

“AI talent is in high demand, with companies offering impressive compensation. Some AI experts have received offers topping $1 million in total compensation, including substantial equity. This competitive market is pushing up salaries and providing attractive financial incentives for tech workers,” Srinivasan said.

PwC analyzed more than half a billion job ads in 15 countries for its 2024 Global AI Jobs Barometer. It concludes that workers who learn to harness AI are likely to have bright futures despite the likely impact on employment in some sectors.

The talent war appears to be going in workers’ favor, as employers are willing to pay more to entice those with AI skills. The PwC report says US-based job postings seeking AI expertise are associated with a 25% wage premium.

A May report from Levels.fyi, a platform that lets tech workers submit their compensation information, revealed that total pay for AI engineers has recently been on an upward trend.

Salary trends data obtained by Levels.fyi showed starting salaries for AI engineers in the US rose to $300,600 by March, up from $231,000 in August 2022.

Its report on AI engineer compensation trends for the first quarter found that entry-level AI engineers earn 8.6% more than non-AI engineers this year. At a more senior level, AI engineers earn almost 11% more than their non-AI counterparts.

Workers might also have more leverage to negotiate even better compensation and benefits as their expertise is highly sought after.

Those with experience in machine learning, engineering, and deep learning are securing impressive salaries. The median total compensation for a machine learning or AI software engineer is $140,823, according to Levels.fyi.

Big tech players must continue to be competitive to successfully recruit AI-skilled workers, as many AI experts are attracted to startups, according to Srinivasan.

In his view, workers might find startups more appealing as they can “have more creative input and potentially reap significant financial rewards if the company succeeds.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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