10 Strategies to Make Money as AI Programmer

AI programmers use advanced algorithms to create artificial intelligence (AI) features and software programs. AI is a specific area of computer science that enables computers to simulate human intelligence when they complete tasks. If you enjoy solving complex challenges and learning about new technology programs, then you might consider pursuing a job as an AI programmer. In this article, we explain what an AI programmer does, discuss the requirements for this job, list step-by-step instructions for how to become an AI programmer a.

Strategies to Make Money as AI Programmer

1. What does an AI programmer do?

AI programmers develop software applications that perform a wide variety of tasks. They may create realistic nonplayable characters (NPCs) for video games or develop advanced systems for businesses that use artificial intelligence to collect and analyze large quantities of data. While the specific tasks an AI programmer completes every day may vary, there are some common job duties they’re typically responsible for. These job duties include:

  • Collaborating with machine learning engines, data engineers and data scientists

  • Performing routine maintenance on existing AI programs and installing upgrades

  • Developing new AI software programs to suit each client’s needs

  • Discussing design plans with project managers and key stakeholders

  • Creating data ingests and transformation architecture

  • Researching new technologies to improve programs

  • Training other team members to utilize AI systems and programs

2. AI programmer job requirements

Employers typically look for candidates who have previous work experience in computer programming or software development when reviewing applications for AI programmer roles. There are also several hard skills, such as knowledge of Python and C++, and soft skills, such as teamwork, that hiring managers may list as requirements when crafting job descriptions for this position. Here are a few of the skills AI programmers rely on that you can develop throughout your career to prepare:

  • Advanced programming knowledge: AI programmers work with a wide variety of scripting languages that they often combine and adapt to create realistic software applications for computers, game consoles, mobile devices and IoT devices.

  • Critical-thinking skills: Being able to think through problems critically and analyze sections of code can help you identify potential issues and develop unique solutions.

  • Mathematical skills: As an AI programmer, having strong mathematical skills can help you develop advanced algorithms that make your programmers more efficient.

    Strategies to Make Money as AI Programmer

  • Knowledge of psychology: Understanding how people typically behave in different situations and what motivates them can help AI programmers create believable characters and programmers.

  • Innovation: As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, it’s important for AI programmers to find creative ways to improve existing programs and continue researching new techniques to innovate future applications.

  • Communication: AI programmers work with complex ideas and codes, so it’s important for them to have excellent written and verbal communication skills to ensure their team members understand each part of the project they’re collaborating together on and the job duties for which they’re responsible.

How to become an AI programmer

While every professional’s career path is unique, there are a few steps you can take to prepare yourself for a role as an AI programmer. Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

3. Earn a degree

Begin your career journey by earning a degree from an accredited academic institution. While some schools provide programs that specifically focus on artificial intelligence, other relevant majors include computer science, data science, mathematics and statistics. Enroll in an undergraduate program in one of these areas to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Some courses you may take throughout your undergraduate program to prepare for a role as an AI programmer include:

  • Matrices and linear transformations

  • Calculus

  • Probability theory

  • Imperative computation

  • Functional programming

  • Natural language processing

  • Robot kinematics and dynamics

Many aspiring AI programmers also choose to pursue master’s degrees in computer programming, physics, game development and advanced mathematics. Earning an advanced degree can help you further develop your skills, which may impress potential employers and increase your job opportunities.

Strategies to Make Money as AI Programmer

4. Gain relevant work experience

Many employers prefer to hire candidates for AI programmer roles who have completed an internship or have previous work experience in the industry. Pursuing an internship while you’re in college or after you graduate can help you gain experience working with deep learning platforms like H2O.AI, deep learning libraries and other AI solutions.

Another excellent way to gain work experience is to try modding. To get started, choose a video game you enjoy playing that offers a software toolkit and use it to create your own levels. You can also ask your friends, family members or colleagues to test the levels you create and provide you with feedback. This can be a fun way to gain hands-on experience and improve your skill set.

5. Apply for jobs

When you’re ready to apply for jobs, create a professional resume and cover letter that highlight your strengths as a programmer. Include details about your academic background, relevant work experience and skill set. You can also list any professional organizations you belong to or programming certifications you’ve earned.

In addition to this, create an online portfolio that features the most impressive applications and programs you’ve created. You can showcase projects you worked on during your academic career, for freelance clients or for fun. Provide a brief description of each project that discusses what your goals were and what types of challenges you overcame. Then look for companies that are hiring AI programmers to start applying. Some similar roles you can also search for include AI developers, AI architects, machine learning engineers, data scientists and business intelligence developers.

Strategies to Make Money as AI Programmer

6. Network with professionals

One great way to network with other professionals is to attend gaming conferences and programming expos. This can be a great opportunity to ask AI programmers about their work and share that you’re interested in pursuing a career in the industry. Be prepared to share your professional contact details and consider bringing business cards along to make it easier to stay in touch. If one professional you network with hears about a job opportunity they think you would be well-suited for, they may let you know to apply.

Types of Artificial Intelligence

In general, there are four broad categories of artificial intelligence: reactive, limited memory, theory of mind, and self-aware. Think of these types as a progressive spectrum; each type builds on the complexity of the type before it.

7. Reactive

This is the most basic type of AI. Purely reactive artificial intelligence can act based on an assessment of the current situation but is unable to build a repository of memories to draw from in the future.

8. Limited Memory

Building on the reactive category, limited-memory AI can “remember” past experiences as pre-programmed representations of its environment. Limited-memory AI will then incorporate these memories into future decisions.

Strategies to Make Money as AI Programmer

9. Theory of Mind

This type of AI is even more advanced than limited memory. Taking its name from the psychological term, theory-of-mind AI can attribute mental states such as beliefs, intentions, desire, emotions, and knowledge to others. If that sounds futuristic, that’s because it is. This type of artificial intelligence has yet to be developed.

10. Self-Aware

Going beyond theory-of-mind AI, self-aware AI has the ability to form representations about itself—thus having consciousness.


Artificial intelligence is a broad term, and it’s loosely defined. Machine learning is a particular application of artificial intelligence in which machines learn from data and change over time to make better decisions about that data. The main use of machine learning is to process large amounts of information in a short amount of time.

An example of machine learning is the way social media platforms learn what type of content—posts and ads—that you will like more based on how you have interacted with content on the platform.

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