Programming has just been made accessible to billions via a new skill called “prompting”.
🧑💻 A prompt engineer specializes in crafting inputs that elicit desired outputs from AI systems like ChatGPT. One Reddit user‘s journey from a senior taxonomist to a prompt engineer at a chatbot company showcases the potential for a rewarding career path in this field, with a cool salary of $120,000 plus a $12,000 bonus annually.
Is this user story generalizable? Let’s explore! 👇
Prompt Engineers are critical in training and “pulling” value out of AI chatbots, particularly those utilizing the ChatGPT and OpenAI API, to improve their responses to user inputs. Given that millions of new apps emerge that have “ChatGPT at the heart“, i.e., the backend consists of an engineered ChatGPT prompt and nothing else, prompt engineers are highly sought-after in today’s marketplace!
Figure: Prompting is the skill of the exponential age!
But is it the right job for you? Let’s answer one part of this question, i.e., How much dough can you make as a prompt engineer in the US? 🤑
Given the complexity and expertise required for prompt engineering, professionals in this field are compensated according to their skills and experience. Annual income for prompt engineers in the US can range from $95,900 to $180,000, with some positions even offering up to $335,000 a year .
|Prompt Engineer Annual Income ($ USD)
|$175,000 – $335,000
|$250,000 – $335,000
|$76,000 – $113,000
|$200,000 – $370,000
|OpenAI Prompt Engineer
|$73,000 – $438,000
With job postings numbering in the thousands, the demand for prompt engineers is clear, showcasing the value companies place on these professionals.
💡 Why is prompt engineering necessary? Because of garbage in, garbage out. The quality of an AI’s input determines the quality of its output. As AI continues to develop, companies must invest in skilled prompt engineers to ensure continuous improvement and refinement of chatbot responses.
And many do! Check out our article on prompt engineers on Upwork:
Overview of ChatGPT
ChatGPT is a powerful language model that has revolutionized how we interact with artificial intelligence (AI) systems. As a member of the large language models (LLMs) family, ChatGPT excels in understanding and generating human-like responses based on given prompts 🤖.
Prompt engineering is an essential skill for working with ChatGPT, as it helps enforce rules, automate processes, and tailor the generated output to specific needs and requirements 🎯.
With ChatGPT’s increasing importance in industries like customer support, content creation, and programming, prompt engineers are in high demand 💼.
In the United States, annual salaries for these professionals range from $95,900 to $180,000, with 3,916 job postings available on Indeed.com at the time of writing [source]. The job market for prompt engineers is thriving across various sectors, thanks to the versatility of the ChatGPT technology 🌐.
Here’s a table I created assuming 2000 hours of work per year:
|Position or Context
|Income per Hour (USD)
|Income per Year (USD)
|General Prompt Engineer (Global)
|$75.00 – $167.50
|$150,000 – $335,000
|Prompt Engineer in India (Converted to USD)
|Finxter.com (Custom Chatbots)
|Custom Chatbot Design
|$25.00 – $100.00
|$50,000 – $200,000
|Finxter.com (Educational LLM Tutors)
|Design LLM-Driven Niche Courses
|$15.00 – $75.00
|$30,000 – $150,000
|Finxter.com (General US Income)
|General Prompt Engineer in the US
|$47.95 – $90.00 (up to $167.50 in some cases)
|$95,900 – $180,000 (up to $335,000 in some cases)
|Hourly Wage (USA, October 2023)
|AI Prompt Engineer at Google
This table provides a detailed and comprehensive view of the income spectrum for prompt engineers in various contexts, both in hourly and yearly terms.
One of the key elements of prompt engineering is a set of prompt patterns that help guide ChatGPT’s responses. These patterns are effectively communicated through prose rather than code, making it possible for non-programmers to contribute immensely to the AI field 📚.
In a nutshell, ChatGPT’s capabilities coupled with the growing need for prompt engineering skills offer promising opportunities for professionals seeking high-income careers in AI-driven sectors 🚀.
Role of Prompt Engineers
Prompting is the new programming. Prompt engineers get the most out of large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT by asking the right questions and in the right way using informal natural language rather than a formal programming language. By improving these prompts, prompt engineers advance the capabilities of AI language models for various applications, such as chatbots and language translation software.
Prompt engineers play a crucial role in the development and refinement of AI chatbots like ChatGPT. These experts work with prose, rather than code, to test the AI system’s functionality and identify its shortcomings 💡. This helps developers address any issues and maximize the AI’s potential source.
Their responsibilities include crafting carefully worded prompts to uncover hidden capabilities and vulnerabilities in the AI. This process enables prompt engineers to work closely with developers, optimizing the chatbot’s performance and ensuring user satisfaction source.
With new functionalities like GPTs emerging and OpenAI signaling that they will pay creators of GPTs a portion of their revenue, prompt engineering has reached an explosive potential, a skill that can help you reach millions of people and make you millions of dollars!
💡 Recommended: I Made a Dan Peña GPT with OpenAI and Learned This
Skills of Prompt Engineers
Crucial hard prompt engineering skills include:
- Understanding the nuances of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT source
- Writing effective and precise prompts to enforce rules, automate processes, and guide the AI’s output quantity and quality source
- Strong understanding of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML): A prompt engineer should have a solid foundation in NLP and ML to create effective prompts that generate accurate and relevant responses.
- Continuous learning and improvement: A prompt engineer should be committed to continuous learning and improvement to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in NLP and ML and improve their skills and knowledge. After all, one thing we can be sure of is that prompting in 3 years will look nothing like today!
Optional but helpful “soft” prompt engineering skills include:
- Proficiency in programming languages: Knowledge of programming languages such as Python, Java, and C++ is useful for prompt engineers to develop and implement effective algorithms.
- Experience with deep learning frameworks: Familiarity with deep learning frameworks such as TensorFlow and PyTorch is helpful but optional for prompt engineers to design and train neural networks for language generation.
- Understanding of data structures and algorithms: A prompt engineer should have a solid understanding of data structures and algorithms to develop efficient and scalable solutions for language generation.
- Knowledge of database management: A prompt engineer should be proficient in database management to store and retrieve large amounts of data required for language generation.
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills: A prompt engineer should have strong analytical and problem-solving skills to analyze large amounts of data, identify patterns, and develop effective solutions for language generation.
- Excellent communication and collaboration skills: A prompt engineer should have excellent communication and collaboration skills to work effectively with cross-functional teams and stakeholders.
- Creative thinking and innovation: A prompt engineer should be able to think creatively and innovatively to develop unique and effective prompts that generate accurate and relevant responses.
- Attention to detail: A prompt engineer should have a keen eye for detail to ensure that the prompts they create are accurate and free of errors.
As industries increasingly rely on AI chatbots, the demand for prompt engineers is set to grow 📈. The role combines creative thinking, language expertise, and a deep understanding of AI to ensure the technology delivers on its promise of effective automation and productive brainstorming source.
Here are the specific requirements of a real “prompt engineering” job in the wild (source):
You can learn the basics of prompting quickly, e.g., download our prompting cheat sheet or check out the following prompting tips:
👩💻 Recommended: 7 Effective Prompting Tricks for ChatGPT
Factors Affecting Annual Income
This section will discuss various factors influencing the annual income of prompt engineers working with ChatGPT. Several elements contribute to the differences in pay, including experience, location, education, and the industry they work in.
Like any profession, experience plays a significant role in determining the salary of prompt engineers. Their income is likely to increase as their skills develop and they gain a deeper understanding of the technology. 📈
Experts in the field can command salaries ranging from $250,000 to $330,000 a year, reflecting their exceptional proficiency and talent in handling AI systems like ChatGPT (source).
The geographical location of a prompt engineer can also impact their earnings. Specific areas, especially tech hubs like Silicon Valley or Seattle, may offer higher salaries due to the concentration of large tech companies, startups, and innovative projects. However, the cost of living in these regions may also be higher, potentially affecting take-home pay. 🏡
While some candidates may be primarily self-taught or come from diverse educational backgrounds, having a formal education in a relevant field, such as computer science, engineering, or linguistics, can positively impact prompt engineers’ salaries.
Employers may view an advanced degree as an indicator of a candidate’s dedication and expertise in their craft, leading to higher compensation packages. 🎓
👩💻 Recommended: 10 Best ChatGPT Books for AI Enthusiasts
The industry in which a prompt engineer works can also influence their income. Different sectors may require specialized knowledge or expertise, which could translate to premium pay for those with the right skills.
For example, AI applications in finance, health care, or legal services might demand prompt engineers with domain-specific experience, leading to higher salaries in those industries. 💼
Current Salaries and Trends
The demand for prompt engineers working with ChatGPT has surged in recent years, leading to attractive salary packages across the United States. A prime example is San Francisco-based AI start-up Anthropic, which currently offers a salary range of $175,000 to $335,000 for a prompt engineer and librarian role 🚀 (source).
Such competitive salaries reflect prompt engineers’ expertise in the cutting-edge AI field 🤖, with their skills significantly impacting the development and performance of language models that cater to various industries.
Although salary ranges vary depending on factors such as location and experience level, prompt engineers typically enjoy higher incomes than their counterparts in other engineering professions. For context, the median annual wage for engineers across the United States was $91,098 in 2023, with 33.8k salaries reported 💼 (source).
Considering these figures, it’s evident that prompt engineering positions in the emerging AI sector are a lucrative choice for professionals seeking attractive career opportunities 💡.
Some noteworthy trends in the prompt engineering domain include:
- Increased demand for AI prompt engineers in tech hubs like Silicon Valley 🌐
- A growing focus on cross-disciplinary skillsets, such as NLP and programming languages like Python 🐍
- Collaboration among industry professionals to address ethical concerns surrounding AI development 🤝
Overall, the field of prompt engineering is dynamic and ever-evolving, with ample prospects for professionals looking to carve a niche in this exciting domain 🌟.
Comparisons to Similar Roles
When considering the annual income of prompt engineers, it’s helpful to compare their salaries with those of similar roles in the tech industry. 📊 For instance, let’s take a look at data scientists, software engineers, and AI researchers.
Data scientists, who analyze and interpret large datasets to assist businesses in decision-making, often earn around $120,000 annually in the US.
👩💻 Recommended: Data Scientist – Income and Opportunity
On the other hand, software engineers, responsible for designing, coding, and testing applications, can expect yearly salaries ranging from $110,000 to 180,000, depending on their experience and location within the country.
👩💻 Recommended: Python Developer – Income and Opportunity
AI researchers, who study and develop cutting-edge artificial intelligence algorithms, typically receive higher compensation than data scientists and software engineers. Their annual salaries can start at $150,000 and go as high as $500,000 for highly experienced individuals or those working at prestigious research institutions.
👩💻 Recommended: Machine Learning Engineer – Income and Opportunity
Compared to these roles, prompt engineers enjoy competitive salaries, some reaching up to $335,000 a year, despite not requiring degrees in tech fields. 🚀 This can be attributed to the unique combination of skills they possess, as well as the growing demand for experts who can effectively test and improve generative AI models like ChatGPT.
Job Growth and Demand
Again, this graphic tells an exciting story:
The rise of AI has generated a new job title: Prompt Engineer. These professionals specialize in working with ChatGPT systems and are in high demand📈.
As AI adoption increases across various industries, the need for skilled prompt engineers continues to grow. Companies like Anthropic, a Google-backed startup, are offering significant salaries, ranging from $175,000 to $335,000 per year for this role.
Prompt engineering is considered a valuable skill in the age of AI, as it improves the overall productivity of specific occupations, like lawyers and CPAs👩💼. As more companies integrate AI technologies into their operations, job opportunities for prompt engineers are expected to increase.
Interestingly, some companies are hiring prompt engineers with little to no technical background. This highlights the value placed on communication and language understanding in the field✍️. As artificial intelligence becomes more entrenched in everyday life, prompt engineering skills may eventually become as essential as learning how to use a search engine (Axios).
Overall, the job growth and demand for prompt engineers is on a promising trajectory as the AI industry continues to expand🚀. One thing is certain: prompt engineers will play a key role in shaping the future of AI-powered communication and productivity🤖.
👩💻 Recommended: GPT4All Quickstart – Offline Chatbot on Your Computer
In summary, ChatGPT prompt engineers have become crucial professionals in the AI industry. With a growing demand and a salary that can reach up to $300,000 a year, they are carving out an important niche with a bright future. 🌟
Their work in developing and refining AI system interactions has made technology more efficient and user-friendly. Companies like OpenAI, Alphabet, and Meta are making significant investments in generative AI technologies, further highlighting the importance of these specialists. 🚀
As artificial intelligence continues to grow, we can expect prompt engineers to play a valuable role in shaping how human-AI conversations evolve. Exciting times lie ahead for this field, so let’s watch this space as AI continues its upward trajectory! 🌐💼
It is also imperative to learn the ins and outs of the OpenAI API (e.g., Python) as a prompt engineer because it allows the smart engineer to create automatic value-creation systems using LLMs in the loop.
If you want to learn and master this next-level skill set, feel free to check out this course: 👇
Prompt Engineering with Python and OpenAI
You can check out the whole course on OpenAI Prompt Engineering using Python on the Finxter academy. We cover topics such as:
- Semantic search
- Web scraping
- Query embeddings
- Movie recommendation
- Sentiment analysis
👨💻 Academy: Prompt Engineering with Python and OpenAI
While working as a researcher in distributed systems, Dr. Christian Mayer found his love for teaching computer science students.
To help students reach higher levels of Python success, he founded the programming education website Finxter.com that has taught exponential skills to millions of coders worldwide. He’s the author of the best-selling programming books Python One-Liners (NoStarch 2020), The Art of Clean Code (NoStarch 2022), and The Book of Dash (NoStarch 2022). Chris also coauthored the Coffee Break Python series of self-published books. He’s a computer science enthusiast, freelancer, and owner of one of the top 10 largest Python blogs worldwide.
His passions are writing, reading, and coding. But his greatest passion is to serve aspiring coders through Finxter and help them to boost their skills. You can join his free email academy here.