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AI Engineer Salary: How Much Will Google DeepMind, Cohere, Adept Pay to Poach OpenAI Talent?

Last Updated November 20, 2023 2:23 PM
Giuseppe Ciccomascolo
Last Updated November 20, 2023 2:23 PM
Key Takeaways
  • AI engineers are in high demand and can command top salaries.
  • Companies like Google DeepMind, Cohere, and Adept are willing to pay top dollar to grab top AI talent from OpenAI.
  • Will there be an engineer’s flight from OpenAI?

After the earthquake in the world of AI caused by the dismissal of OpenAI’s founder and CEO, Sam Altman, decided by the company’s board — other competitors could attract OpenAI’s talents.

Altman and the company’s other co-founder, Greg Brockman, have joined Microsoft, along with a team of engineers. But to attract other experts working in OpenAI, competing companies such as Google DeepMind , Cohere , and Adept , how much should they offer?

How Much Do Google And Others Pay?

AI engineer salaries at prominent companies like Google DeepMind, Cohere, and Adept fluctuate based on experience, location, and specific skills. Generally, these companies are willing to offer competitive compensation packages to attract and retain top talent.

According to a recent Glassdoor report , the average salary for AI engineers in the United States is $120,000 annually, with a broad range from $80,000 to $200,000 or more. Those with expertise in cutting-edge AI technologies like deep learning or natural language processing can command even higher salaries.

For instance, Google DeepMind has reportedly offered salaries exceeding $300,000 per year to top AI researchers.

Highest average annual salary of AI engineers in the US
Highest average annual salary of AI engineers in the US

Beyond base salary, AI engineers can anticipate additional benefits such as stock options, bonuses, relocation assistance, and the chance to engage in pioneering research projects alongside leading AI experts.

While high compensation awaits qualified AI engineers, the competitive job market necessitates a strong track record of success to stand out. Specific salary ranges at different companies include:

  • Google DeepMind: $150,000 to $300,000+ per year
  • Cohere: $120,000 to $200,000 per year
  • Adept: $100,000 to $150,000 per year

These figures provide a general overview, and actual salaries may vary. They offer a glimpse into the potential earnings for AI engineers at top-tier companies.

Working At OpenAI

OpenAI engineers’ salaries are slightly above the average in the industry, with salaries ranging from $121,082 to $136,979 per year. The median salary for an OpenAI engineer is $925,000, including base salary, stock compensation, and bonuses. This is significantly higher than the average salary for software engineers in the United States, which is $120,000 per year.

According to Glassdoor, which receives reviews from employees, the pros of working at OpenAI are

  • Highly motivating mission: OpenAI’s mission to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity is widely admired by employees. This provides a sense of purpose and making the work feel meaningful.
  • Cutting-edge technology: OpenAI is at the forefront of artificial intelligence research, allowing employees to work on cutting-edge projects and contribute to groundbreaking advancements in the field.

  • Talented and collaborative team: OpenAI is known for its diverse and highly skilled team of engineers, researchers, and scientists, fostering a collaborative and intellectually stimulating work environment.

  • Competitive compensation and benefits: OpenAI provides competitive salaries, stock options, and comprehensive benefits packages, recognizing and rewarding the contributions of its employees.

Concerns encompass work-life balance issues stemming from the competitive and demanding project environment at OpenAI. This would potentially lead to extended working hours and an imbalanced lifestyle.

Additionally, some employees are apprehensive about senior leadership. They expressed reservations about decision-making, the company’s commitment to its mission, and the impact of commercialization efforts.

Risk Of Researchers And Engineers Flight?

Following OpenAI’s tumultuous weekend, speculation abounds regarding the company’s future. Questions loom about Microsoft seeking a board seat, potential reviews of investment, and the decisions of other engineers within OpenAI.

In the latest developments , not only has Sam Altman departed, but the co-founder Greg Brockman has also left. Additionally, key figures like Jakub Pachocki, a lead researcher on GPT-4; Aleksander Madry, an MIT professor recruited for AI safety; and Szymon Sidor, a researcher in reinforcement learning, have reportedly resigned amidst the escalating crisis.

Could other engineers leave? If they won’t join Google DeepMind, Cohere, or Adept, there’s another big name in the sector that is directly called OpenAI engineers: Nvidia.

The possibility of further revelations from OpenAI remains uncertain, but the fluid landscape of the software engineering market adds an element of unpredictability to the situation.

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