How to Become a Machine Learning Engineer in 2023

Published: October 4, 2023

A machine learning career can be rewarding in several ways due to the high demand in the profession, high-paying jobs, constant learning and impactful work you shall be doing.

The global machine-learning industry is projected to have a CAGR of 38.8% between 2022-2029. Global employment of machine learning engineers is projected to grow at a rate of 22% between 2020 and 2030.

Are you wondering how to become a Machine Learning Engineer? With an average annual salary of $153,212 in the United States, the path to becoming a machine learning engineer is a highly rewarding opportunity. This dynamic field offers the potential for both professional growth and substantial financial success

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that focuses on developing algorithms and statistical models that enable computers to learn from and make predictions or decisions based on data. 

5 Major Skills Required to Be a Machine Learning Engineer

The specific responsibilities of a machine learning engineer can vary depending on the industry and the company they work for, but some common tasks include:

  1. Data preparation: Collecting, cleaning, and organizing data for use in machine learning models.
  2. Feature engineering: Selecting and transforming the most relevant features of the data to use in the model.
  3. Model selection and optimization: Choosing and tuning the appropriate machine learning algorithms to achieve the best possible performance.
  4. Infrastructure development: Building and managing the infrastructure required to run machine learning models, including hardware and software.
  5. Deployment: Deploying machine learning models to production environments, ensuring that they are scalable, reliable, and maintainable

How to Become a Machine Learning Engineer in 5 Simple Steps

  • Step# 1 Learn the Fundamentals of Machine Learning
  • Step# 2 Enroll Yourself In A Course Or Bootcamp
  • Step# 3 Build Projects To Enhance Your Skills
  • Step# 4 Develop a Portfolio
  • Step# 5 Look for Machine Learning Engineer Internships and Jobs

Step# 1. Learn the Fundamentals of Machine Learning 

It is essential to learn the fundamentals of machine learning engineering. This includes understanding the basics of statistics, linear algebra, and calculus and gaining knowledge of programming languages such as Python and data manipulation tools like SQL. 

Moreover, knowledge of machine learning algorithms and techniques is necessary, including supervised and unsupervised learning, deep learning, and neural networks.

2. Enroll Yourself In A Course Or Bootcamp

To become a Machine Learning Engineer, staying updated with the latest technologies, techniques, and tools in the field is necessary. One can enroll in reputable machine learning engineering courses or ML bootcamps

If you select the best course or bootcamp in Machine Learning, you can gain a solid foundation in programming languages, data manipulation tools, and machine learning algorithms. 

3. Build Projects To Enhance Your Skills

Working on a personal project can help you showcase your skills and creativity to potential employers and build a portfolio of your work. When picking a project, it is essential to consider your interests, goals, and available resources. 

Additionally, you should aim to solve a problem not addressed by existing models or provide an innovative approach to an existing problem.

4. Develop a Portfolio

To become a Machine Learning Engineer, developing a portfolio of your work that showcases your skills and expertise is essential. A portfolio can include personal projects, machine learning models you have developed, and the results you have achieved. 

Having a portfolio can demonstrate to potential employers your ability to apply machine learning techniques to solve real-world problems and provide them with a clear understanding of your capabilities.

5. Look for Machine Learning Engineer Internships and Jobs

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To become a Machine Learning Engineer, gaining practical experience and exposure to the industry is essential. One way to do this is by looking for Machine Learning internships and jobs. This can provide you with opportunities to work with experienced professionals, gain insights into the industry, and learn about new technologies and techniques.

What Do Machine Learning Engineers Do?

how to become a machine learning engineer

A machine learning engineer is responsible for designing, building, and deploying machine learning systems. They work closely with data scientists, software engineers, and other stakeholders to develop, test, and optimize machine learning models.

What Jobs Can a Machine Learning Engineer Do?

The field of Machine Learning has a diverse range of positions available, including: 

Here are the 6 of them

  1. Machine Learning Engineer
  2. Data Scientist
  3. Machine Learning Researcher
  4. Machine Learning Operations Engineer 
  5. Business Intelligence Analyst
  6. Data Engineer 

These roles require quite a different skill set, but all involve working with data and applying machine-learning techniques to solve complex problems. 

How to Become a Machine Learning Engineer Without a Degree

To become a machine learning engineer without a degree, you must have a solid understanding of computer science fundamentals, programming knowledge, and basic statistics. 

To a machine learning engineer, many online courses and bootcamps are available for learning these topics, such as online courses, bootcamps, and tutorials. It is also important to gain practical experience by working on personal projects, contributing to open-source projects, or participating in online communities. 

Moreover, attending meetups, conferences, and networking events can help one build connections with industry professionals and gain insights into the field. Last, one can obtain certifications, like Google’s Professional Machine Learning Engineer certification, to demonstrate skills to potential employers.

How to Become a Machine Learning Engineer? - FAQs

When Did Machine Learning Become Popular?

Machine Learning has been a research topic since the 1950s, but it gained significant popularity in the past few years due to the influx of large amounts of data, increased computing power, and advances in machine learning algorithms. Machine learning is now critical for many applications, such as image recognition, natural language processing, and autonomous vehicles.

What Does It Take To Become a Machine Learning Engineer?

To become a machine learning engineer, you must have a strong foundation in computer science and programming, including data structures, databases, and algorithms. Knowledge of statistics, linear algebra, and calculus is also important for understanding machine learning algorithms. It is essential to have experience with programming languages such as Python, R, and SQL. 

How Long It Takes to Become a Machine Learning Engineer?

To become a machine learning engineer, it takes around 1-2 years to gain the required knowledge and skills, which involves completion of a degree in Computer Science (CS) or a CS-related field, online courses or bootcamps, and gaining practical experience through working on personal projects or internships.


In conclusion, acquiring the skills necessary to become a Machine Learning Engineer involves commitment, diligence, and a solid computer science, programming, and mathematics background. It is recommended, but not always necessary, to have a degree in computer science or a closely related discipline. 

There are also numerous online resources accessible for gaining the requisite skills. Building a portfolio of independent projects can demonstrate abilities and stand out to potential employers. Real expertise with machine learning tools and algorithms is essential.

The field can also benefit from networking, attending conferences and events, and participating in online communities. 

Using your technical skills to the fullest and pursuing a career in machine learning can lead to several benefits, as the demand for machine learning engineers is predicted to increase across several industries.