An AI Prompt Engineer Job Pays Up To $335,000, Even Without A Degree In Tech

The exhilarating pace of development around AI chatbots like ChatGPT has all eyes glued to the tech space. Despite their advantages, the expansion has led to looming fears about the technology robbing hundreds of millions of humans of their jobs. But at the same time, newer roles in holding the helm with these AIs are emerging, and they may be some of the highest-paying jobs in the tech world. New openings for engineers who can write prompts for generative AIs, such as ChatGPT, pay up to $335,000 and don't even require you to have formal degrees in tech.

Bloomberg reports a surge in openings for AI "prompt engineers." As the title suggests, the role entails writing and refining prompts to improve the output of generative AI models. These prompts may serve as presets for models like ChatGPT to produce quicker responses or be used to train workforces to embrace the new era of AI-backed work.

Problem solving more important than education

Anthropic, a San Francisco-based AI research and ethics startup, has recently opened a job for a "Prompt Engineer and Librarian." It pays between $175,000 and $335,000 a year, and the desired qualifications include a strong understanding of large language models (LLMs) such as Google's Bard and OpenAI's ChatGPT, a knack for solving puzzles, and a "passion for making powerful technology safe and societally beneficial," among other seemingly basic life skills. The job does not explicitly mention the requirement of a formal degree or a minimum of years of experience for the role.

Notably, Anthropic is backed by Google and is the creator of Cluade, an AI chatbot similar to ChatGPT. Claude is currently powering chat-based AI solutions in Notion, Quora, DuckDuckGo, and others. Another AI prompt engineering opening at the Boston Children's Hospital requires a degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, or machine learning and a minimum of two years of experience with Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI. Meanwhile, Klarity, a company making automated document review software, is looking for a machine learning engineer to prompt and refine output from LLMs. The role requires at least three years in building machine learning applications and pays up to $230,000 annually.

Endless financial possibilities or just another fad?

AI prompt engineers may not necessarily have a background in computers or tech. This is primarily because linguistic skills are needed to feed into and fiddle with interactive AIs. As per the report, prompt engineers may often have education in English, history, or philosophy. Prompt engineering is still a nascent field, but with the upswing of AIs that create text, images, or even entire websites based on short phrases, the profession becomes vital so companies can create scalable processes.

In February 2023, The Washington Post called prompt engineering "one of the AI field's newest and strangest jobs." Around the same time, Andrej Karpathy, a computer scientist and Tesla's former director of AI, tweeted that English is "the hottest new programming language" and likened prompt engineers to LLM psychologists. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman also tweeted that the ability to write a great prompt can be "an amazingly high-leverage skill."

While the dynamic evolution in the area of generative AIs doesn't ensure a long-lasting career as a prompt engineer, it is undoubtedly an excellent way to make some passive income. Marketplaces like PromptBase are paying people to sell great DALL–E, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and GPT prompts. Only time will tell if an advanced understanding of chat prompts builds a successful career in the long run or sets the stage for something easily replaceable like other fads in the tech space.