Machine Learning Engineer

Average Salary
Job Forecast
Currently Employed in Scotland

What is a Machine Learning Engineer

You could be programming a machine to diagnose illnesses more effectively than the world’s best doctors or designing predictive tools that could provide life-saving information about the likelihood of weather events such as hurricanes or floods.

Top 3 job tasks:

  • Building machine learning algorithms that can self-improve their ability to perform a given task.
  • Testing machine learning systems against traditional software or human capabilities to assess the current benefits of the technology.
  • Analysing performance data from machine learning tests to develop increasingly productive algorithms.

Getting in and Qualifications


Useful subjects:

  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • Computer Science

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you will need.


It is possible to develop the range of technical skills required to be a Machine Learning Engineer through the study of relevant disciplines including:

  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Machine Learning

Many Machine Learning Engineers will have degrees or even postgraduate qualifications (at master’s or PhD level) in the subjects listed above. Many students choose an Integrated Master’s course that provides a degree and postgraduate qualification in the same course over a 5-year period. Entrance to a degree typically requires National 5 qualifications and at least four Highers.

Hands-on practical experience is also very important for machine learning roles and a relevant Apprenticeship can develop a foundation of practical IT expertise. Graduate and Modern Apprenticeships include paid industry experience alongside valuable qualifications and can provide a useful bridge into full-time industry roles. The Graduate Apprenticeship in IT: Software Development is one example of a highly relevant course for those looking to begin a career in machine learning. A Foundation Apprenticeship in Software Development could be a useful starting point. 

Membership of an industry organisation can also be a valuable way to build contacts within the industry and land a suitable role.

The industry membership organisation for artificial intelligence including machine learning is AISB.