What is Prompt Engineering?

Prompt Engineer is a new career field where people work with AI Chat Bots like Chat GPT to get the best results possible from entering a prompt. A recent job posting from Anthropic, the AI developer behind Claude showed a $175,000 to $335,000 per year salary range in the San Francisco Bay Area.

New career fields are emerging around new technologies like Chat GPT and AI powered Large Language Models. At the moment, these new jobs could be highly lucrative and may be a sign of things to come.

What does a Prompt Engineer do?

Prompt engineers work day to day using chat bots like OpenAIChat GPT, Google Bard or Anthropic Claude. Through trial and error, they work to understand how to get the best results out of a chat bot. They then document the results, and create a library of best practices that can be used throughout an organization.

A Prompt Engineer is expected to be the subject matter expert of interacting with AI. They may create training material, or lead training courses to spread best practices throughout an organization.

There is a lot of overlap with Machine Learning specialists. Machine Learning models have to be trained on large amounts of data, and then fine-tuned to correct inaccuracies and make adjustments to the information that chat bots are creating. Prompt Engineers will likely work in conjunction with other machine learning specialists to provide feedback and help fine-tune the model.

How much do Prompt Engineers Make?

Prompt Engineering is a subset of Applied Machine Learning, or Applied ML. These jobs can pay between $120,000 and $250,000 per year. The amount of pay varies greatly based on the industry, experience, and education required.

Prompt Engineering is a relatively new field with AI Chat Bots becoming more widely known about during the start of 2023. A search through indeed.com, a large job listing site, shows that there were currently only 2 jobs available anywhere in the United States with the title of Prompt Engineer. It is not enough data to say that an average Prompt Engineer will be able to make $335,000 per year.

Is Prompt Engineering a Real Job?

Yes, Prompt Engineering is a real job. It may go by other titles, or be a sub-set of Applied Machine Learning at the moment but over time there will be more specialized job roles related to working directly with AI Chat Bots and AI Assistants.

The new field reminds of us of the proliferation of the Data Scientist career path. It draws upon cross-functional disciplines like statistics, python programming, and machine learning. It was mostly unheard of until the early 2000s when Big Data created a greater demand for the skillset. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the job market for Data Scientists to grow 36% from 2021 through 2031.

It’s too soon to tell what the trajectory is for Prompt Engineering, but at the moment the only direction for it to go is up.

How Does Prompt Engineering Work?

While working with an AI model, how you ask a question is just as important as the question itself. There are optimal ways to ask an AI a question to get the best results. Having a high level understanding of how Machine Learning and Generative Pre-Trained Transformers work can guide people into getting the best answers.

Open AI, the developers of Chat GPT published their own in-depth guide of best practices which can be found here: Best practices for prompt engineering with OpenAI API | OpenAI Help Center

Of interest is how nuanced the recommendations can be. Many of the recommendations include being as direct as possible, avoiding the usage of fluffy words and providing Chat GPT hints such stating “import” at the end of a prompt instead of “SELECT” to indicate that you want it to write Python code instead of a SQL Query.

What is the Future of Prompt Engineering?

The number of Prompt Engineering careers, and careers related to interacting with AI will continue to grow in the future. It will likely become a cross-functional job that requires an understanding of modern Machine Learning models, computer programming, and broader knowledge of the topics or application that the techniques are being applied to.

It’s likely that the Prompt Engineering field will fill out over the next several years. We anticipate an entire industry around interacting with AI Chat Bots to appear. From Prompt Engineering Training Courses to Prompt Engineering Certifications to new college degrees and multi-week in depth boot camps.


It’s too soon to say how the emerging Prompt Engineering field will evolve over time. We don’t think it’s going to go away as people and businesses rely more heavily on AI, they will want to get the best results out of it.

There is enough nuance in writing prompts for Chat GPT and its competitors that it makes sense for people to specialize in the area. As the field evolves, there will be a wider range of salaries offered depending on experience and industry.

AI will continue to improve, making it easier for people to get the results that they want without specialized prompts. As AI improves, it will also unlock new unseen capabilities. The more lucrative the new applications are, the more money and more in demand a Prompt Engineer’s skillset will be.

We look forward to finding out what new career paths will be created along with the proliferation of AI and Chat GPT.

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