An AI architect standing at a wall TV that shows his work. He is presenting to a diverse group of people sitting at a table.
Image: © Gorodenkoff/

What exactly does an AI architect do?

20 Feb 2019

An AI architect can command a sizeable salary. But what exactly does their job entail?

Last year, research showed us that an AI architect would become one of the hottest jobs of the year, and it seems the demand is not slowing down.

IT architecture is an essential part of the tech industry. It ensures that solutions meet current requirements and can evolve to support future needs without much disruption.

AI architecture is based on the same idea to deal with the complexities in analytics and AI. An AI architect must know about the information and infrastructure they’re working in as well as the current technology landscape in order to build architecture that will work and adapt both now and in the future.

When you consider the level of expertise, tacit knowledge and soft skills necessary to be an AI architect, it will come as no surprise that they command a high salary. In fact, the annual salary for an AI architect can go well above $100,000.


An AI architect will be expected to deliver tangible solutions for the clients they work with as well as being capable of creating and maintaining architecture using leading AI technology frameworks.

They will need to understand client needs and be able to translate these into business solutions that they can implement. Therefore, the role of an AI architect is vital to any AI or machine-learning strand within a business.

The AI architect is like the chief data scientist, planning the implementation of solutions, choosing the right technologies and evaluating the evolution of the architecture as the clients’ needs change.

AI architects must analyse data to inform their decisions – to be able to correctly do this, they need to have a deep understanding of AI applications as well as the specific infrastructure they’re working with.

They also need to manage the architecture based on restrictions, conflicting requirements and any other limitations they may be faced with. These are all very specific judgement calls that only the most senior AI professionals with the right expertise would be able to make.

In order to select the right technology for a particular project, an AI architect will need to have a vast knowledge of tools and technologies within the AI industry, as well as constantly having their finger on the pulse and remaining up to date with rapidly evolving trends.

Skills required

First and foremost, any AI architect job will call for several years of relevant work experience, ranging from five to more than 10 years’ experience. Some roles may also call for you to have banked some of these years in a very specific area.

While not a requirement for every role, many will expect you to have a minimum of a master’s degree in computer science, data science or an AI-related discipline.

You will be expected to have an advanced knowledge of a number of programming languages, with some roles calling for fluency in certain languages, such as Python.

You will need a proven track record of implementing machine-learning solutions, development in multiple languages and statistical analysis. You will also need to be familiar with a whole host of other approaches used in practical applications of machine learning.

While this is a heavily technical and experienced role, soft skills are as important as ever. Most AI architect roles call for excellent analytical, project management, problem-solving and communication skills.

Basically, an AI architect is one of the most senior roles in the field, with a lot of responsibilities and leadership calls to make. Therefore, it is one of the most specialised jobs, calling for more than a decade of education, experience and training.

For those working their way up the AI career ladder, AI architects are in extremely high demand and therefore can justifiably command those sky-high salaries.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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