Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an ever more important role in automating repetitive tasks or analyzing large datasets, reducing the necessity for specific IT job positions. This shift in the job landscape influences the demand for different types of roles, reshaping at the same time the skill requirements in traditional software development jobs.
Given the circumstances, numerous software developers are curious and are looking for answers if the strong AI breakthrough affects their salaries. Although the answer to this question is more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no”, this blog post aims to explore possible scenarios.
AI influence on the job market and incomes
Certainly, AI data processing tools and language models, such as ChatGPT, have the potential to influence the job market and the incomes of numerous individuals. Generally speaking, the impact of AI technology on salaries and employment will greatly rely on factors like the nature of the business, industry, job category, and the practical applications of AI.
Predicting the precise effect of AI implementation on future software engineer salaries is challenging, and depends on the extent to which Al is adopted and the specific roles and skills required in the industry.
Here are a few potential outcomes that could arise:
The advancements in the tech industry drive automation, thus increasing efficiency and productivity, but also creating new job opportunities, career paths, and potentially higher-paid positions.
AI specifically creates new opportunities for employment and career growth for software developers. The demand for AI engineers, data scientists, and machine learning experts is consistently rising as these professionals play a crucial role in developing and implementing AI solutions across various industries.
That is also the reason why professionals who specialize in AI-related fields often enjoy competitive salaries and excellent career prospects. The average annual AI engineer salary in the US is over $110K, and in Canada over $85,000. AI engineer salary in the UK is over 60,000 pounds per annum, while in Germany is somewhere around €84,574. In Australia, AI engineers can earn $110,000 per year, while in Singapore $74,943.
With the ongoing integration of AI into diverse sectors and applications, the demand for software engineers possessing AI-related skills is expected to rise. That leads to re-skilling and upskilling opportunities for software developers while changing landscape could lead to higher salaries for engineers with these specialized skills.
The question if AI will replace software engineering, is asked very often these days.
While AI is creating new job opportunities, it's also important to be aware that it may bring some job displacement too. According to some statistics, automation will displace 85 million jobs globally by 2025.
Since ChatGPT entered the tech scene, it was clear that it is different from other chatbots, with the ability to write programs. That was the moment when programmers seriously started considering that AI could replace many roles and jobs, including junior software engineers.
Numerous experts agree that AI has the potential to replace certain software developers who primarily engage in building simple and repetitive applications. Already, many tech companies are utilizing AI to reduce labor costs and increase productivity. As AI advances further, this type of coding is expected to rise and become more complex. And although experts generally agree that AI at this moment of time is not capable of replacing engineers in the immediate future, many of them recognize that AI will soon assume a more significant role in engineering domains.
Consequently, this development could result in a decline in the demand for engineers in specific areas, which could in turn impact salaries.
More time for more projects
AI is more likely to assist developers rather than replace them. It means that these two fields are not mutually exclusive but complement each other.
There are various ways that AI helps software engineering. Here we are going to tackle just several, including intelligent coding assistants. These AI-powered tools understand the developer's intent and provide suggestions for code completion, enabling developers to write code faster and more efficiently and save a significant amount of time.
Smart prototyping is another way in which AI contributes to software engineering. AI algorithms are utilized to generate working prototypes of software applications, which can then be further developed and refined by developers.
Additionally, error management tools powered by AI help developers in identifying and resolving errors more quickly and efficiently, allowing them to allocate more time to complex and creative tasks.
Lower the barriers to entry for software development
We have been witnessing high demand for IT professionals for a long time, and despite recent layoffs at big tech companies, a skills gap in the technology sector still remains. Therefore, AI-assisted software development may be a solution or necessity to overcome the existing shortage of talent.
Skilled individuals are missing in various IT areas, including software development or security, and in this context, AI can serve as a valuable tool to bridge these gaps.
Furthermore, AI coding tools have the potential to reduce the barriers to entry in the field of software development, as certain programming skills that have traditionally been crucial for coding jobs may become less significant. It is likely that AI will help elevate individuals who have not had the same opportunities or level of experience. Simultaneously, it may have a deflationary effect on salaries within the industry.
Besides that, we are aware that tech companies have offered notably high salaries, even for entry-level developer positions, but in a more challenging economic climate, widespread implementation of AI could bring about changes in this regard.
A transition towards more strategic roles
As automation takes over certain aspects of software engineering, there is a possibility of a shift towards more complex and strategic roles that demand a profound comprehension of AI and its practical implementations.
Consequently, engineers occupying these roles may experience an increase in salaries.
To sum up - as a consequence of greater integration of AI in software development, salaries could undergo changes, but the demand for skilled workers remains high. If developers can utilize AI to automate the creation of code for routine applications, it could lead to an increase in their salaries as it frees up their time to focus on tackling complex problems that require human creativity, and more projects.
No less important is to be aware of the fact that the impact of AI on developers' salaries will also be influenced by broader economic factors such as job market dynamics or inflation.
What do you think, about how AI influences software engineers' salaries?