Machine Learning Researcher

Discover the necessary skills, daily job duties, and salary potential of a machine learning researcher. Dive into statistics surrounding industry growth, employment opportunities, and commonly held qualifications.


Machine learning researchers focus on the data-driven aspects of AI technology; performing both data engineering and modelling tasks. Data engineering responsibilities may include defining a project’s data requirements, then collecting, analysing, cleaning, and moving this information as necessary. Data modelling, on the other hand, involves tasks such as training machine learning models, assessing hyperparameters, and defining its evaluation metrics.

Such professionals play a vital role in any AI development project lifecycle, typically working alongside data analysts and software engineers.

Those in the field require a thorough knowledge of data science, programming, and query languages. As researchers, staying up to date with the latest industry developments is mandatory – with online articles, social media channels, and conferences as common sources of new information.

According to the latest findings by CSIRO’s Data61, those in AI development (such as machine learning researchers) have plenty of career opportunity, now and into the future. Their research predicts an estimated demand for 32,000 to 161,000 employees in robotics, data science, computer vision, and various other areas of AI expertise by 2030.

Key Skills

  • Experience in modelling and data engineering in Python
  • Experience in common collaborative and workflow tools – including integrated development environments (IDEs), command line interfaces (i.e. Unix), and version control systems (i.e. Git and Mercurial)
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills to effectively collaborate with other AI specialists
  • Strong research skills for staying updated on industry trends and developments
  • Ability to research, collect, organise, and analyse vast data sets
  • Strong mathematics, statistics, and programming skills

Quick Facts

As a subset of software/application programmers, machine learning resarchers can find work in most regions of Australia, with New South Wales and Victoria currently holding the largest share of workers. Weekly salary potential is currently higher ($2,003) than the all job average ($1,460) with plenty of opportunity for full-time work.

Salary Range

$67,000 – $132,000 (Median: $97,000)*

*Source: Payscale

Average Weekly Hours

41 hours (vs. all jobs average of 44 hours)*

*Source: Job Outlook

Main Industries

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Financial and Insurance Services; and Public Administration and Safety

Most Common Qualification Level

55.9% hold a Bachelor’s Degree


Getting the skills you need is simple by studying one of our information technology courses below.

*Sources: and – All information is to be used as a guide only, and are accurate at the time of publication.