U.S. companies are on a hiring spree for A.I. jobs—and they pay an average of $146,000

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The U.S. is leading the way in artificial intelligence jobs, and many of them easily pay six figures, according to new data from the global job search platform Adzuna.

There were 7.6 million open jobs in the U.S. in June, according to the Adzuna database, with a growing share calling for AI skills: 169,045 jobs in the U.S. cited AI needs, and 3,575 called for generative AI work in particular.

Some of the most common jobs include tech roles you'd expect, like software engineer, product designer, deep learning architect and data scientist. But one fast-growing role where there's "absolutely a shortage" of qualified applicants is tax manager, says James Neave, Adzuna's head of data science.

Accounting and consulting firms are increasingly looking to hire accountants and tax managers with the right AI skills to make the business more efficient using large language models, he says.

The average tax manager job that'll use AI pays $100,445 a year, according to Adzuna data. Overall, the average job using the skill pays $146,244.

AI jobs have been around for decades but exploded in recent months as ChatGPT entered the scene in late 2022. Ever since, companies hoping to stay on the cusp of emerging technology have been desperate to hire people with skills to build the technology and implement it into their workflows, such as by building chatbots to improve customer service or processing large amounts of data to make business decisions.

One recent survey of LinkedIn's Top Companies found nearly 70% say AI is already helping them be faster and smarter, and another 32% say they expect to see larger gains from using it in the coming years. Companies like EY explicitly listed AI as one of their top three hiring priorities, while Wells Fargo and Kaiser Permanente are implementing it across their workflows.

"It's a super important skillset employers are looking for, across all industries," Jay Shankar, vice president of global talent acquisition at Amazon Web Services, told CNBC Make It in April. "AI is practically everywhere now … and to me, if there's one technical skill you want to learn, that's the area to focus on." 

Those interested in building their generative AI skills can look into certification and training courses online, from the University of MichiganCoursera and other e-learning platforms.

It could be a reliable skill in an unpredictable market that's seen some big-name tech layoffs in recent months, Neave says. People looking for high-paying roles should keep an eye on AI in the second half of the year in particular, he says.

And the U.S. seems to be leading the way in building its AI talent pool: While the U.S. advertised nearly 173,000 open AI roles in June, India posted 25,900 jobs and the UK listed 16,825 jobs during the same period.

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A.I. to top tech spending at many companies: CNBC survey
A.I. to top tech spending at many companies: CNBC survey