The 15 best sites to hire AI engineers in 2024

Updated on May 21, 2024
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Kelly Wilson
Written by Kelly Wilson

Strategist and entrepreneur, with experience in hiring developers across various industries. Kelly has established herself as a trusted expert in identifying and recruiting top tech talent. She shares advanced tips on how to identify the right talent, create hiring strategies, develop your tech teams and much more.

Expertise: IT Recruiting, Tech, Marketing

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Here are the top 15 sites to hire freelance AI engineers:

Based on our research among online hiring platforms

1. Toptal

Toptal is one of the fastest-growing talent marketplaces and has served major Fortune 500 clients. Known for its extensive vetting process, Toptal has an acceptance rate of only 3 percent. Developers seeking to gain entry into the Toptal community are put through technical tests before working with clients.

Key points:

  • Enjoy a risk-free trial for up to 5 days.
  • Completed over 60,000 projects for 25K+ satisfied clients.
  • Trustpilot rating of 4.8 out of 5.

2. Upwork

Upwork is one of the largest freelance marketplaces, with millions of registered freelancers. Upwork connects clients with remote freelancers, from content writers to JSON experts. With the help of sorting algorithms, Upwork facilitates the match between the job poster and freelancers that see your job post, to ensure potential matches see your post. Upwork Pro offers freelancers a chance to participate in exclusive opportunities not available to every job seeker. Finding an Upwork Pro freelancer may provide you with a better skillset than only a general freelancer on Upwork.

Key points:

  • Talent Scouts save you time with optional talent-matching services.
  • Upwork provides Talent Specialists and free tools to enhance your search results.
  • You need to screen and vet most Upwork talent.

3. Arc

Arc.dev is a great site if you want to hire top artificial intelligence engineers. The platform works with some of the most qualified talent (all engineers must make it past a difficult vetting process), and you can hire within just 72 hours. Whether you need a freelancer or a full-time remote engineer, Arc.dev utilizes a diverse hire pool.

Key points:

  • Arc offers multiple transparent pricing options for freelancers and full-time engineers.
  • This talent-matching platform utilizes AI to create candidate shortlists.
  • Arc performs regular engineer reviews throughout your project.

4. Guru

Guru is a freelance marketplace with millions of registered users. Their marketplace is suited for projects of all sizes, offering a variety of services, including designers and developers. It's a great site to find multiple options for you to compare.

Key points:

  • You must screen and vet engineers who respond to your job post.
  • Guru boasts a 99% client satisfaction rate.
  • Create free job listings or choose paid options that provide additional features.

5. Fiverr

Fiverr can connect you with almost any type of freelancer, including AI engineers. The site allows you to browse countless freelancers and view their credentials. Engineers showcase their programming languages and other professional strengths, so you know what you are getting before settling on a freelancer.

Key points:

  • While Fiverr doesn’t vet engineers, you have access to customer reviews.
  • Bypass searching for candidates by using Fiverr talent matching.
  • You can ask engineers to adjust gig parameters to suit your project.

6. PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour is a freelance marketplace. Just like most marketplaces, you can post your project at an hourly or fixed-rate. Interestingly, freelancers post jobs, called hourlies, to attract work they want to do on an hourly basis. PeoplePerHour offers a variety of skilled positions, including designers, developers, and marketers.

7. Ideamotive

Ideamotive is a hiring platform for businesses seeking AI engineering professionals. The freelancers have extensive experience completing a wide range of projects and have successfully completed a challenging vetting process. Use this platform if you want to connect to some of the top AI engineering talent in Europe.

8. Kolabtree

A leading online marketplace for AI talent, Kolabtree can help you find the right AI engineer in just a few simple steps. You have the option to post details regarding your project on the platform. You can also accept bids or hire the freelance AI engineer you want right out.

9. Proxify

Proxify can connect you with some of the top English-speaking artificial intelligence engineers in the world. All engineers are pre-vetted, so there is no need to worry about choosing someone who can’t help you complete your AI project. The site claims to only choose the top 2% of engineers.

10. FreeUp

FreeUp is a hiring platform that allows you to hire one of three types of AI engineers – entry-level, mid-level, and expert-level. The platform recruits, interviews, and vets numerous AI engineers each week, and only 1% of applicants are allowed to offer their skills on the platform.

11. Robert Half

Less of a freelancing platform and more of a staffing agency, Robert Half can still help you find remote AI engineers you can count on. Founded in 1948, the agency can help companies find full- and part-time freelance AI professionals. Use their online tools to find the right candidates.

12. Codementor

Codementor allows companies to find freelance AI developers in a short time. Developers are vetted using a rigorous process, and anyone offering their skills on the platform must prove they have the experience and ability necessary to complete complex projects. You can hire long-term or by-the-hour engineers.

13. Freelancer

Freelancer is an online marketplace for freelancers with millions of registered users. To hire a freelancer, post a job, set a price, and wait for freelancers to bid on your project. Freelancer doesn't specialize in tech, and has a wide range of services that may help your team.

14. Truelancer

Finding the right AI engineer can be quite difficult, but with Truelancer at your disposal, you can save a significant amount of time. Browse AI professionals using criteria related to experience, skills, and education. After posting your job description, just sit back and wait for skilled developers to come to you.

15. Turing

Turing is a Silicon Valley-based hiring platform that only accepts 1% of all AI engineers who apply to use it. Like other similar platforms, posting a descriptive job posting is a key element of the hiring process, and once you take this step, freelancers will generally come to you. You can also browse freelancers if necessary.

Guide to hiring great freelance AI engineers

Hiring AI Engineers guide

We know that hiring the right expert is crucial for the success of any project in the field of artificial intelligence. The world is developing new uses for AI technologies at an astounding rate. AI is now capable of mimicking human intelligence and behaviors, performing a diverse variety of functions across multiple industries, including:

  • Network, workforce, and robotics optimization, including writing code
  • Customer service optimization, including personalization insights
  • Financial and strategic analytics, including performing accounting functions, debt and fraud analysis, and spending analytics
  • Supply chain optimization
  • Product innovations through R&D analytics

Your business requirements determine the potential uses of AI that could benefit your company the most.

In 1950, Alan Turing published a paper called Computing Machinery and Intelligence. In it, this visionary stated, “One day ladies will take their computers for walks in the park and tell each other, ‘My little computer said such a funny thing this morning,’" and “I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.”

His predictions became reality, and the new possibilities are endless. However, you should not hire just anyone for your AI projects. For successful outcomes, you need to find AI engineers with a deep understanding of the field and how to translate its capabilities to transform your business functions.

Everyone you add to your AI teams should be top-notch tech talent, but your competitors want to find these professionals, too. If you do not know how to hire AI engineers, you might lose your competitive edge. We want you to be successful, so we carefully researched AI engineer skills, salaries, role-based responsibilities, how to craft an enticing job description, and interview questions. This guide tells you what you need to know to make successful hires.

AI Categories and Their Capabilities
ReactiveCan produce predictable output depending on what data you input
Reactions to identical situations never vary
Incapable of learning
Limited memoryUses pre-programmed parameters and learned observations
Builds a short-term experiential knowledge base
Can predict outcomes and execute complex tasks
Theory-of-mindWill have human-like decision-making capabilities
Will understand a human’s emotions and adjust their actions or responses accordingly
Will be capable of having human-like conversations
Self-awareWould be able to make inferences
Would have consciousness and self-awareness similar to humans
Would have their own emotions, desires, and needs

What Does an AI Engineer Do?

Artificial intelligence is a broad term that describes building machines able to reason and learn through algorithms and stored data.

Why should you hire an AI engineer? The breadth of the answer may surprise you. AI engineering powers many everyday functions that the world is accustomed to:

  • Robotic surgery
  • Customer service bots
  • Alexa, Siri, Bixby, and other AI assistants
  • Customized shopping suggestions
  • Data-based analyses

Consumers can now use AI to generate text, and several leading companies worldwide are including AI functionalities in their devices. Although a fully autonomous vehicle is not available yet, they are on the horizon — literally, as one prediction is for aerial vehicles.

By 2050, experts predict that AI will revolutionize health care, implement educational programs tailored to each student’s capabilities and needs, and provide precise climate modeling to increase food production and maximize sustainable resources.
Together: AI and Human. On The Same Side.

“AI won‘t be foolproof in the future since it will be only as good as the data and information that we give it to learn. It could be the case that simple elementary tricks could fool the AI algorithm and it may serve a complete waste of output as a result.”

― Zoltan Andrejkovics, Together: AI and Human. On The Same Side.

As this quote demonstrates, you need experienced AI engineers who know what they are doing if you do not want to waste time and money.

There are four broad AI categories, though the last, a self-aware AI, is still theoretical. The other three are:

  • Reactive
  • Limited memory
  • Theory-of-mind

The capabilities differ by category, with reactive AI being the most basic and theory-of-mind a distinct possibility in the near future. Your project may need AI engineers who specialize in one or all areas.

AI engineers can perform many functions, using various tools and technical skills. Your project requirements may lead to hiring dedicated AI engineers to:

  • Design, implement, and manage automated AI infrastructures
  • Optimize data-based decisions in your business processes
  • Enhance customer experience through facial recognition, sentiment analysis, and recommendation systems
  • Use machine learning models to design and integrate application programming interfaces
  • Build and teach new AI systems to process data and function more closely to human brains

While AI developers typically write AI applications based on machine learning, AI engineers build the frameworks to run those applications.

Various industries can utilize AI technologies to their benefit, particularly those that use vast amounts of data. As a result, your project may significantly differ from what other industries need:

  • Financial sector : Identifying unusual or potentially fraudulent consumer activity, streamlining stock trading, and financial advising
  • Healthcare: Diagnosing illnesses, managing medical records, suggesting medications or treatments, and assisting with surgery
  • Machines: Powering self-driving cars, game development and playing, robotics, and various smart-home devices, along with devices that do chores like food preparation and floor cleaning
  • E-commerce: Shopping assistants, personalized shopping recommendations, data-based marketing strategies, and identifying fake customer reviews
  • Education: Developing smart content that integrates animations and other features to engage students; customized techniques that reflect each student’s comprehension, study habits, and achievement levels; and teacher assistance that accesses relevant data, creates lesson plans, and grading student assignments

Regardless of your industry, integrating AI technologies can provide multiple benefits. These systems can handle vast amounts of data simultaneously, produce error-free results, and help you to streamline your workflows.

How To Hire AI Engineers

How To Hire AI Engineers

Any business project should begin with a detailed plan. Before you start to build your AI team, craft a well-thought-out project description that includes vital information:

  • Nature, goals, and scope
  • Budget
  • Hiring and project start dates, along with the anticipated duration
  • The best composition of your team(s), including role-based job descriptions and required skill sets
  • Hiring structure (part- or full-time employees, freelancers, remote workers, or hybrid positions)
Once you set your parameters, you can start sourcing your team members.

Finding AI engineers with niche skill sets in local talent pools is frequently challenging. Today’s technology provides multiple tools that allow teams to communicate and collaborate on projects. By harnessing these options, you grant yourself access to a worldwide talent pool and qualified candidates who have diverse technical skills.

We recommend hiring a freelance AI engineer. This cost-effective and flexible solution gives you access to the skills you need without having to invest in or commit to a full-time employee. Sites such as Toptal offer a risk-free trial period, so you can assess your AI engineer’s fit and evaluate their technical skills in action.

Your ideal candidate should have hands-on experience and a solid understanding of AI and its potential, but they also need the right mix of soft skills. As you begin sorting through profiles and resumes, you will see that applicants typically assign themselves skill levels.

These designations basically tell you how many years of experience that person has utilizing a specific skill or overall in the AI field. While a junior-level AI engineer does not have as much experience as one at senior level, they are usually less expensive to hire. A well-trained junior engineer can produce quality deliverables, but each person’s qualifications are unique.

In deciding who to hire, consider their skill sets, experience, competence, availability, and your budget. Building your AI team with the right people is crucial for your project outcome. Talent-matching sites can identify candidates with the skills you need without you needing to provide specifics.

What Skills To Look for When Hiring an AI Engineer

The possibilities powered by AI expand daily. The candidate you hire should continually update their knowledge to include new breakthroughs and trends.

When looking to hire a great freelance AI engineer, it is important to determine the specific skills and experience required for your project. This could include expertise in machine learning, deep learning frameworks, computer vision, or natural language processing. You can learn more about these and other skills in the additional guides on this site. A few requisite technical skills include:

  • Programming languages such as R, Python, JavaScript, and C++
  • Comprehension and manipulation of big data for analytics and the tools that facilitate these processes
  • Familiarity with cloud-based machine learning and AI solutions, such as Amazon Web Services and the Google Cloud Platform
  • Understanding of security measures and applicable regulations and how to keep your systems compliant
  • In-depth understanding of deep learning frameworks, machine learning models, neural networks, and algorithms
AI engineers typically have experience in software development or software engineering. A strong background in mathematics and statistics is a must. If the professionals you hire have experience working on projects in your particular industry, you may save time because you do not need to bring them up to speed on industry-specific requirements.

Many people do not understand the intricacies of AI engineering, so it is fine if your knowledge is limited. When you choose Toptal, the service will discuss your project to help you determine the technical skills needed to get your job done successfully.

While AI engineers obviously need technical skill expertise, the determining factor when deciding between equally qualified candidates is often soft skills:

  • Active listening, attention to detail, and effective communication to ensure they can understand your needs and explain their approach
  • Self-motivation, the ability to work well in stressful situations, and emotional intelligence
  • Capable of being a manager and team player
  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
  • Flexibility to adapt to fluctuating priorities
While technical skills can indicate applicants worth interviewing, consider their soft skills before bringing someone on board.

Tips for Writing an AI Engineer Job Description

Your job description not only defines the open position but also advertises your company. You need to make top AI engineers choose your company over your competition. Introduce and promote your brand, the benefits of working for you, company highlights and culture, and achievements.

You also need to include role-centered information:

  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Required skills and desired qualifications
  • Project description and timeframe
  • Your hiring method
If you prefer, you can require candidates to undergo technical skill tests as part of the application process.

The job description you create is similar to a candidate’s resume: It compresses a lot of pertinent information into a comparatively short text. Think about what would interest you in the position if you were a job seeker and craft your listing accordingly.

Common Interview Questions To Ask When You Are Looking To Hire an AI Engineer

Once you have a list of potential candidates, it is important to thoroughly vet them before making a hiring decision. This could include reviewing their portfolio, conducting technical assessments, and checking references. You can use sourcing sites like Toptal that pre-vet candidates to ensure that everyone you consider has sterling credentials.

Employment laws require you to consider diversity and inclusion in hiring processes. Be consistent with interviews, asking each candidate the same questions. Develop a scoring model so you can accurately compare answers.

During the interview, ask questions about the candidate’s technical experience and approach to solving problems in the field of artificial intelligence to understand their level of expertise and determine if they are the right fit for your project.

Soft skills are challenging to quantify. Choose your questions so the answers give you insights into how each candidate thinks and communicates their answers.

In at least one situational question, leave a few critical details out. The candidate’s reaction can show you:

  • Their attention to detail
  • Comfort level asking for clarifications
  • Comprehension and ability to communicate answers effectively
  • Their approach to problem-solving
With so much at stake, it may be difficult to make hiring decisions with a high degree of confidence. Sites like Toptal give you a no-risk trial period to be sure you made the right choice.

How To Find Freelance AI Engineers for Hire

Start by searching for AI engineers on specialized talent sites and job boards or reaching out to your professional network for recommendations. Specialized platforms such as Toptal offer fast hiring with world-class talent and almost zero work required from the hiring manager.

Points to consider before making a decision include:

  • Speed of hiring
  • Experience in hiring AI engineers
  • Your ability to test technical skills
  • Number of AI engineers needed
  • Experience required
  • Openness to remote workers
  • Budget constraints
  • Importance of quality to the project

When it comes to the choice of site to hire artificial intelligence developers, ultimately, this depends on the specific needs and goals of your company.

The right site for hiring AI engineers can make a significant impact on the success of your project. Carefully consider your needs and goals before making a decision, and take advantage of specialized platforms from our list for the best possible outcome.

Hiring AI engineers - FAQ

How Much Does It Cost To Hire an AI Engineer?

In the U.S., AI engineers earn an average of $98,340 annually, or $47 per hour. Yearly salaries range from $19,500 to $167,500, depending on factors such as location, years of experience and skill levels.

Are AI Engineers in Demand?

Artificial intelligence technologies are dramatically impacting the technology landscape, enabling a myriad of new applications used across multiple industries. The AI field is experiencing tremendous growth, with a projected CAGR of 38.1% from 2022 to 2030.

Why Hire a Dedicated Artificial Intelligence Developer
You should consider hiring an AI developer if you need to complete a project that requires AI technology of any sort. The following types of projects can often benefit from the input of an experienced AI engineer: - Consumer behavior analysis - Speech and facial feature recognition - Tests for diseases and medical conditions - Chatbots - Image analysis - Sales predictions These aren’t the only types of projects AI engineers work on, but they are some of the most common.
How do I hire an AI engineer?
To hire a top AI engineer for your project, work with a hiring platform such as Toptal that vets its talent pool and connects you with qualified candidates. You should hire an AI engineer who can support the needs of your company and positively contribute to your project. Depending on your project, you may need to hire a full-time, part-time, or hourly engineer. There are also significant benefits to hiring freelance and remote engineers. If you need a dedicated AI engineer at all times, you may want to consider hiring someone full-time. However, if you only need an AI engineer at certain times or for certain projects, you may want to consider hiring a part-time or hourly worker. Hiring part-time or hourly can be the ideal option if you are on a budget, primarily because you do not have to provide these AI engineers with a yearly salary and benefits. Hiring a freelance or remote worker can help you increase your productivity levels drastically. This is mainly because remote workers tend to be happier and more productive. Using modern technology, you can also stay connected to your freelance and remote workers, even though they aren’t in the office right next to you.

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