The natural language processing (NLP) market is rapidly growing, and according to Statista it’s expected to grow to over $43 billion by 2025.
With the industry experiencing such large growth, professionals skilled in natural language processing are in high demand.
What exactly does someone in NLP do? What are the different roles within NLP? What kind of salary can you expect? How do you go about landing a job in the field?
Here’s what you need to know about finding the best natural language processing jobs in 2021 and beyond.
Natural Language Processing Explained
NLP is the discipline of making human language processable by computers. As part of the artificial intelligence field, computers find useful ways to understand, analyze and derive meaning from human language.
Developers can structure and organize knowledge to perform tasks including speech recognition, topic segmentation, relationship extraction, translation, automatic summarization and more.
Typically based on machine learning algorithms, NLP learns rules by analyzing sets of examples and making inferences based on statistics. The more data you feed the machine, the more accurate it will be.
Your Natural Language Processing Salary
Glassdoor reports the average salary in the U.S. for natural language processing jobs at just over $52,000 annually. However, like most other jobs in the tech field, there is a large range of jobs from entry-level to senior which will dictate your salary.
Looking at Hired.com, an NLP engineer’s average salary is listed at roughly $112,000 annually.
Keep in mind that salary ranges are also dependent on other factors, like geographic location. Certain cities — like Seattle, Austin, TX and New York — have a higher demand for NLP professionals, and the salaries reflect that. However, thanks to a drastic increase in remote jobs, where you live doesn’t have to be a limiting factor when searching for NLP roles.
The Best Natural Language Processing Jobs
Natural language processing jobs are plentiful as skilled professionals are in high demand. At the time of writing this article, a job search on LinkedIn for “natural language processing” in the U.S. yielded over 12,000 results. A search on Indeed showed over 8,000 job postings.
Natural language processing is a promising career path, and for those searching for jobs, there are many options. The most common NLP job titles include:
- NLP Researcher
- NLP Analyst
- NLP Scientist
- NLP Engineer
For those with a more advanced skillset and education, NLP consulting is also an emerging niche field. Companies are looking for experts to consult on specific projects or provide input on their overall NLP strategy, so consultants are hired on a contract basis. This enables them to get the help they need, without having to hire a dedicated resource that may not be needed for the long term.
Securing Natural Language Processing Jobs
Before you start applying for natural language processing jobs, take a look at what current skills employers are looking for and see how they match up against your resume. For example, natural language processing with R may be necessary for some roles.
Working in the tech field means staying on top of your education, and adding a few new certifications or improving your skills makes you that much more qualified, and ultimately more desirable to potential employers.
Looking to add to your resume so you’ll be a standout candidate when looking for natural language processing jobs?
The Udacity Natural Language Processing Nanodegree Program allows students to master the skills to get computers to understand, process and manipulate human language. You’ll build models on real data, and get hands-on experience with sentiment analysis, machine translation and more.