AR Engineer Career Overview & Outlook

There is no denying that AR has become prevalent for many good reasons.

In recent years, major tech companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google have been investing in AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality).

This is an excellent time to be a software engineer who can build augmented reality. Before becoming an augmented reality engineer, you should clearly understand it.

Today, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about this job. So let’s check out my post to see more!

Job Description

AR Engineers refer to professionals who use technology to augment reality (AR) spaces that people can interact with.

The AR field is considered one of the emerging technologies that is gaining popularity with consumers, especially gamers.

It can manipulate a real environment with many digitally-produced items, such as audio, video, and text overlays, and 3D graphics that can “surround” you and make you feel part of this generated world.

VR technology also allows you to interact with computer-generated environments, utilizing items such as VR hands or headsets.

AR engineering is one of the emerging fields

As an AR engineer, your daily duties may include troubleshooting, developing, and analyzing AR archetypes and producing these products using various software design suites and programming languages.

Professionals in this field may have a decent background in graphic design, computer science, and engineering.

The AR engineer may have a foothold in many areas, including gaming, advertising, cinema, and learning.

The advertising/marketing, medical/healthcare, architectural, and education sectors have also benefited from the know-how and technology the AR engineer has mastered.

Many leading tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, have acquired these engineers. Meanwhile, startups in various industries worldwide have invested in these engineers to stand out from the rest with their AR capabilities.

Education Requirements

High School

We recommend taking as many computer science classes as possible, such as those in software development, computer programming, computer-aided design, computer security, and game design.

Taking math courses (trigonometry, calculus, algebra, discrete mathematics, linear algebra, statistics, and applied mathematics) is also a good idea.

Art and design classes are also worth taking as they will help you prepare for your career’s creative aspects. Some other valuable courses include writing, speech, psychology, and social studies.

Postsecondary Training

You will have at least a bachelor’s degree in software development, computer science, hardware or software engineering, design, multimedia art, or a related field to work as an AR engineer.

Nowadays, you can easily find some universities and colleges that offer degree programs in VR, AR, and MR.


More and more universities, colleges, and online learning platforms offer certificates in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality.

For instance, Columbia College Chicago delivers a certificate in VR and AR to people who complete the following courses: Producing Augmented & Virtual Reality Experience. Furthermore, the Fashion Institute of Technology (NY) delivers the AR/VR Content Design Certificate Program.

So it is best to contact every school in your area to know what kinds of certificates they provide.

Other Education or Training

The VR/AR Association, International Game Developers Association, Association for Computing Machinery, and many other organizations offer in-person classes, webinars, and other continuing education opportunities.

They can keep your skills up to date and improve your opportunities for promotion or achieve a better-paying job.

Essential Skills

What are the hard skills that an AR engineer must have?

Hard Skills

1. Programming

Programming knowledge and experience are must-have elements in learning about AR and VR.

You must participate in boot camps or college programs to get this knowledge. Alternatively, try exploring and scouring Youtube for free lessons.

Don’t forget to learn some popular programming languages, such as​ C++, C#, JavaScript, and Python. They will make your job more manageable and much smoother.

2. Mainstreaming AR and VR

The mainstream VR and knowledge can help you know the exact finite range and technical patterns. These technologies’ fantastic development delivers visual communication and digital facilitation capabilities.

Businesses and organizations also benefit from these. Motion graphics, dynamic ads, and social media provide visuals for their messages.

Professionals also have learned to ease verbose messages via encryption and make them more accessible, not to mention the various virtual reality models and games.

3. 3D Animation and Modeling

The field of AR, VR, animation, and 3D Modeling is overgrowing because of the vast demand in the market. Terms like diversified animations, illustrations, and digital representation, have transformed the digital landscape.

To begin 3D modeling and improve the real-life experience, we recommend paying attention to some main models, including Polygonal, NURBS, and digital sculpting.

You should learn how to use Maya, Blender, and Cinema 4D to master the tools.

4. UX Design Knowledge

UX Design (User Experience) is a must-have knowledge when applying the Visual Communications concept. This knowledge should be a prerequisite for development in the technology field.

It also aims to allow you to achieve visual organization and archetypal content designs. Hence, it will attract and influence the target audience most effectively.

Nowadays, self-learning UX design is more straightforward, thanks to the help of online courses and technology.

To become one expert in the field, you should be familiar with some terminology, such as Wireframing, Typography, Prototyping, and Visual Communications. They help your UX expertise be developed faster than ever.

5. XR Knowledge

XR (Stands for Extended Reality) knowledge is one of the essential parts for AR experts as you can apply this knowledge in VR. Understanding the XR essence will let you connect and make immersive virtual reality experiences.

It is okay to explore definitions by visualizing original concepts, creative ideas, and online tutorials.

Soft skills

AR engineers need to possess some soft skills

1. Analytical

To develop a successful program, AR Developers need to analyze the users’ needs.

2. Problem Solving Skills

AR engineers are responsible for their entire process. So they must be able to assess and address all problems that can arise.

3. Creative

AR engineers regularly come up with brand-new ideas for augmented reality programs.

4. Teamwork Skills

As an AR engineer, you must work well and communicate with others working alongside you on one project.

5. Communication Skills

During the implementation of a project, you may have to work or communicate with stakeholders, such as customers, managers, or other members. So good communication skills will help you quickly convey your ideas.

In addition, you also need to have good listening skills, which allow you to understand your customer’s needs and aspirations better.

6. Time Management Skills

AR engineers also often have to work on multiple projects simultaneously, which requires them to manage their time well. It includes being organized to make sure everything gets done on time. In addition, you also need to take time for yourself and your loved ones.

7. Social Media

Finally, ensure you have a comprehensive presence on social media. It allows you to stay updated with the latest news and trends in the market.

It also enables you to absorb and learn information about any algorithm or term. The vast network on it will make it much simpler to reach other experts.

Essential Tools

If you are searching for the appropriate tool for your AR project, try the top 8 recommended AR tools:

Job Outlook

AR (Augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) have a bright future since these technologies help various areas, making functioning in these areas much easier.

The fact is that most sectors can be transformed using AR and VR. Industrial, knowledge and education, medicine and health, navigation and task support, social media and marketing, etc.

Here are some of the jobs in AR:

  • AR designer
  • Consultant AR
  • Unity Developer
  • 3-D Professional
  • Software Engineer
  • 3-D game developer
  • Technical Architect AR
  • Augmented Reality Developer


As of Sep 16, 2022, the average annual salary of an AR engineer in the US is $105,400. This salary would equal $8,783per month, $2,026 per week, or $50.67 an hour.

Most AR engineers’ salaries range from $84,500 to $120,000. Some can earn up to $165,000 annually across the US.

The average salary of AR engineers might vary greatly, showing that there may be various opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on location, years of experience, and skill level.

San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York City, and Seattle are where AR engineers are in the highest demand.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Being an AR Engineer is obviously a good thing because it gives you many benefits. However, it also has a few downsides that may make you think a bit.


  • Promised salary.
  • Career opportunities are wide open.
  • You can participate in many different fields.
  • AR is an emerging technology and will thrive in the future.
  • Always in high demand with many organizations and companies.


  • Being an AR engineer is not easy.
  • Quite stressful.


How To Become an AR Developer?

  • Step 1: Learn Programming Languages
  • Step 2: Define Your Platform
  • Step 3: Gain Educated
  • Step 4: Develop A Project
  • Step 5: Begin Applying For Companies

Click here for detailed instructions.

What’s the Main Difference Between AR And VR?

  • AR uses a real-world setting and VR is completely virtual.
  • The AR user can control their presence in the real world, while the VR one is controlled by a system.
  • VR typically requires headset devices, while AR might be accessed with smartphones.
  • AR enhances both the real and virtual world, while VR only improves a fictional reality.

Do Games apply AR and VR?

Gaming uses a lot of AR and VR theories and technologies. One of the most popular games that combine a VR engine and technology is Pokemon Go, which creates a massive craze globally.

How useful is AR for Healthcare?

This technology is handy when guiding students, researching new diseases, or taking on complicated surgeries.

Career Advice

VR and AR are two innovative technologies in high demand today. If you decide to pursue this career, you will have a lot of opportunities in the future. You can expect a good salary if you are a great engineer.

The process will be not simple and take a lot of time and effort to complete. Hence, the key to success is patience and trying till the end.