How To Become an Augmented Reality (AR) Engineer

Last Updated on August 28, 2022

The Augmented Reality (AR) industry is one of the industries with a lot of potential for future growth. So now is the perfect time to start learning about it.

This knowledge of technology is not widespread in real life, so many people may wonder how to become an AR developer.

That reason is what makes this post come into being. Let’s explore the steps and tips to get started in this industry!

VR Vs. AR: What Are The Differences?

AR vs. VR

Although the terms Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality sound similar, they are entirely different terms.

An AR developer is tasked with creating a layer of realistic user experiences. Pokemon Go is one of the famous mobile games that use this technology.

In contrast, a VR developer is responsible for creating an entirely new digital environment. You can only observe and feel them through specialized devices such as Oculus glasses or headsets.

However, AR/VR is not only popular in video games but also tourism. Some museums also use technology to create novel experiences for visitors.

We will encounter AR when panning the camera to the work to find out information about it. In addition, the museum also uses this technology to recreate past images of buildings or puzzle pieces.

VR, on the other hand, allows you to see and attend medical or science training classes online. This method will enable students to observe practical anatomy classes from a distance.

AR or VR technology will provide different experiences depending on the intended use and approach.

How To Become an AR Developer

To be an excellent AR engineer, you need to follow the process below.

Knowledge of programming languages, 3D world, UX/UI programming, linear algebra, and geometry knowledge will be helpful for the job.

Let’s go through the essential steps below to help you pursue this career.

Augmented reality application for the retail business concept

1. Learn Programming Languages

The two leading platforms for building AR and VR experiences are Unreal and Unity. It allows you to create a 3D environment to build a virtual world.

The State of the Developer Nation also reports that the two main coding languages ​​you should be using are C++ and C#. Besides, you also need to equip yourself with some knowledge related to JavaScript.

You should pay attention to a few other essential concepts: control logic, loops, and OOP principles.

2. Define Your Platform

Next, you need to identify the leading platform to pursue before deciding on your future career and research all the possibilities.

The core issues are distinguishing the two AR/VR concepts and choosing how you want to apply the technology.

You can work on various application platforms, from mobile and desktop applications to web applications.

Besides, you also need to pay attention to using the game engine, SDK, or framework. Deciding which tools to use will partly shape the projects you participate in later.

Hand-holding tablet with AR service

3. Get Educated

When it comes to studying and getting a degree, you have two options.

The first option is to join universities that offer these courses and degrees. One of the most famous examples is the University of the Arts London.

According to a VR/AR Association report, the list of universities offering AR bachelor’s degrees across the United States is up to 40.

The courses will focus on advanced content and complex applications—the complexity of this technology.

The second, simpler, and quicker option is to participate in a boot camp related to VR/AR technology.

The benefits of these boot camps are short learning times and lots of practice. They’ll help you get the hang of Unreal or Unity apps within a few months instead of waiting years.

Yet, these boot camps won’t delve into the same scientific theories as in college.

The reason is that boot camps do not follow the traditional educational method but focus more on doing and practicing.

Through this, you can find some suitable AR/VR jobs. However, cultivate more professional theory to go further in work.

5. Develop A Project

Just like any other tech industry, you’ll need to have a meticulous portfolio of AR projects you’ve completed. Preparing a good resume will build a good impression for the employer.

A good portfolio improves your job, and you should start preparing now. You can start developing projects that can supplement and enrich your portfolio.

Another way to add real-world experience is to volunteer in open source projects. You can find them at university organizations or clubs.

This route will always be in the career path of a professional AR/VR engineer.

6. Start Applying For Companies

It’s time to shine after you’ve completed the required education, built your hands-on skills, and prepared your resume.

Show employers your potential through a well-thought-out portfolio of projects.

Relationships and connections with people in the industry are also important factors in determining your future work. Join the forums and make friends with the experts to impress them.

Don’t forget to highlight personal achievements to help you get better positions at reputable companies.

These companies will usually come with some rigorous testing and interviewing processes. Make sure you are well prepared before applying to any organization.

Important Skills

You will need some specialized skills and knowledge to master AR technology. Here are the six most important skill sets in this profession.

Augmented reality marketing concept

XR Knowledge

Extended Reality (XR) knowledge is one of the essential parts of becoming an AR expert. This knowledge can even be applied in VR.

Understanding the essence of XR allows you to connect and create immersive virtual reality experiences. Explore definitions by visualizing original concepts, online tutorials, and creative ideas.

UX Design Knowledge

User Experience Design (UX) is one of the must-have knowledge when applying the concept of Visual Communications. Learning this knowledge will be a prerequisite for development in the field of technology.

This knowledge aims to help users achieve content archetypal designs and visual organization. So, it can influence and attract the target audience most favorably.

Self-taught UX design is now more straightforward with the help of technology and online courses.

The best way for beginners is to learn how to analyze, conduct, and design from different approaches. Thanks to that, you will get the best learning method.

To become an expert in the field, you also need to be familiar with some terminology like Typography, Wireframing, Visual Communications, and Prototyping. These skills will help your UX expertise grow faster than ever.

3D Modeling and Animation

The field of 3D Modeling, VR, AR, and animation is overgrowing thanks to the great demand in the market today.

Terms like digital representation, diversified animations, and illustrations have changed the digital landscape.

To get started with 3D modeling and enhance your real-world experience, pay attention to the main types of models: digital sculpting, Polygonal, and NURBS.

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

Mainstreaming AR and VR

The mainstream AR and VR knowledge will help you understand the exact technical patterns and finite range.

The dramatic development of these two types of technologies provides us with visual communication and digital facilitation capabilities.

Organizations and businesses also benefit from these. Social media, motion graphics, and dynamic ads provide visuals for their messages.

Experts have learned to reduce verbose messages through encryption and make them more accessible, not to mention the countless games and virtual reality models.

The world has gradually moved towards a more advanced and modern version thanks to VR and AR.

Programming

Experience and programming knowledge are indispensable elements in learning about AR and VR.

You must participate in college programs or boot camps to gain this knowledge. If not, try scouring and exploring Youtube for free lessons.

Learn about the popular programming languages ​​Python, C++, C#, and JavaScript. They will make your work go much smoother and more manageable.

Social Media

Last but not least, make sure you have a comprehensive social media presence. You also need to stay updated with the latest trends and news in the market.

After the epidemic, the importance of social networks is gradually rising to a new height. Everyone uses it to exchange or share information.

Social networks allow you to learn and absorb information about any term or algorithm. The vast network on it makes it much simpler to reach the experts.

It’s not enough to post content that isn’t. You need to hone your copywriting, SEO, and CMS knowledge.

Today’s organizations and companies tend to create unique “filters” to make a profit. The more popular and liked the filter is, the more money you will earn.

Another application of AR and VR that you can apply is web promotional events to bring it to life.

Industries That Hire AR Engineers

After learning about the process and the skills required to become an AR developer, you will wonder about the areas in which it is related.

In the current market, four areas are applying many of these technologies to life.

Pokemon GO ios and android smartphone game with augmented reality

Gaming

Gaming is one of the areas with the most application of AR and VR technologies and theories.

One of the most popular games causing a massive craze in the community, Pokemon Go, combines a VR engine and technology.

The company’s most significant focus is enhancing the overall gamer experience because AR and VR are on their top list.

Healthcare

Medical and pharmaceutical organizations need to employ an AR/VR developer on staff.

These tools will be handy when they want to guide students, take on a complicated surgery, and research new diseases.

Travel

The live view of Google Maps is one of the most widespread uses of AR technology in the travel industry. Thanks to it, you can track the routes more simply and accurately.

AR is also a technology used by museums, restaurants, and hotels frequently to deliver customer experiences.

VR, on the other hand, allows tourism businesses to provide customers with experiences of different destinations. It is also a new and remarkable travel experience in recent times.

Ed-Tech

One of the most modern trends in education is ed-tech. Students and parents also gradually responded to this method.

These technologies provide theoretical facilities and create virtual learning tours for students. In this day and age, technology will help keep education going despite the distance.

FAQs

If you have any questions about AR development and its career path, read below to find the answer.

Augmented reality marketing concept for architecture

Where Can You Learn More About AR Development?

You can always find great organizations to support and guide you in your AR and VR-related knowledge. It helps you start your career in a better way.

A bachelor’s degree in computer science is the popular choice for everyone. Yet, the coding boot camps provide the best level of specialized training.

Look for reliable courses. Here you will learn how to effectively design and apply AR/VR and create 3D software.

What Does It Take To Become An AR Developer?

Employers are looking for AR developers with two to three years of experience developing animations or 3D applications. If you can design, the chances will be higher.

With at least one XR background, aim for intermediate or advanced training. Knowledge of popular programming languages ​​is also a notable factor.

Some projects may also seek experts in gesture recognition, motion capture, and simulated physics.

In such positions, the mandatory requirement would be a bachelor’s degree in software science or computer engineering.

Conclusion

How to become an AR developer? To summarize, you must follow the following step-by-step process to become an actual AR developer.

  • Learn programming languages.
  • Define your platform.
  • Get educated.
  • Develop a project.
  • Start applying for companies.

The process is not simple, but it takes a lot of time to complete. So, the key to success is patience and trying until the end.

Work hard and learn the necessary knowledge and skills. It will help you quickly become an AR developer in the future.