8 Pros and Cons of Being an NLP Engineer

The era of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) is emerging. That’s why NLP engineers are in high demand. If it sounds interesting to you, why don’t you become a NLP engineer?

I know you must be excited for the journey ahead. But before you start, check the advantages and disadvantages of being an NLP engineer first. By the end, you can decide whether to join this career or not.

Who Is an NLP Engineer?

NLP (Natural Language Processing) is a machine learning technology. It enables computers to understand and manipulate human language. So, an NLP engineer is the software engineer who creates software using this technique.

This field is interesting for both tech and non-tech people. As an NLP, I use AI, computer science, and linguistic skills to build intelligence programs. Of course, I have to learn the requirements first before starting the development process.

Then, I train the models and run experiments. If they have any errors, I have to analyze the possible cause. Then, I improve it gradually until it’s perfect.

Yet, building software is not my only duty. I also develop systems and find suitable algorithms for NLP-related tasks. NLP frameworks and libraries need my attention, too.

An NLP engineer

This new technology is dynamic. Thus, every day is a challenge to you. It keeps me engaged in this job. However, I feel tired sometimes because of the stress and tough learning curve. If you are considering this career path, check the pros and cons first.

You will have good job prospects, chances, and salary if you work as an NLP engineer. You can also try advanced technologies.

1. PRO: Excellent job prospects

I will start with your job prospects. It must be one of the most significant benefits of being a NLP engineer.

There is a clear path. I have been an NLP engineer for a few years. Over time, I gained more experience and honed my skills. Now, I’m working in a leadership position. Do you know what it means? My salary has increased, and I’m closer to the manager role.

You can experience the same thing. As long as you get enough skills and experience, you can easily climb your career ladder.

In the NLP field, you can also strengthen your expertise day by day. When you are just seeking the best solutions for your software, your skills can improve sharply.

2. PRO: High demand

AI and ML are shaping the digital world. This surge in demand brings about more job opportunities for NLP experts.

Companies in many industries recognize the value of NLP, too. Hence, they find top talent to help with their operations and products.

The high demand also gives you a sense of job security. Once you’ve got the skills, there will always be a market for what you do.

This job is in high demand

3. PRO: Competitive salary

On average, NLP engineers like me earn around $110,500 per year (in 2023). This figure is higher than many other jobs.

The reason for the good salary is quite clear. The demand for NLP skills is on the rise. However, since this industry is new, there aren’t enough qualified engineers to meet this high demand. Thus, you can negotiate a good salary.

4. PRO: Chance to work with new technologies

I’m keen on technology. Luckily, my job can satisfy my passion because I have many chances to work with new technologies.

The NLP field is still growing, and I’m among the pioneers in this sector. I can’t hide my eagerness whenever I try a new method at work. If you love technology, you can also understand that feeling.

5. PRO: Interdisciplinary work

This field combines many concepts. I work with computer science, while AI is part of my job. This combination keeps my work engaging. I can also approach challenges from different angles. Thus, it’s never dull to me.

An interesting job

Despite the apparent benefits, this job gives me stress. Here are some cons of being an NLP engineer you should know.

6. CON: Requires advanced technical knowledge

It’s not easy to become an NLP engineer. You must be fluent in languages like Python to work with NLP. Plus, you should master linguistics.

These concepts are tricky to handle. Thus, knowing the basics is not enough. You must invest a lot of time and effort in your learning curve.

However, this challenge is interesting. It encourages you to learn and grow constantly. Otherwise, you can’t shine.

7. CON: High-stress levels

Stress is unavoidable. Sometimes, I have to work on complex projects and meet tight deadlines. Eight hours a day is not enough to cover.

Do you deal well with stress? Well, you should. It’s a natural part of any dynamic job. So, instead of avoiding it, learn how to manage it.

8. CON: Limited entry-level positions

As I have just said, this job requires advanced knowledge. Thus, you can’t jump straight to this position. Finding entry-level positions is hard, too.

So, my advice is to seek out internships and join relevant projects. You can also work as a software engineer first. Then, while working, hone your programming skills and earn certifications. Once you are confident enough, apply for an NLP engineer position.

You have to study a lot

Should You Become an NLP Engineer?

This career suits you if you don’t mind the tough learning curve. You should also be passionate about technology. Then, you can enjoy the challenges every day.

Stress is part of your work. Thus, learn how to combat it. You have a promising career ahead. So do not let the stress prevent you.

Final Thoughts

If you work as an NLP engineer, you will receive good pay and job prospects. You can also try new technologies.

On the other hand, you must study a lot. Learning how to deal with stress is part of the lesson. And once you’ve beaten the setbacks, it’s your time to shine!