[Updated 2020] How To Get a Job in Augmented Reality (AR)

last updated on:
January 4, 2021

How to Get a Job in Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is set to become a $72 billion market by 2024 (some estimates have it as high as $571 billion by 2025). With big-time players like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Snap, & Facebook all vying for their share of the AR market, augmented reality jobs will continue to be in high demand for the next decade. With Google launching ARCore and Apple launching ARKit, both the iOS and Android ecosystems and encouraging more developers to dip their toes in augmented reality.

According to hired.com the average AR/VR engineer makes between $90,000 - $160,000, depending on location and experience. Here at jobs.AR, we've seen augmented reality engineers make upwards of $200,000 for the right role. Of course, those salaries diff between specific job types and companies as well.

With Tim Cook saying AR will "change everything" and with Mark Zuckerberg saying AR glasses will "redefine our relationship with technology" - AR/VR jobs have seen the largest increase in interview requests for software engineers than any other role.

In this guide, we're going to break down what exactly an augmented reality job might look like, which companies typically hire or AR/VR positions, the skills required for AR jobs, and how to actually find augmented reality jobs.

Which companies are hiring for augmented reality positions?

The most innovative companies in the world are investing in augmented reality for their products and are hiring for AR roles. Be sure to think deeply on the specific role you envision yourself having at a company. A software engineer at Niantic may have very different responsibilties and may be working on different projects than, let's say, an AR engineer at Apple or Google. Similarly, a 3D artist at Snap will have a very different role from a 3D artist at Epic Games. Yes, these companies are all hiring for AR roles.

Here's just a shortlist of companies hiring for AR jobs:

via CourseReport.com

According to CourseReport.com, these are just a number of roles that companies often hire for AR/VR positions:

With Facebook recently launching Project ARIA and The New York Times investing more into AR journalism, there are sure to be plenty of positions available for talented engineers & designers in augmented reality.

What are the best engineering skills for augmented reality or virtual reality jobs?

Just like any other industry in tech, engineers and designers play a pivotal role, but companies do hire for sales, creative, marketing, product, admin, operations, & legal roles as well. In terms of engineering, a computer science background, or at least experience with one or more of the below will be important in landing a role.

Depending on the engineering role and the position, some experience with 3D animation, game development, motion capture, networking, 3d math, simulated physics, and working with large amounts of data may be important as well. According to Hired.com, augmented reality was second only to machine learning as the field engineers wanted to learn the most.

MIT Reality Hack

Meeting people in AR/VR

The augmented reality & virtual reality world is still in its relative infancy, as far technologies go. As a result, the community is still fairly close-knit. There are a number of organizations dedicated to advancing the spatial and immersive technology space. The VR/AR Assocation is a global associaton that has a number of local chapters and they put on local events and meet-ups where people who are interested in spatial technologies can mingle and network. AugmentedReality.org is another organization that hosts some of the largest conferences in AR/VR (Augmented World Expo). Sites like meetup.com and eventbrite.com will often times have cheap (or even free) very local AR/VR events hosted by smaller groups.

Networking and meeting people in the industry you're trying to find a career in can the best way to find a job. You'll have a direct warm contact, likely with a company that has AR/VR roles, and you'll have a reference, someone to practice interview questions with, and someone to attend local meetups with.

The Academy of International Extend Reality (aixr.org) has an ongoing calendar of augmented reality events and Augmented World Expo (awexr.com) has a monthly meetup in NYC called AWE Nite NYC - which is currently online only due to COVID-19. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosts an annual hackathon - which usually lasts a few days, and culminates in a showcase and public judging.

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