Machine Learning Developer Hourly Rate Calculator

At Toptal, the average hourly rate for a Machine Learning developer is $45-80 per hour.

Set your own rate with Toptal.

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Rates update: Sep 7, 2020

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Why Machine Learning Developers Choose Toptal

Jobs Come to You

Jobs Come to You

Jobs Come to You

Jobs Come to You

Unlock access to a wide range of freelancing opportunities, from part-time to full-time positions, with top companies from the Fortune 500 to Silicon Valley startups. We vet each client opportunity and match you with the job postings that suit your preferences and skills, but you’ll always have the freedom to choose.

Get Paid On Time, Every Time

Get Paid On Time, Every Time

Get Paid On Time, Every Time

Get Paid On Time, Every Time

Set the rate you want and enjoy a steady stream of income without the overhead. We handle all billing and invoicing directly with clients, so you can focus on your remote work engagements.

Work from Anywhere

Work from Anywhere

Work from Anywhere

Work from Anywhere

With Toptal, you set your own hours, and as long as you have a laptop and some wifi, you’ll enjoy the flexibility to work remotely wherever, and on your own terms.

Set your own rate with Toptal.

Trusted by Leading Brands and Startups

Hewlett Packard Enterprise
University of California San Francisco
Axel Springer
University of Colorado Boulder
The Onion

and thousands more

Toptal freelance developer working remotely on a laptop.

Toptal's Ultimate Freelancing Guide

Thinking about making the jump into freelance work? Or already freelancing and interested in discovering best practices? This guide is for you.

View guide

Hiring a Machine Learning Engineer?

Hire machine learning engineers from our network of top talent. Vetted by experts and hand-selected to match exactly what you need.

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Looking for freelance Machine Learning work?

Work with vetted global clients and earn competitive reliable pay while working remotely, on your terms.

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Frequently Asked Questions


How does it work?

Toptal is the largest fully remote network of high-skilled freelancers in the world. We created this tool using our large, comprehensive database of vetted freelancers. Data is regularly updated and excludes hourly rates that fall in the 1-10th percentile and in the 90-100th percentile to remove outliers.

The Freelance Calculator empowers you to see how much you could earn as a freelancer, including what your hourly rate would need to be to match your current or desired salary based on the number of hours you work per week.

Calculations of weekly, monthly, and yearly salaries are determined by a one week unit of measure: hours per week multiplied by hourly rate. By default, values are 40 hours per week and the 25th percentile hourly rate. Monthly salaries are calculated as the summation of 4 weekly salaries, and yearly salaries are calculated as the summation of 52 weekly salaries.

What is the range and where do we get our data?

The hourly rate range reflected in this tool is based on the amounts most freelancers with this skill might earn in the 25th to 75th percentile. This tool also reflects expected rates in the top 10% and bottom 10% as starting and ending values. Several factors can influence your expected rate, including location, experience and competency in the particular skill, track record of success, and complimentary soft skills such as clear communication and leadership.

The calculator sources information from our large database of vetted freelancers. Data is regularly updated and excludes hourly rates that deviate substantially from the norm.

What is it like to freelance as a Machine Learning Engineer?

Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence (AI) that focuses on analyzing data to find relations between an input and the desired output. Machine learning uses algorithms and statistical models within a computer system to make predictions, decisions, and perform a specific task without using explicit instructions, but rather, using patterns in sample data (or “training data”) and inference. Machine learning algorithms are used in a wide variety of applications, including computer vision and natural language processing. Machine learning developers are experts in using data to train models. The models are then used to automate processes like image classification, speech recognition, and market forecasting. Machine learning developers help businesses extract meaning from data with predictive analytics, leading all processes from data collection, cleaning, and preprocessing, to training models and deploying them to production.

Freelance machine learning developers in the top 10th percentile globally can earn a salary of up to $208,000 per year, or an hourly rate of up to $100. As the hiring for freelance machine learning developer jobs becomes more competitive, machine learning developers are likely to see their machine learning contractor rates go up, however this calculator will dynamically reflect current salary data. Other inputs that adjust a freelance machine learning developer’s hourly rate include remote vs. on-site location, years of experience, and whether the requested client engagement is full-time or part-time.


How does Toptal make money?

Toptal generates revenue through direct contracts with clients.

How much can I earn?

At Toptal, you are free to choose your own rate and find clients that are willing to pay that rate. You don’t need to worry about negotiating or haggling anymore!

Does Toptal take a cut from the hourly rate I set?

No, Toptal does not take a cut from your hourly rate. The rate that you set is the rate that you will receive for every engagement with a client.


How many projects can I take on at one time?

At Toptal, we give you the flexibility to work on as many projects and with as many clients as you want, as long as you’re still able to deliver quality work. We give you the freedom to increase or decrease the amount of work at any point.

I am interested in more than projects that are just for Machine Learning.

Great! We have many projects across a wide array of skills. You can check out our list of skills.

I’m interested in a new project but I don’t have the exact skill required.

At Toptal, we encourage growth for each and every member of our talent network. We have dedicated tools and processes set up to help you build new skills, so that you can take on projects that are of interest to you. Whether you use our community Slack channel to chat with experts or attend Toptal Academies, you’ll have the tools necessary to improve your existing skills and gain new ones.