Natural Language Processing (NLP) as a Career

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is ruling the modern day people through Smartphones. Today, many hands hold an android based smartphone. People who cannot read or write ask Google specific questions and often they get desired results. This has become possible now because electronic devices can understand natural languages. What we see today is a very beginning, there is more and more work needed so that everyone gets the right information. Some examples of NLP are Alexa, Google Maps, Email Filters, Language Translation, Text Analytics, etc.
TechRepublic defines NLP as follows.
‘When you communicate with your computer, tablet, phone, or smart assistant (either through speaking or a chatbox), and your electronic device understands what you’re saying — that’s due to natural language processing.’
The professionals who work with NLP Technologies are called Natural Language Processing Engineer or NLP Engineer. NLP engineers dive deep into data, analysis, predictive models and algorithms. They work with other engineers, data scientists, designers and front-end developers. Also, they are required to provide technical information to a non-technical audience through reports and presentations etc.

NLP Engineer Responsibilities

  • Design natural language processing systems
  • Deal with speech patterns and AI speech recognition
  • Program a technology’s ability to process and analyze natural language data
  • Define datasets for language learning
  • Find and implement the right algorithms and tools for NLP projects
  • Analyze NLP results and refine models as needed
  • Keep up with the latest in ML and AI

How to become NLP Engineer

To become an NLP Engineer you need a bachelor's degree in engineering, data science or computer science or a related subject. Candidates with a higher degree like Master’s degree or PhD are preferred. Candidates without a degree in a relevant field may earn Certification to start a job in NLP. However, such candidates may require work several months on entry level jobs before they get promoted to the position of NLP Engineer. Many companies offer junior-level or apprentice positions or internships where not as much experience is required.

NLP Engineer Technical Skills

NLP Engineer required possessing following skill sets:
  • Experience with programming languages (Python, Java and R)
  • Statistical analysis
  • Machine learning (ML) methods
  • Text representation techniques
  • Ability to write “robust and testable code”
  • Experience with ML frameworks and libraries
  • Strong programming skills and previous NLP experience is often a must-have for many positions

NLP Engineer General Skills

  • Creativity
  • Self-motivation
  • Dependability
  • Positivity
  • Conflict management
  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Discipline
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Leadership

NLP Engineer Job Titles

NLP Engineer or Natural Language Processing Engineer is the most common type of position under which candidates are hired. Also, many companies hire NLP Engineers under following job titles:
  • Software Engineer
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Artificial Intelligence Engineer
  • Language Engineer
  • Natural Language Understanding Engineer
  • NLP Data Scientist
  • NLP Research Scientist/Engineer
  • Research Engineer
  • Research and Development Engineer
  • Data Science Solutions Engineer
  • Data Scientist

NLP Engineer Career Prospects

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry is fast growing. Therefore, NLP engineer positions are extremely promising. NLP Engineering is a subset of AI Engineering. The projected growth for Computer and Information Research Scientists is 22% from 2020 to 2030; this category includes jobs that invent and design new approaches to technology and find uses for existing technology. The salary ranges for an NLP engineer will vary depending on the company, position level, your experience and where the role is physically located. An NLP Engineer based out of the United States can expect to earn $150,000 annually.
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