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How to Become a Prompt Engineer

2022 was a significant year for artificial intelligence. It exploded into public consciousness with the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Fast-forward to today, AI is arguably the hottest topic on the planet that has everyone buzzing.

But have you ever wondered who the real MVPs (most valuable players) behind smart and conversational AI assistants like Claude, ChatGPT, and Google Gemini are? 

Prompt engineers. 

They write prompts that teach language models like ChatGPT to understand and respond to human inputs. And they are in high demand.

The reported salary for prompt engineers ranges from $200,000 to over $300,000 annually, with companies like Anthropic offering $300,000 for in-house prompt engineering jobs.

That’s some serious growth potential.

So, how do you break into the world of prompt engineering?

Below, we’ve provided a step-by-step roadmap on how to become a prompt engineer. Whether you’re an AI enthusiast or a professional with a background in data science or artificial intelligence, we’ve actionable tips and takeaways ready for you.

And if you’re a student or a developer curious about the world of AI and the incredible generative AI tools that prompt engineers to help create, be sure to check out our free resources below.

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Who’s a Prompt Engineer?

A prompt engineer specializes in creating clear and effective requests, called prompts, for language models like ChatGPT or Claude. While anybody can type prompts, organizations employ prompt engineers fir their unique skills that can yield more accurate and insightful results.

For example, imagine you’re building a login page using Python through Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT or Perplexity. 

A regular user might provide a simple prompt like “How to create a login page using Python” to get a generic response with basic information.

On the other hand, a prompt engineer with the knowledge of LLM interactions and specific prompting may say something as follows: “Provide a step-by-step guide for creating a secure login page in Python using Flask and SQLAlchemy, including authentication and password hashing techniques.” 

Naturally, the prompt engineer’s detailed prompt will produce tailored results that are far more in-depth and structured.

Why? Because the prompt engineer guided the AI assistant to focus on specific aspects of the task.

Prompt engineers also know how to use context and conduct conversations to fully exploit AI’s capabilities. 

Moreover, they’re aware of:

  • When and where to use specific keywords in prompts
  • How to design ideal prompts for maximum understandability
  • When to provide additional context or limitations

A prompt engineer’s skill in writing clear instructions exploits AI’s full potential for tasks like proofreading legal documents or writing customer service responses, amongst others. 

As such, prompt engineers study artificial intelligence behavior, looking for ways to improve performance and reduce biases by refining the prompts used to interact with these systems.

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The Role of a Prompt Engineer

A prompt engineer’s role is simple: Create and refine prompts that help large language models perform tasks accurately and consistently. 

Some of the prompt engineering responsibilities and day-to-day tasks include:

  • Crafting clear, concise, and specific prompts that guide AI models to produce desired outputs or behaviors
  • Using advanced methods such as few-shot learning, chain-of-thought prompting, and constitutional AI to improve LLMs
  • Working closely with cross-functional teams like data scientists and UX/UI designers to integrate and implement the AI model across different platforms
  • Constantly refining and improving prompts by adjusting them to maintain accuracy
  • Evaluating prompt performance by setting metrics and benchmarks
  • Collaborating with subject matter experts in specific fields (such as law, finance, healthcare) to create specialized prompts
  • Building and managing libraries of reusable prompt templates to speed up development for various applications
  • Participating in team discussions, code reviews, and knowledge-sharing sessions
  • Staying up-to-date about the latest trends in AI, NLP (Natural Language Programming), and NLU (Natural Language Understanding) technologies
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Skills Required to Become a Prompt Engineer

If you’re interested in a prompt engineer role, you must develop the following skills:

Data analysis

Prompt engineers need to have excellent analytical skills to interpret data, evaluate prompt performance, and make informed decisions. 

To optimize prompt effectiveness, they must analyze complex information, identify patterns, and draw meaningful insights from AI platform data. 

Here, having prior knowledge of data analytics techniques and tools is a major advantage.

Strategic thinking

To succeed as an AI prompt engineer, you must have a strategic mindset to align prompt development with organizational goals and user needs. 

Strategic thinking allows you to plan and execute prompt engineering initiatives that improve AI system performance and user engagement. 

If you’ve built and tested AI prompts before, especially with major models like GPT and platforms like ChatGPT, it’ll help you develop these skills quickly.

Problem-solving and AI knowledge

To overcome challenges in developing prompts and training AI models, you’ll need strong problem-solving abilities and a good grasp of AI technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning (DL).

NLP concepts such as tokenization, sentiment analysis, and named entity recognition give insights into how models like ChatGPT function. Meanwhile, machine learning principles and algorithms, including neural networks used in NLP, help you understand AI model behavior.

Also, if you know deep learning frameworks such as TensorFlow and PyTorch, you’ll be able to design prompts that complement the model’s strengths and produce high-quality responses.

With problem-solving skills, you’ll be able to identify issues, propose solutions, and improve AI-generated prompts without breaking into a sweat.


Technical expertise alone isn’t enough to be a prompt engineer; you must also be creative.

Prompt engineers simplify complex real-world problems into formats that large language models can handle, using well-crafted prompts. You also need creative skills to analyze model outputs, find new ways to improve performance, and reduce biases in these models.

In specialized fields like law or healthcare, creativity is important for adapting prompts accurately. It also helps break down complex ideas to diverse audiences using storytelling and simple language.

Negotiation with cross-functional teams

Experienced prompt engineers frequently collaborate with diverse teams, including product managers, subject matter experts, and data scientists, to grasp requirements and create effective prompts. 

So, you must negotiate priorities, timelines, and resources with various stakeholders to ensure prompt development runs smoothly. 

It’s also crucial for prompt engineers to discuss ethical guidelines with the leadership to minimize risks such as biases or harmful outputs.

Leadership skills

As prompt engineering becomes increasingly important in AI product development, prompt engineers may need to lead teams or initiatives in this area. 

This leadership involves providing vision, direction, and strategic planning for prompt engineering efforts within an organization. 

An expert prompt engineer must demonstrate thought leadership by staying abreast of the latest techniques, sharing knowledge, and driving innovation in prompt development methods.

In addition to technical skills, leadership skills are essential for inspiring teams, managing workflows effectively, and maintaining high standards for prompt outputs across projects.

How to build these skills

If you already have the above-mentioned skills, you can continue down the path of becoming a prompt engineer. If you don’t, here’s how to go about cultivating and honing them:

  • Develop a strong set of soft skills: Build on your soft skills to communicate, design, and collaborate effectively. Learn to write clear, concise, engaging prompts for AI systems and refine your creative thinking through experimentation with words and sentences
  • Build a solid foundation in NLP and ML: Study key natural language processing concepts such as text preprocessing, language models, and sequence-to-sequence models. Explore various language models (e.g., GPT, BERT, T5) and their architectures and grasp machine learning principles with common algorithms
  • Learn about prompt engineering techniques: Study methods like few-shot learning, chain-of-thought prompting, and constitutional AI. Work on your strategic thinking through effective prompt design principles and task breakdown strategies. Also, review prompt libraries and templates for best practices

As you go about learning prompt engineering, leveraging the right tools can greatly boost your productivity. One such tool tailored for prompt engineers is ClickUp Brain, the native AI neural network within ClickUp’s productivity platform. 

It supports prompt engineers by simplifying day-to-day tasks and responsibilities through automation and knowledge management capabilities.

ClickUp Brain for prompt engineers

ClickUp’s generative AI assistant effortlessly aids content creation, idea generation, and knowledge management.

ClickUp Brain
Use ClickUp Brain for quick and precise answers based on context from your work within ClickUp and connected apps

With it, prompt engineers can access over 100 industry-specific, research-backed prompts suitable for various project team roles. Simply launch the AI tool and select prompts to create project timelines, reports, and meeting agendas.

ClickUp Brain
Browse through ClickUp Brain’s 100+ prompts for various processes and project roles

Moreover, ClickUp Brain’s neural network integrates all tasks, processes, documents, and workflow communication, serving as an interactive knowledge base. You can use it to extract information by asking straightforward questions about task goals, recent work updates, company processes, and quality assessment procedures.

ClickUp Brain
Summarize meeting notes, search for specific information, and automate manual tasks with ClickUp Brain

For prompt engineers, ClickUp Brain is a work assistant that automates manual tasks, recurring duties, and reminders. This automation allows prompt engineers to concentrate on core prompt development without distractions from less critical tasks.

  • Experiment with prompt engineering tools and frameworks: Gain hands-on experience using tools such as GPT-3 and Claude and try different prompting techniques for text generation and summarization. Analyze model outputs, iterate on prompt designs, and refine prompts based on results
  • Participate in prompt engineering events: Stay in the know by joining online forums or discussion groups and attending conferences or workshops on language models

ClickUp Brain can also serve as a playground for you to try out various prompts and compare outputs among various versions of the prompt. Practice makes perfect and prompt engineering is no exception. 

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How to Become a Prompt Engineer

With so much to learn and so many skills to pick up, the path to becoming a prompt engineer might not be immediately clear. Here’s a simple roadmap for you to follow:

1. Think about your career goals

Before beginning your prompt engineering journey, consider your goals very carefully. 

Do you want to integrate prompt engineering into your current role and support business growth? Or master prompt engineering skills to advance in the field of AI technology? Knowing what you want will help you develop specific skills that align with your career objectives.

Instead of a general “AI technology” path, identify a specific niche within prompt engineering. This could be creative text generation, dialogue systems, code generation, or factual language tasks.

Tailor your learning to that niche. For creative text generation, focus on fluency and imagination. For factual tasks, prioritize accuracy and grounding in real-world data.

2. Earn the correct credentials

You’ll need educational certifications or degrees in relevant fields to apply for prompt engineering roles. 

A bachelor’s in Computer Science, Data Science, or Linguistics is a strong foundation. However, the field is evolving quickly. Consider alternative paths like boot camps or online courses specializing in prompt engineering. Earning the right credentials shows your dedication to mastering the latest techniques.

Resources: Explore online courses offered by platforms like Coursera, Udacity, or focusing on prompt engineering and specific LLMs like LaMDA or Jurassic-1 Jumbo.

3. Learn programming languages

Master widely used programming languages, especially Python. It’s the lingua franca of AI and NLP, with libraries like TensorFlow and PyTorch specifically designed for working with LLMs.

You should also learn complementary languages for specific tasks. For data analysis and manipulation, consider R or Julia. For web-based applications using prompts, explore JavaScript frameworks like React.

You can improve your coding skills in specific languages by participating in coding competitions, contributing to open-source projects, or working on AI-driven applications.

4. Specialize in AI technologies like NLP and ML

Becoming skilled in prompt engineering can be difficult without a solid understanding of AI, machine learning, and natural language processing. 

Go beyond a general understanding. Grasp core NLP concepts like tokenization, transformers, and attention mechanisms. Gain practical experience by working on projects and applying key concepts and tools in real-world scenarios. 

Use your core concepts to practice efficient and effective prompt engineering techniques. If possible, engage in practical projects that allow you to apply core concepts.

Resources: Use the Machine Learning Crash Course by Google and these TensorFlow tutorials to build your skills in AI technologies.

5. Master prompting techniques

Explore different prompting methods like few-shot learning, cloze deletion, and temperature control. Each influences the LLM’s output in unique ways.

Experiment with pre-trained models available through platforms like Hugging Face Transformers. Try fine-tuning them on specific tasks using prompt engineering techniques.

Resources: To further your understanding, enroll in online courses or textbooks on NLP like “Speech and Language Processing” by Jurafsky and Martin. Participate in online communities like r/PromptEngineering or forums. OpenAI has good resources too.

6. Network with professionals in the field

Proper networking with AI professionals is key, especially when searching for jobs. Build relationships with AI experts, attend conferences, and join online forums to discuss ideas and challenges with peers. 

Events like the North American Conference on Language Learning (NAACL) or the AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) Conference are good starting points.

Collaborations within the AI and NLP community foster learning and keep you up to date with the latest developments in prompt engineering.

Stay on track with your prompt engineering job search using the ClickUp Job Search Template

To aid your job search efforts, consider using productivity tools like the ClickUp Job Search Template. This handy template keeps you organized by helping you track applications, job openings, company ratings, interviews, and more—all under one roof.

6. Build a portfolio that showcases your expertise

Focus on creating impressive projects to build a deep understanding of AI technologies and a strong portfolio that showcases your prompt engineering skills to potential employers and the AI community. 

You can also boost your credentials and demonstrate your expertise by earning relevant certifications in prompt engineering. 

  • Experiment with Open-Source LLMs: Platforms like OpenAI’s Playground and Hugging Face offer access to various LLMs for experimentation. Practice crafting prompts to achieve desired outputs
  • Contribute to Open-Source Projects: Engage with projects on Github that explore prompt engineering applications. This provides valuable experience and showcases your skills to potential employers
  • Develop Personal Projects: Create projects that demonstrate your prompt engineering abilities. This could involve building a chatbot using prompts, generating different creative text formats, or summarizing factual topics

The field of prompt engineering is rapidly evolving. Follow relevant blogs, research papers, and industry news to stay ahead of the curve. While not mandatory, prompt engineering certifications can demonstrate your commitment to the field and provide a structured learning path.

By focusing on these specific skills, resources, and strategies, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a proficient prompt engineer.

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Overcoming Hurdles to Enter into Prompt Engineering

Like any field, prompt engineering is not without its challenges.

Since this discipline is new on the block, you need to develop specific skills (like we mentioned above).

Here’s a quick recap of the skills you need to break into prompt engineering:

  • Analytical skills to interpret AI model behavior and output success
  • A strong foundation of AI concepts like machine learning, NLP, and deep learning
  • Creative problem-solving skills to design and refine prompts
  • The ability to collaborate and negotiate with cross-functional teams
  • A penchant for leadership to guide and manage high-level projects

Skills are good to have. But it’s also important to be aware of the potential roadblocks you might face while becoming a prompt engineer.

Here are the common challenges you can encounter:

  • Prompt engineering is a new and rapidly evolving field, making it challenging to keep up with the latest techniques and tools
  • Access to powerful language models is often restricted and may require licensing from major tech companies, posing a barrier for individuals and startups
  • Since prompt engineering is fairly new, there aren’t enough experts available to mentor newcomers
  • Without consistent rules and practices, collaboration and knowledge sharing can be affected
  • Using fair and safe language in prompts or outputs needs understanding and careful handling 
  • There aren’t many specific roles for prompt engineers yet, even though more people want them

Pro tip: One way for individuals, startups, and small businesses to overcome licensing and developmental barriers in AI is by exploring beginner-friendly AI tools and resources, that don’t require significant investment or expertise. 

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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Being a Prompt Engineer

Prompt engineering is indeed an exciting career option, but like anything else, it has its pros and cons.


Some of the key benefits of pursuing a career in prompt engineering are:

Career Outlook

The demand for prompt engineers is growing steadily as businesses rely more on software to enhance operations and user experiences. 

The global prompt engineering market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 32.8% from 2024 to 2030, proving the need for skilled prompt engineers in the upcoming years.

Salary expectations

According to research conducted by Velents AI, prompt engineers in the United States are among the highest-earning professionals in the AI sector, averaging around $300,000 annually.

Such figures show prompt engineering can be a highly rewarding career path.

Potential job opportunities

The best part?

Prompt engineers can find work in any industry or domain across organizations, some of which include:

  • Tech companies such as Google, OpenAI, Anthropic, and Microsoft
  • AI research labs and academic institutions
  • Consulting firms focusing on AI and NLP solutions
  • Financial institutions and fintech companies
  • Healthcare and life sciences organizations
  • Legal firms and technology companies serving the legal industry
  • Website builders and no-code platforms


Being a prompt engineer can be a rewarding career path, but it also has its fair share of drawbacks. Here’s how you can overcome them:

Limited access to language models

Many advanced language models are inaccessible to prompt engineers without licensing.

The solution? Use open-source language models and prompting frameworks, collaborate with research institutions, or join companies with access. 

And remember, do advocate for more open and accessible AI technologies.

Ethical considerations

Unfair and unsafe model outputs are a real concern with prompt engineering. 

To overcome this challenge, you should learn ethical AI principles, work with ethicists and domain experts, and master techniques to promote responsible AI development. 

A popular example of ethical AI is Anthropic’s Claude, which follows a dynamic approach to mitigate biases.

Scalability and performance issues

Managing large, complex language models efficiently and accurately can be difficult. But remember, continuous learning is key to success in prompt engineering. 

Keep exploring methods such as prompt tuning or chaining to optimize prompt performance.

An uncertain job market

Dedicated prompt engineering roles are scarce in the job market right now. 

This is all the more reason to have related expertise in natural language processing, machine learning, or software engineering. Besides, a versatile skill such as prompt engineering keeps you in high demand. 

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Master Prompt Engineering with ClickUp

One of the ways to unlock the full potential of the AI revolution is mastering the art of prompts. And whenever you’re ready to become a prompt engineer, ClickUp will certainly have your back.

Armed with native generative AI and custom templates, ClickUp is the ultimate platform to practice your prompt engineering skills. And that’s not all.

Even when you’ve become a star prompt engineer, ClickUp will continue to have your back with its task and project management tools and 1000+ integrations. 

Sign up to ClickUp today and start designing prompts that’ll change the face of today’s AI models!

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