Lead ML Engineer

Irvine, CA (Option to be remote)

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Lead ML Engineer | Acorns

At Acorns, we're building a financial wellness system that enables everyday Americans to save and invest every day. We are transforming the category and recruiting a team that is relentless at fulfilling our mission. The Acorns team comes together every day to deliver a revolutionary product to its customers, the up-and-coming. If you thrive in an environment where you can push yourself beyond all previous thresholds of possibility, come join us at Acorns.

The Acorns ML Engineering team is launching. Acorns is actively seeking a motivated, detail-oriented, and solution-focused Lead ML Engineer who will report to the Head of Data Science.  The data science team is focused on solving problems that directly affect customers and the Acorns business, including allocation, personalization, growth propensity, retention, and fraud and risk detection.  The ML Engineers at Acorns will be instrumental in deployment, monitoring and automating machine learning solutions.  At Acorns, ML Engineers will have broad latitude around data and you will collaborate with groups including: Data Scientists, Engineering, Operations and Product Management.

This role has the option to be remote or based in our Irvine or New York offices.

You are not expected to have experience with all listed requirements. If you feel passionately about Acorns' mission, vision and values, please apply.  

Within 1 month, you will:

  • Learn Acorns products, data warehouse, and how data fits into the products.
  • Become familiar with the DS and Engineering processes and tools.
  • Meet people across the company with whom you would likely work.
  • Start drafting the Model Deployment Framework

Within 3 months, you will:

  • Develop process and framework in which to implement data science model solutions
  • Implement model solutions by developing pipelines from the feature generation to the generation of the results
  • Develop and implement production quality code commits into the team’s repository.
  • Partner with data engineering building out the feature factory and feature store.
  • Detail expectations for model packages.

Within 6-12 months, you will:

  • Lead technical development of complex and large implementations with minimal oversight.
  • Lead all parts of a model deployment through meetings with engineering and data science teams.
  • Become a source of technical expertise during conversations with stakeholders in the company. 
  • Build an ML engineering team, and provide mentorship to new team members, 
  • Carry out code reviews for the entire project team, and ensure high quality of code with an eye for process improvement.
  • Ensure the technical documentation is complete and accurate.
  • Proactively recommend improvements to model packages to the data science team. 
  • Actively participate in discussions on new technical approaches.  Identify papers and topics that are relevant to the team.  Explore new techniques on projects when appropriate.

Longer term:

  • Build out a monitoring framework for our models to identify when models need to be redeveloped.
  • Influence the build out of a decisioning platform.
  • Build out framework for automated model refreshes with appropriate checks and guidelines.
  • Own continued performance of all automated pipelines.

What you will bring to Acorns:

  • Empathy for our customers’ financial situations and the desire to help our customers in need of personalized products and services.
  • The ability to uphold the values of transparency, honesty, and support for the team.
  • An ability to explain complex problems in a simple way.
  • Pride in your work.
  • MS / PhD in a relevant field.  MS / PhD preferred.
    • Relevant fields include: Computer Science, Data Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Operations Research, Physics, Statistics
  • Nine (9) years of experience in Data Science, ML Engineering, or Software Engineering. 
  • Knowledge of scalable and efficient methods for large scale data analysis and model development.
  • Extensive experience in at least one of the following: PySpark, Python, Scala, Java, Spark, C and R.  More languages and tools is a plus.
  • Experience with Databricks or notebooks, Airflow, Flink, AWS, ML Flow, CI/CD, automated documentation (i.e. Sphinx) is a plus.
  • Strong problem solving skills and ability to gain insights from data.
  • Capability to further algorithms using statistics and machine learning.
  • Proven ability to interact and collaborate with engineering and product teams.
  • Good communication and presentation skills.
  • Financial industry experience.

What we offer:

  • Competitive salary and stock options
  • A comprehensive benefits package to meet the needs of you and your family
  • Flexible paid time off
  • Numerous career possibilities that allow you to grow with Acorns
  • Talented and motivated team members who care deeply about one another, our mission and our customers.
  • The rare opportunity to create a new world. We inspire one another every day to do meaningful work that solves big societal challenges.

About Acorns:

Acorns is the leading micro-investing app in the U.S. It allows users to round up their daily purchases and automatically Invest the Change® into a low-cost, diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds offered by some of the world's top asset managers (including Vanguard and BlackRock). Founded in Newport Beach, Calif., by father and son team Walter and Jeff Cruttenden, Acorns provides a simple entry-point using the Acorns app on iPhone or Android. Customers accumulate fractional shares in one of five portfolios constructed by world-renowned Nobel Laureate economist Dr. Harry Markowitz. Acorns' smart portfolio algorithms automatically work in the background of life, helping users build wealth naturally, pennies at a time. From Acorns mighty oaks do grow.


With benevolence and courage, we look after the financial best interests of the up-and-coming; beginning with the empowering step of micro-investing.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

Acorns believes diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental obligations that strengthen our team. We need a diverse, multi-disciplinary team to build a meaningful company and culture.


  • Lead with heart
  • Make bold decisions
  • Always build trust
  • Never stop growing
  • Find a way
Job region(s): Remote/Anywhere North America
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