Chief Engineers in the United States with more than 10 years of experience in their profession represent between two-thirds and three-fourths of Chief Engineers. Salaries average out to around $76K annually and spread from $36K to $149K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing, each hitting highs of $20K, total cash payment to Chief Engineers can bottom out at $36K or peak near $149K. Experience level is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and location are driving factors as well. Most Chief Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$41,187 - $148,761
(Median)
$41K
$76K
$150K
MEDIAN: $76,076
10%
50%
90%

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$12.76 - $43.51
(Median)
$13
$20
$44
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$41,187 - $148,761  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,469  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $20,273  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$35,839 - $148,738  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,143
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$12.76 - $43.51  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.37  
Overtime
$17.55 - $66.42  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,469  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $20,273  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$35,839 - $148,738  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 280
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Job Description for Chief Engineer

The chief engineer is generally in charge of building, maintenance, and repairs needed on-site. This position is often a supervisory role, in which the chief engineer works with maintenance subordinates and delegates tasks. Some of the duties of the chief engineer include purchasing materials or equipment, fulfilling budget requirements when ordering supplies, and keeping stock of necessary inventory. The chief engineer must work closely with other managers or supervisors to ensure operations run smoothly and meet standards of safety and cleanliness. This position also requires formulating blueprints and designs to be implemented using machinery and equipment.

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Chief Engineer Tasks

  • Operate, maintain, and repair equipment and machinery.
  • Develop designs, specifications, and/or software of new product development projects.
  • Ensure quality assurance for facility and its services.
  • Supervise engineering department staff and operations, and provide technical leadership and mentoring from quotation to execution.
  • Secure internal, external, and customer funding and assist in the development, preparation, and implementation of operating and capital budgets, and control of expenditures.

Common Career Paths for Chief Engineer


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Chief Engineers who transition into a VP of Engineering role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $157K per year. The most common promotion for Chief Engineers is Director of Engineering, a position that typically pays $141K annually. Another standard transition for Chief Engineers seeking advancement is to assume a Maintenance Manager role, where pay is often $60K.

Chief Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chief Engineer


Dominating the field, Marriott International, Inc., Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Worldwide, Jones Lang LaSalle, and Courtyard by Marriott are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Chief Engineers. For Chief Engineers, comfortable salaries can be found at CBRE Group; in fact, median earnings sit around $77K, the highest in the area. Chief Engineers will also find cushy salaries at Jones Lang LaSalle (+$74K), Hilton Worldwide (+$66K), and Hilton Corporation (+$48K).

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Holiday Inn at $33K, and Hilton Garden Inn where $33K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Chief Engineers there earn up to $58K.

Popular Skills for Chief Engineer


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, facility with Engineering Design, Systems Engineering, and Program Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 63 percent, 59 percent, and 28 percent, respectively. Those listing HVAC as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Plumbing and Maintenance also typically command lower compensation. Those proficient in Maintenance are, more often than not, also skilled in Electronic Troubleshooting and Project Management. The majority of those who know Operations Management also know Project Management and Electronic Troubleshooting.

Pay by Experience Level for Chief Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Chief Engineers, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $43K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $63K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $79K in this role. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $92K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $73,072

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Chief Engineers will find that San Diego offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 45 percent. Chief Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+38 percent), Seattle (+37 percent), Washington (+37 percent), and Los Angeles (+31 percent). Falling short of the national average by 13 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Miami.

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Experience Affects Chief Engineer Salaries



National Average
$73,000



Skills That Affect Chief Engineer Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 201 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
14%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
39%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 81%
dental benefits
Dental: 70%
medical benefits
Vision: 60%
dental benefits
None: 17%
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