Chief Engineer Salary (United States)

With about three-quarters of Chief Engineers in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience, the field is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Average pay for Chief Engineers is $70,471 per year and can range from $35,147 on the lower end to $155,131 per year near the higher end. Total cash compensation varies from around $40,489 to approximately $149,860; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $20K and $30K, respectively. While the company and location impact pay for this group, career duration is the most influential factor. Benefits are common in this line of work, with most reporting medical and dental coverage and more than half collecting vision insurance. For the most part, Chief Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
Chief Engineer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$40,489 - $149,860
(Median)
40K
75K
110K
150K
MEDIAN: $74,709
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Chief Engineer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$11.68 - $40.63
(Median)
12
18
30
41
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$40,489 - $149,860  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,383  
Profit Sharing
$973 - $30,067  
Commission
$2,500 - $5,087  
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).
)
$35,147 - $155,131  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,425
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$11.68 - $40.63  
   
Overtime
$14.73 - $60.17  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,383  
   
Commission
$2,500 - $5,087  
Profit Sharing
$973 - $30,067  
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).
)
$35,147 - $155,131  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 282
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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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As Chief Engineers transition into upper-level roles, they may see a strong upturn in salary. For instance, a VP of Engineering may earn an extra $82K per year than his or her lower-level colleagues. Chief Engineers typically move into roles as Director of Engineerings or Chief Mechanical Engineers, where they can expect an extra $65K or $16,206 per year.

Chief Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chief Engineer

Marriott International, Inc., Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn, and Jones Lang LaSalle are among the top companies that take on many Chief Engineers. Jones Lang LaSalle pays the most with a median salary of $85,215, though with a large amount of variation, going from a low of $50K to a high of $112K for base pay. Marriott International, Inc., Holiday Inn, and Courtyard by Marriott also offer top salaries for Chief Engineers. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $54,226, $45,975, and $41,035, respectively.
Relative to other names in the field, compensation is very low at Hampton Inn—the median salary comes to just $31,649, 169 percent lower than the top payer. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Fairfield Inn By Marriott at $34,826, and Hilton Worldwide where $36,837 is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Chief Engineers there earn up to $100K.

Popular Skills for Chief Engineer

Chief Engineers report exploiting a large range of skills 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 79 percent, 75 percent, and 66 percent, respectively. Those listing Plumbing as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. HVAC and Maintenance also typically command lower compensation. Most people experienced in Maintenance 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.
Experience is important when determining pay for Chief Engineers. Salaries go up slowly for those just starting out, crawling from $46K to $57K after five to 10 years in the field. After spending one to two decades on the job, pay usually hovers around $77K. After 20 years, workers enjoy a boost in pay; earnings increase to six figures, hovering around $77K. The largest number of Chief Engineers have more than 20 years of experience, followed by those with 10 to 20 years. Workers who have been working for one to 10 years are the least common.

Pay Difference By Location

Los Angeles
up arrow 67%
up arrow 35%
Boston
up arrow 34%
up arrow 33%
up arrow 32%
Washington
up arrow 29%
up arrow 21%
San Diego
up arrow 21%
Baltimore
up arrow 18%
0%
National Average
$70,000
up arrow 2%
Miami
up arrow 6%
up arrow 7%
Dallas
up arrow 7%
Orlando
up arrow 8%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
With a pay rate for Chief Engineers that is 67 percent greater than the national average, Los Angeles offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Chief Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+35 percent), Boston (+34 percent), Chicago (+33 percent), and New York (+32 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Orlando, 8 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Dallas (-7 percent) and Denver (-7 percent).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Chief Engineer Salaries

National Average
$70,000

Skills That Affect Chief Engineer Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 379 votes.

Gender

Female
2%
female alumni
 
Male
98%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
14%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
33%
20 years or more
38%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 81% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 16%
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