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Chief Engineer Salary (United States)

Chief Engineers in the United States tend to be well-versed in their field, and a little under three-quarters have more than 10 years of experience. Salary is expected to be around $75K per year, but may range from $35K to $155K per year. Final cash compensation to Chief Engineers varies from around $35K to approximately $155K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $20K and $30K, respectively. This group's pay is mainly influenced by career duration, followed by the company and location. A solid majority enjoy medical while a fair portion get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. For the most part, Chief Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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  
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  
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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Chief Engineers' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a VP of Engineering. VPs of Engineering bring home $153K per year on average. Chief Engineers most often move into positions as Directors of Engineering or Chief Mechanical Engineers; those groups report median salaries that are $65K higher and $16K higher, respectively.

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. For Chief Engineers, comfortable salaries can be found at Jones Lang LaSalle; in fact, typical earnings are around $85K, the highest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($50K versus $112K) is great. Marriott International, Inc., Holiday Inn, and Courtyard by Marriott are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Chief Engineers earning around $54K, $46K, or $41K at each firm, respectively.
With a reported median salary of only $32K, Hampton Inn easily takes the cake for lowest-paying firm in town; earnings are 169 percent lower than the top payer. Other low-paying employers include Fairfield Inn By Marriott at $35K and Hilton Worldwide at $37K, though some Chief Engineers there earn up to $92K.

Popular Skills for Chief Engineer

Survey takers working as Chief Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. 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. For most people, competency in Maintenance indicates knowledge of 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 and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Folks who are navigating the first five years of their careers have a median salary of approximately $46K in this position. Those who have been around for five to 10 years don't get much more, though; the median salary in that group is $57K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $72K in this role. Veterans who boast more than two decades of experience make around $100K on average — an ample six-figure paycheck. Chief Engineers with more than 20 years in the field are most commonly found while those with 10 to 20 years of experience are harder to spot. The rarest group is those with one to 10 years of experience.

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.
Surpassing the national average by 67 percent, Chief Engineers in Los Angeles receive some of the highest pay in the country. Chief Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+35 percent), Boston (+34 percent), Chicago (+33 percent), and New York (+32 percent). Trailing the national average by 8 percent, Orlando is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers also pay below the national average in Dallas and Denver (7 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

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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%