Chief Engineer Salary

Chief Engineers in the United States tend to be well-versed in their field, and between two-thirds and three-fourths have more than 10 years of experience. Average salary is expected to be around $75K annually, but may range from $36K to $154K per year. With some bonuses approaching $20K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $29K, overall incomes of Chief Engineers spread between $36K and $154K depending on individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geographic location, though tenure and the particular employer have a (lesser) impact as well. Most Chief Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. Most enjoy medical while more than half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$40,694 - $150,036
(Median)
$41K
$75K
$150K
MEDIAN: $75,305
10%
50%
90%

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$12.43 - $41.39
(Median)
$12
$18
$41
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
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
$40,694 - $150,036  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,208  
Profit Sharing
$490.16 - $29,421  
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).
)
$35,640 - $153,707  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,700
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
$12.43 - $41.39  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.01 - $2.61  
Overtime
$15.00 - $61.87  
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 - $20,208  
   
Profit Sharing
$490.16 - $29,421  
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).
)
$35,640 - $153,707  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 337
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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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There are some Chief Engineers — though it's uncommon — that transition into VPs of Engineering, where earnings are an average $154K annually. It is quite typical for Chief Engineers to transition into roles as Directors of Engineering or Chief Mechanical Engineers, where reported median earnings are $66K and $16K higher per year.

Chief Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chief Engineer


Dominating the field, Marriott International, Inc., Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, and Hilton Garden Inn are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Chief Engineers. The biggest paychecks can be found at Jones Lang LaSalle — the median salary there is $84K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $50K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $113K. 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 $56K, $44K, and $41K, respectively.

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Hampton Inn at $36K, and Hilton Worldwide where $40K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Chief Engineers there earn up to $93K.

Popular Skills for Chief Engineer


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, facility with Engineering Design, Systems Engineering, and Program Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 71 percent, 68 percent, and 57 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 skilled in Maintenance are similarly competent in 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.


Chief Engineers who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $45K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $60K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Chief Engineers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $75K. Chief Engineers who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $98K.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Chief Engineers, Los Angeles offers exceptional salaries, 64 percent above the national average. Chief Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+28 percent), Washington (+28 percent), New York (+28 percent), and Boston (+23 percent). Falling short of the national average by 12 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Miami. Employers in Orlando and Dallas also lean toward paying below-median salaries (10 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Chief Engineer Salaries



National Average
$72,000



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 388 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
32%
20 years or more
38%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 81% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 17%
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