Chief Engineer Salary

With a little under three-quarters of Chief Engineers in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $36K to $154K per year and averages out to $76K annually. Total cash compensation for Chief Engineers runs from $36K to $154K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $20K and profit sharing that can reach almost $25K. The specific employer is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length and geographic location. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and more than half earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$40,788 - $150,492
(Median)
$41K
$76K
$150K
MEDIAN: $76,056
10%
50%
90%

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$12.22 - $42.19
(Median)
$12
$19
$42
MEDIAN: $19.00
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$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$40,788 - $150,492  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,487  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $25,342  
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).
)
$35,821 - $154,152  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,843
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$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$12.22 - $42.19  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.21  
Overtime
$15.67 - $65.99  
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$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,487  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $25,342  
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).
)
$35,821 - $154,152  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 382
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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 may progress into high-paying roles like VP of Engineering, where median compensation is $156K annually. Chief Engineers typically move into roles as Directors of Engineering or Chief Mechanical Engineers, and those positions pay $66K more and $15K more, respectively.

Chief Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chief Engineer


Known for taking on a considerable number of Chief Engineers, Marriott International, Inc., Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Hilton Worldwide, and Holiday Inn are leading firms in the industry. CBRE Group offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $90K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Jones Lang LaSalle, Marriott International, Inc., and Courtyard by Marriott, where Chief Engineers typically earn around $81K, $57K, or $41K, respectively.

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Hampton Inn at $37K, and Hilton Worldwide where $40K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Chief Engineers there earn up to $92K.

Popular Skills for Chief Engineer


Survey results imply that Chief Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at 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 73 percent, 68 percent, and 54 percent, respectively. Those listing HVAC as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Plumbing and Maintenance also typically command lower compensation. Most people experienced in Maintenance also know Electronic Troubleshooting and Project Management. Most people familiar with 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.


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Chief Engineers. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $44K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $60K on average — a distinctly larger sum. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $76K. Chief Engineers who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $97K.

Pay Difference by Location

38%

35%

34%

-2%

-4%

-4%

-10%

-13%

National Average: $72,648

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

For Chief Engineers, working in the bustling city of Los Angeles has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Chief Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Diego (+38 percent), Houston (+35 percent), Chicago (+34 percent), and Washington (+32 percent). In Miami, salaries are 13 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Workers in Orlando and Dallas earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (10 percent less and 4 percent less, respectively).

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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 394 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
14%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
39%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 81%
dental benefits
Dental: 69%
medical benefits
Vision: 57%
dental benefits
None: 17%
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