Chief Engineer Salary
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.Read More...
Work conditions vary for this position, and hazardous conditions can be common. Chemicals, steam, electricity, and heavy machinery are commonly encountered; wet, noisy, hot, and cold conditions may also exist.
The chief engineer typically needs bachelor's degree or a technical accreditation, as well as experience in the engineering field. A background in HVAC, electrical, or mechanical operations is generally preferred. This position requires physical aptitude, as heavy lifting and physical exertion are common. Excellent problem solving skills, higher mathematical ability, and the ability to work well on a team are also necessary. Being able to understand, analyze, and revise complex technical data is highly recommended, and the ideal candidate will seek to improve upon established methodologies and procedures.
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
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
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.