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Engineering Director Salary (United States)

Compensation for Engineering Directors in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($144K). Total cash compensation to Engineering Directors bottoms out near $90K and approaches $197K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $35K from bonuses and almost $28K from profit sharing. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Almost all employees enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Most Engineering Directors report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Engineering Director 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.
$88,079 - $173,169
MEDIAN: $132,523
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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.
$88,079 - $173,169  
$1,192 - $35,103  
Profit Sharing
$1,917 - $28,383  
$0.00 - $13,000  
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).
$90,367 - $197,395  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 581
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Job Description for Engineering Director

Engineering is a discipline with many applications for a vast array of businesses and organizations, from those that rely on heavy machinery to those which innovate in small electronics. The director of engineering is responsible for coordinating the teams of engineers as they take product concepts from the initial design stage through research and development until final quality control and production. The director of engineering is integrally involved in every stage, and some may also work on hiring and training members of their engineering team.
Engineering Director Tasks
  • Direct and manage multiple projects to guarantee success in meeting project objectives.
  • Implement approved engineering budgets and monitor expenses to ensure projects stay within budget.
  • Responsible for all aspects of engineering activities.

Common Career Paths for Engineering Director

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Many Engineering Directors move into a VP of Engineering role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. VPs of Engineering will usually bring in a similar salary to Engineering Directors.

Director of Engineering Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Engineering Director

Engineering Directors report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in People Management, Program Management, Systems Engineering, and Software Architecture are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 17 percent, 16 percent, 6 percent, and 6 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Software Development. Those proficient in Engineering Design are, more often than not, also skilled in Product Development and Systems Engineering.

Pay by Experience Level for Engineering Director

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Engineering Directors, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Even the relatively untried can take home bulky six-figure salaries; employees who have worked for fewer than five years report earning $111K on average. Engineering Directors see a median salary of $145K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $152K. The largest share of Engineering Directors 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

San Jose
up arrow 25%
Santa Clara
up arrow 20%
up arrow 16%
San Diego
up arrow 15%
Los Angeles
up arrow 15%
San Francisco
up arrow 10%
up arrow 6%
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National Average
up arrow 2%
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up arrow 12%
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Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Home to some of the best pay for Engineering Directors, San Jose offers exceptional salaries, 25 percent above the national average. Santa Clara, Detroit, San Diego, and Los Angeles also offer top salaries for Engineering Directors. Workers in these cities can expect to earn about 20 percent, 16 percent, 15 percent, and 15 percent more, respectively. Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Houston, 16 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Atlanta and Dayton (12 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Engineering Director Salaries

National Average
up arrow 23%

Skills That Affect Engineering Director Salaries

People Management
up arrow 17%
Program Management
up arrow 16%
Software Architecture
up arrow 6%
Project Management
up arrow 2%
Engineering Design
National Average
Software Development
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 151 votes.


female alumni
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 95% dental benefits Dental: 85%
vision benefits Vision: 67% employee benefits None: 4%