Engineering Director Salary (United States)

Average pay for an Engineering Director in the United States is considerable, rounding six figures at $144,446 per year. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Almost all employees report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction for Engineering Directors is high. This outline is derived from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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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For Engineering Directors, career progression may result in somewhat stagnant compensation. Typically, a VP of Engineering, an upper-level role, will earn an amount similar to those further down the career ladder.

Engineering Director Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Engineering Director

Survey results imply that Engineering Directors put a diverse skill set to use. 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. Skills that pay less than market rate include Software Development. It is often found that people who know Engineering Design are 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.
Engineering Directors with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy higher salaries, as pay increases are mainly incremental. Six-figure salaries are typical for those just entering the industry—pay starts at $111K per year. Those with one to two decades of experience under their belt tend to see salaries around $145K. Salary increase slows as Engineering Directors pass 20 years in their field, with average salaries hovering around $152K. The largest number 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%
up arrow 5%
National Average
up arrow 2%
up arrow 3%
up arrow 10%
up arrow 12%
up arrow 16%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Surpassing the national average by 25 percent, Engineering Directors in San Jose receive some of the highest pay in the country. Those in search of high salaries should also consider checking out cities like Santa Clara, Detroit, San Diego, and Los Angeles, top-paying markets where Engineering Directors rake in more than the national norm (+20 percent, +16 percent, +15 percent, and +15 percent). With compensation 16 percent below the national average, Houston is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers in Atlanta and Dayton also lean toward paying below-median salaries (-12 percent and -10 percent, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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%
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