Principal Electrical Engineer Salary

Compensation for Principal Electrical Engineers in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($116K). With some bonuses and profit sharing proceeds approaching $20K each, total incomes of Principal Electrical Engineers generally range from $92K to $163K depending on individual performance. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$90,127 - $150,387

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$30.61 - $98.63

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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
$90,127 - $150,387  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,063  
Profit Sharing
$1,003 - $19,333  
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).
)
$91,870 - $162,766  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 838
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$33$66$99
Hourly Rate
$30.61 - $98.63  
   
Overtime
$1.80 - $80.12  
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$70K$140K$210K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,063  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,003 - $19,333  
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).
)
$91,870 - $162,766  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 25
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Job Description for Principal Electrical Engineer

A principal electrical engineer oversees electrical-related building or design projects within their organization, as well as oversees a staff of junior engineers who work in their planning and execution. The principal electrical engineer serves in a project manager capacity, regularly inspecting and reviewing the work being done, noting any needed corrections or adjustments. For many building and design firms, the principal engineer also performs cost forecasting, projections, and estimations; these are essential to provide clients with an accurate assessment of costs. It then falls to the principal electrical engineer to ensure the project comes in at (or near) the forecasted cost.

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Principal Electrical Engineer Tasks

  • Develop, design, and test electrical devices.
  • Develop policies and procedures for use of the created products.
  • Manage all aspects Electrical Engineering projects from beginning phases until completion.

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Popular Skills for Principal Electrical Engineer


Survey takers working as Principal Electrical Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Field-Programmable Gate Array, Board Design / Debug, Design, and Systems Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like System Integration, Controls, and Microsoft Office. Those educated in Engineering Design tend to be well versed in Design and Simulation.

Pay by Experience Level for Principal Electrical Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Principal Electrical Engineers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Folks with fewer than five years of experience earn around $91K on average, but respondents who have racked up five to 10 years benefit from a six-figure median of $107K. On average, Principal Electrical Engineers make $123K following one to two decades on the job. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $129K.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 26 percent, Principal Electrical Engineers in San Jose receive some of the highest pay in the country. Principal Electrical Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Santa Clara (+24 percent), Irvine (+9 percent), Los Angeles (+9 percent), and Detroit (+7 percent). The lowest-paying market is Pittsburgh, which sits 17 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Dallas (13 percent less) and Minneapolis (4 percent less).

Principal Electrical Engineer Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Principal Electrical Engineer in Denver:
"Hindsight is 20/20."
Knowing that I would make a salary at the top of my industry, I probably would have spent more energy learning more to get there faster. I was fortunate it turned out the way it did for me, but chance does not have to be part of the equation if you have the skills someone wants. Study hard, intern with what you love, and go for the area of expertise you really want to spend your life doing. A love for what you do makes it so much easier and rewarding.

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Experience Affects Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries



National Average
$123,000


Entry-Level
up arrow 26%

Skills That Affect Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries

Board Design / Debug
up arrow 4%

Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)
up arrow 4%

Design
up arrow 3%

Engineering Design
up arrow 1%

Simulation
up arrow 1%

Systems Engineering
up arrow 1%

National Average
$123,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 1%

Project Management
up arrow 2%

Software Development
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 2%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Controls
up arrow 4%

System Integration
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 174 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
14%
10-19 years
36%
20 years or more
48%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 94% dental benefits Dental: 87%
vision benefits Vision: 71% employee benefits None: 5%
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