Principal Electrical Engineer Salary

Principal Electrical Engineers receive generous compensation in the United States — earning an average of $124K per year, their standard salaries shoot well into the six-figure range. In the world of Principal Electrical Engineers, overall income ranges from $101K near the bottom to $173K at the top; this can include more than $23K from bonuses and more than $19K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is geographic location, followed by the specific employer and years of experience. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Most Principal Electrical Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$99,263 - $159,751
$99K
$120K
$160K
MEDIAN: $123,830
10%
50%
90%

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$48.69 - $157.87
$49
$62
$160
MEDIAN: $61.67
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
$99,263 - $159,751  
   
Bonus
$1,474 - $22,614  
Profit Sharing
$659 - $19,489  
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).
)
$101,149 - $173,284  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 468
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$60$120$180
Hourly Rate
$48.69 - $157.87  
   
Overtime
$36.06 - $92.43  
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$120K$240K$360K
Bonus
$1,474 - $22,614  
   
Profit Sharing
$659 - $19,489  
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).
)
$101,149 - $173,284  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 17

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

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

Common Career Paths for Principal Electrical Engineer


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Principal Electrical Engineers who transition into an upper level Senior Principal Engineer position will not necessarily make much more than they do in their current role. The average Senior Principal Engineer makes $136K a year.

Principal Electrical Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Principal Electrical Engineer


Broadcom Corporation offers the largest salaries in town — $150K on average.

BAE Systems Inc. offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $108K. There's also little variation in pay at the company, with pay ranging from $99K to $160K.

Popular Skills for Principal Electrical Engineer


Principal Electrical Engineers report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Simulation, Windows Operating System General Use, Field-Programmable Gate Array, and Board Design / Debug are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 5 percent, 4 percent, 3 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Robotics, System Integration, and Software Development. Most people experienced in Engineering Design also know Design and Simulation.

Pay by Experience Level for Principal Electrical Engineer

Pay by Experience for a Principal Electrical Engineer has a positive trend. An entry-level Principal Electrical Engineer with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $114,000 based on 20 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Principal Electrical Engineer with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $118,000 based on 62 salaries. An experienced Principal Electrical Engineer which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $127,000 based on 231 salaries. A Principal Electrical Engineer with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $136,000 based on 223 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $129,583

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

San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Principal Electrical Engineers, 30 percent above the national average. Principal Electrical Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+18 percent), Santa Clara (+18 percent), Los Angeles (+9 percent), and Seattle (+8 percent). Milwaukee is the lowest-paying area, 20 percent south of the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are San Diego (16 percent less) and Pittsburgh (15 percent less).

Principal Electrical Engineer Advice

Q: What is it like working as a Principal Electrical Engineer?

Principal Electrical Engineer in Clearfield:
"Work hard and be patient with the pay raises."
Learn the company's way of doing business. Win people's favor by accepting and completing task on time.

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.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Principal Electrical Engineer

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 63 votes.
1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
7%
10-19 years
41%
20 years or more
51%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries

▲5%

National Average
$130,000

▼2%

▼9%

Entry-Level
▼12%

Skills That Affect Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries

▲5%





▲1%



▼0%

National Average
$130,000





System Integration
▼13%

Robotics
▼17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 63 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
7%
10-19 years
41%
20 years or more
51%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 95%
dental benefits
Dental: 88%
vision benefits
Vision: 75%
no benefits
None: 5%
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