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Principal Electrical Engineer Salary (United States)

Average pay for a Principal Electrical Engineer in the United States is considerable, rounding six figures at $121K per year. In the world of Principal Electrical Engineers, overall income ranges from $89K near the bottom to $163K at the top; this can include more than $20K from bonuses and more than $18K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Principal Electrical Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Principal Electrical Engineer 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.
)
$86,892 - $148,717
(Median)
87K
100K
110K
130K
150K
MEDIAN: $114,837
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Principal Electrical Engineer 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.
)
$30.75 - $97.29
(Median)
31
48
58
76
97
MEDIAN: $57.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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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.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$86,892 - $148,717  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,171  
Profit Sharing
$972 - $17,687  
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).
)
$88,828 - $162,503  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 741
National Hourly Rate 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.
)
$0$33$66$99
Hourly Rate
$30.75 - $97.29  
   
Overtime
$1.57 - $80.97  
National Annualized 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.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,171  
   
Profit Sharing
$972 - $17,687  
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).
)
$88,828 - $162,503  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 30
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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.
Read More...
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.

Common Career Paths for Principal Electrical Engineer

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Principal Electrical Engineers' salary tends to stay somewhat level for those who assume higher-end positions like Senior Principal Engineer. Median pay for Senior Principal Engineers is $132K.

Principal Electrical Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Principal Electrical Engineer

Survey results imply that Principal Electrical Engineers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Board Design / Debug, Field-Programmable Gate Array, Design, and Systems Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 5 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Controls, System Integration, and Microsoft Word. Those familiar with Engineering Design also tend to know Design and Simulation.

Pay by Experience Level for Principal Electrical Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Principal Electrical Engineers, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $83K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $104K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $121K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $129K on average.

Pay Difference By Location

Santa Clara
up arrow 26%
San Jose
up arrow 23%
Irvine
up arrow 20%
Boulder
up arrow 12%
Los Angeles
up arrow 9%
Seattle
up arrow 7%
up arrow 5%
San Diego
up arrow 5%
Austin
up arrow 4%
Houston
up arrow 3%
National Average
$121,000
Tucson
up arrow 4%
Minneapolis
up arrow 5%
Phoenix
up arrow 6%
Dallas
up arrow 9%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 17%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For those looking to make money, Principal Electrical Engineers in Santa Clara enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 26 percent above the national average. Principal Electrical Engineers will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+23 percent), Irvine (+20 percent), Boulder (+12 percent), and Los Angeles (+9 percent). Trailing the national average by 17 percent, Pittsburgh is the market with the smallest paychecks. Below-median salaries also turn up in Dallas and Phoenix (9 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries

National Average
$121,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 32%

Skills That Affect Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries

Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)
up arrow 5%
Design
up arrow 4%
Systems Engineering
up arrow 2%
Engineering Design
up arrow 1%
Simulation
0%
Software Development
0%
National Average
$121,000
Project Management
up arrow 2%
Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 4%
Microsoft Excel
up arrow 5%
Microsoft Office
up arrow 6%
Microsoft Word
up arrow 7%
System Integration
up arrow 7%
Controls
up arrow 15%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 187 votes.

Gender

Female
5%
female alumni
 
Male
95%
male alumni

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
14%
10-19 years
35%
20 years or more
49%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 86%
vision benefits Vision: 70% employee benefits None: 6%