Principal Electrical Engineer Salary
Salaries for Principal Electrical Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($122K) per year. Final cash compensation to Principal Electrical Engineers varies from around $100K to approximately $173K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $22K and $19K, respectively. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geography, followed by the specific employer and experience level. The majority of Principal Electrical Engineers claim high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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...
The principal design engineer is also be involved in making hiring decisions for his or her team. They assess design and project needs and put teams together to address these requirements as efficiently as possible. They regularly review performance and assess their teams based on accepted quality assurance standards for electrical engineering and design.
A principal electrical engineer normally works in an office or manufacturing environment during regular business hours, although overtime may be required depending on project needs.
To work as a principal electrical engineer, an individual generally needs at least a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, although postgraduate study may be required. In many states, these engineers are also required to possess some form of licensing or certification as well. Because of the management nature of this position, a company is likely to look for individuals with at least five to seven years experience in electrical engineering or electrical design.
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.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Principal Electrical Engineer
Broadcom Corporation leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $150K.
Not only do salaries lack room to grow — pay ranges from $99K to just $160K — but BAE Systems Inc. offers the lowest pay in town to boot, with a median paycheck of $108K.
Popular Skills for Principal Electrical Engineer
Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Simulation, Field-Programmable Gate Array, Microsoft Office, and Engineering Design are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Robotics, System Integration, and Software Development. Most people familiar with Engineering Design also 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.
Principal Electrical Engineers with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. During the first five years of their careers, Principal Electrical Engineers see a median income of $114K. Survey respondents with five to 10 years of experience report an only modestly higher median of $114K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Principal Electrical Engineers make a median salary of $127K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Principal Electrical Engineers with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $134K.
Pay Difference by Location
Principal Electrical Engineers will find that San Jose offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 22 percent. Principal Electrical Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Santa Clara (+19 percent), San Francisco (+16 percent), Los Angeles (+11 percent), and Boulder (+6 percent). With compensation 14 percent below the national average, Pittsburgh is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers pay around 13 percent less in Houston and 7 percent less in Dayton, below-median salaries for those in this field.
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