Principal Electrical Engineer Salary

Generous salaries abound for Principal Electrical Engineers in the United States, with average pay above six figures ($124K) per year. Total cash compensation to Principal Electrical Engineers bottoms out near $102K and approaches $173K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $24K from bonuses and almost $18K from profit sharing. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by location, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Most Principal Electrical Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$100,117 - $160,276
$100K
$120K
$160K
MEDIAN: $124,272
10%
50%
90%

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$47.88 - $154.62
$48
$63
$150
MEDIAN: $63.46
10%
50%
90%

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$0$173K
Salary $100,117 - $160,276
Bonus $497.44 - $23,812
Profit Sharing $-0.49 - $17,617
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).
)
$101,664 - $173,390
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 25 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 470
Hourly Data $0$154
Hourly Rate $47.88 - $154.62
Overtime $39.45 - $91.09
Annual Data $0$173K
Bonus $497.44 - $23,812
Profit Sharing $-0.49 - $17,617
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).
)
$101,664 - $173,390
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 25 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 22

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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 go on to become Senior Principal Engineers may see somewhat stagnant compensation. On average, a Senior Principal Engineer, an upper-level role, pays $136K.

Principal Electrical Engineer Job Listings

Popular Employer Salaries for Principal Electrical Engineer


The biggest paychecks can be found at Broadcom Corporation — the median salary there is $150K.

The lowest salaries can be found at BAE Systems Inc. — median pay is $108K — and there is little variation in compensation, with paychecks starting at $99K and only reaching $160K.

Popular Skills for Principal Electrical Engineer


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set 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. Skills that pay less than market rate 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

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: $130,180

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, 29 percent above the national average. Principal Electrical Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+17 percent), Santa Clara (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+9 percent), and Seattle (+8 percent). With compensation 20 percent below the national average, Milwaukee is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers pay around 17 percent less in San Diego and 16 percent less in Pittsburgh, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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.

Principal Electrical Engineer in Atlanta:
"Principal engineer, FPGA, Atl."
Pros: Working with leading edge technology. Design and development. Autonomy.
Cons: Aggressive schedules. Lack of resources. Work/life balance.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Principal Electrical Engineer

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 68 votes.
1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
7%
10-19 years
42%
20 years or more
49%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries

▲4%

National Average
$130,000

▼3%

▼10%

Entry-Level
▼13%

Skills That Affect Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries

▲4%




▲1%



▼0%


National Average
$130,000





System Integration
▼14%

Robotics
▼17%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 68 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
7%
10-19 years
42%
20 years or more
49%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 93%
dental benefits
Dental: 86%
vision benefits
Vision: 75%
no benefits
None: 6%
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