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Principal Electrical Engineer Salary

Average pay for Principal Electrical Engineers in the United States is more than reasonable, with annual salaries pushing past the six-figure mark ($116K). Total cash compensation for Principal Electrical Engineers runs from $90K to $163K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $20K and profit sharing that can reach almost $18K. Residence and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Principal Electrical Engineers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$88,474 - $150,323
(Median)
$88K
$120K
$150K
MEDIAN: $115,644
10%
50%
90%

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$30.67 - $97.59
(Median)
$31
$59
$98
MEDIAN: $59.00
10%
50%
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
$88,474 - $150,323  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,138  
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).
)
$90,084 - $162,712  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 847
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
$30.67 - $97.59  
   
Overtime
$44.72 - $79.72  
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 - $20,138  
   
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).
)
$90,084 - $162,712  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 29

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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

  • 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.

Principal Electrical Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Principal Electrical Engineer


Survey results imply that Principal Electrical Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Field-Programmable Gate Array, Board Design / Debug, Design, and Systems Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 5 percent, 4 percent, 3 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include System Integration, Microsoft Word, and Controls. 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 Principal Electrical Engineers, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $89K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $107K. On average, Principal Electrical Engineers make $122K following one to two decades on the job. Principal Electrical Engineers who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $129K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Santa Clara offers some of the highest pay in the country for Principal Electrical Engineers, 25 percent above the national average. Principal Electrical Engineers will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+24 percent), Irvine (+16 percent), Los Angeles (+8 percent), and Austin (+7 percent). Pittsburgh ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 17 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Dallas and Minneapolis (13 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).

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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries



National Average
$122,000


Entry-Level
up arrow 27%

Skills That Affect Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries

Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)
up arrow 5%

Board Design / Debug
up arrow 4%

Design
up arrow 3%

Systems Engineering
up arrow 2%

Engineering Design
up arrow 1%

Simulation
up arrow 1%

National Average
$122,000

Project Management
up arrow 2%

Software Development
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 5%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 5%

Controls
up arrow 6%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 7%

System Integration
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 190 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
35%
20 years or more
49%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 94% dental benefits Dental: 86%
vision benefits Vision: 71% employee benefits None: 5%
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