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.

$98,334 - $159,806
$98K
$120K
$160K
MEDIAN: $122,105
10%
50%
90%

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$48.04 - $155.13
$48
$61
$160
MEDIAN: $60.50
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
$98,334 - $159,806  
   
Bonus
$1,012 - $21,738  
Profit Sharing
$646 - $19,266  
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).
)
$100,009 - $172,585  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 495
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
$48.04 - $155.13  
   
Overtime
$41.21 - $90.58  
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
$1,012 - $21,738  
   
Profit Sharing
$646 - $19,266  
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).
)
$100,009 - $172,585  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 13

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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For Principal Electrical Engineers, career advancements do not tend to correlate with a rise in salary. On average, lower-level Principal Electrical Engineers earn similar salaries to those in higher-end positions like Senior Principal Engineer.

Principal Electrical Engineer Job Listings

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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

National Average: $128,200

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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.

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
3 %
Male
97 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 65 votes.
048
1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
10%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
49%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries


National Average
$128,000



Entry-Level
up arrow 11%

Skills That Affect Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries



Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%




Controls
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Excel
0%

National Average
$128,000


up arrow 1%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 1%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 2%

Software Development
up arrow 6%

System Integration
up arrow 12%

Robotics
up arrow 15%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 65 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
10%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
49%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 96%
dental benefits
Dental: 88%
vision benefits
Vision: 76%
dental benefits
None: 4%
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