Principal Electrical Engineer Salary (United States)

Salaries for Principal Electrical Engineers in the United States are bountiful, with average pay above six figures ($120,128) per year. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Almost all employees enjoy medical while the greater part get dental coverage in this occupation. Vision coverage is also available to around two-thirds. Most Principal Electrical Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. The numbers for this synopsis were furnished by individuals who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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.
)
$85,564 - $148,734
(Median)
86K
99K
110K
130K
150K
MEDIAN: $114,108
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.
)
$31.54 - $97.59
(Median)
32
49
59
77
98
MEDIAN: $59.00
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
$85,564 - $148,734  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,239  
Profit Sharing
$992 - $16,565  
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).
)
$87,643 - $162,463  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 677
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
$31.54 - $97.59  
   
Overtime
$1.36 - $80.36  
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 - $20,239  
   
Profit Sharing
$992 - $16,565  
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).
)
$87,643 - $162,463  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 29
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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.

Common Career Paths for Principal Electrical Engineer

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Principal Electrical Engineers do not experience a change in pay as they move up the career ladder. Oftentimes, an upper-level role like Senior Principal Engineer will not bring in more money than some lower-level roles.

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 (FPGA), Board Design / Debug, Design, and Engineering Design are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 7 percent, 6 percent, 4 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Controls, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. 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.
For Principal Electrical Engineers, experience seems to be a major factor in determining pay. Surpassing six figures, earnings reach $103K after five to 10 years, and typically start at $80K. Compensation is $119K after 10 to 20 years. After 20 years in the field, Principal Electrical Engineers see their salaries growing more slowly, eventually averaging out to $128K.

Pay Difference By Location

Santa Clara
up arrow 31%
San Jose
up arrow 22%
Boulder
up arrow 13%
Houston
up arrow 12%
Seattle
up arrow 7%
up arrow 6%
Austin
0%
National Average
$120,000
Tucson
up arrow 4%
Minneapolis
up arrow 5%
Phoenix
up arrow 6%
Dallas
up arrow 12%
Milwaukee
up arrow 13%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 16%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Principal Electrical Engineers, busy Santa Clara offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 31 percent above the national average. Principal Electrical Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+22 percent), Boulder (+13 percent), Houston (+12 percent), and Seattle (+7 percent). With compensation 16 percent below the national average, Pittsburgh is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Milwaukee and Dallas (-13 percent and -12 percent, respectively).

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Experience Affects Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries

National Average
$120,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 33%

Skills That Affect Principal Electrical Engineer Salaries

Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)
up arrow 7%
Design
up arrow 4%
Engineering Design
up arrow 1%
Software Development
0%
National Average
$120,000
Project Management
up arrow 2%
Simulation
up arrow 2%
Systems Engineering
up arrow 2%
Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 2%
Microsoft Excel
up arrow 4%
Microsoft Office
up arrow 5%
Microsoft Word
up arrow 6%
Controls
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 179 votes.

Gender

Female
5%
female alumni
 
Male
95%
male alumni

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
14%
10-19 years
36%
20 years or more
48%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 85%
vision benefits Vision: 69% employee benefits None: 6%