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Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Salary

A sizeable majority of Radio Frequency Engineers in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $79K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing, each hitting highs of $10K, total cash payment to Radio Frequency Engineers can bottom out at $50K or peak near $116K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration and the individual firm. For the most part, Radio Frequency Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
$52,672 - $110,660
(Median)
53K
66K
79K
94K
110K
MEDIAN: $78,928
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$15.62 - $56.04
(Median)
16
29
35
56
MEDIAN: $28.00
10%
50%
75%
90%

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Show Annual Salary Show Hourly Rate

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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$52,672 - $110,660  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,268  
Profit Sharing
$507 - $9,955  
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).
)
$50,209 - $116,443  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,110
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$15.62 - $56.04  
   
Overtime
$8.07 - $60.82  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,268  
   
Profit Sharing
$507 - $9,955  
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).
)
$50,209 - $116,443  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 116
United States (change)

Job Description for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer

  • Conducts research that tests and analyzes design, operation, and performance of components and systems.
  • Designs, develops, and maintains radio frequency systems.
  • Gathers information to prepare and present reports on project topics.
  • Performs bench tests and evaluates radio frequency systems.

Common Career Paths for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer


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For Radio Frequency Engineers, career progression to a Senior Systems Engineer role may result in a considerable increase in compensation. On average, a Senior Systems Engineer, an upper-level role, can earn $99K annually. The most common career progression for Radio Frequency Engineers leads to becoming a Senior Electrical Engineer, where average pay is $95K annually. However, many Radio Frequency Engineers also opt to become Wireless RF Network Engineers. Typically, a Wireless RF Network Engineer brings home $67K.

Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer


Radio Frequency Engineers flock to Ericsson Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation, AT&T Mobility LLC, Verizon Wireless, and Lockheed Martin Corp, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Radio Frequency Engineers flock to T-Mobile, Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $90K lead the pack in compensation; however, T-Mobile, Inc. also provides employees with a wide spectrum of compensation ranging from $46K at one end to $121K at the other end. Radio Frequency Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks at AT&T Mobility LLC ($90K), Alcatel - Lucent ($86K), and Verizon Wireless ($86K).

Employees at Lockheed Martin Corp take home the smallest paychecks, and $75K is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $60K and quickly nearing the top at only $98K. Other low-paying employers include Ericsson Inc. at $79K and Northrop Grumman Corporation at $83K, though some Radio Frequency Engineers there earn up to $125K.

Popular Skills for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer


Survey results imply that Radio Frequency Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Satellite, Microwave Technology, Visual Basic, and Simulation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 6 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Windows Operating System General Use, Wireless Data Communications, and Microsoft Word. It is often found that people who know Microsoft Excel are also skilled in Engineering Design.

Pay by Experience Level for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Radio Frequency Engineers do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $69K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $83K. Radio Frequency Engineers see a median salary of $97K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $103K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Radio Frequency Engineers, California means bigger paychecks — those in San Jose, Sunnyvale, and San Diego earn more than Radio Frequency Engineers in the rest of the country. Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Atlanta, 17 percent below the national average. Dallas and Washington are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 7 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Salaries




National Average
$80,000


Skills That Affect Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Salaries


Satellite, Microwave Technology
up arrow 4%

Simulation
up arrow 3%

Wireless
up arrow 3%

Matlab
up arrow 3%

Visual Basic (VB)
up arrow 3%

Project Management
up arrow 2%

C++
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Excel
0%

C
0%

National Average
$80,000

Test Engineering
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 4%



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 249 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 81%
vision benefits Vision: 70% employee benefits None: 7%