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Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Salary

Men make up the majority of Radio Frequency Engineers in the United States, bringing in about $80K annually. The range in cash compensation to Radio Frequency Engineers ($51K to $116K) includes potential earnings of $10K each from bonuses and profit sharing in exceptional cases. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the specific employer, followed by geography and experience level. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$53,239 - $110,549
(Median)
$53K
$80K
$110K
MEDIAN: $79,609
10%
50%
90%

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$15.53 - $57.59
(Median)
$16
$29
$58
MEDIAN: $29.00
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$53,239 - $110,549  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,253  
Profit Sharing
$500 - $10,036  
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).
)
$50,719 - $116,174  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,167
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
$15.53 - $57.59  
   
Overtime
$3.71 - $69.52  
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 - $10,253  
   
Profit Sharing
$500 - $10,036  
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).
)
$50,719 - $116,174  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 117

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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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Though some Radio Frequency Engineers move into positions like Design Engineering Manager (where the average salary is $102K), this progression is not the norm. Becoming a Senior Electrical Engineer or a Radio Frequency Optimization Engineer is, however, a more typical career progression for Radio Frequency Engineers.

Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer


Ericsson Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility LLC, and Lockheed Martin Corp are top-notch employers for Radio Frequency Engineers in this area. For Radio Frequency Engineers, comfortable salaries can be found at Verizon Wireless; in fact, average earnings are around $93K, the highest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($60K versus $107K) is great. Those in search of high salaries should also consider T-Mobile, Inc., Alcatel - Lucent, and AT&T Mobility LLC, top-paying firms where Radio Frequency Engineers rake in a comfortable $90K, $86K, or $85K, respectively.

Also approaching the lower end are Lockheed Martin Corp, Sprint Nextel Corporation, and AT&T Inc., each paying $76K.

Popular Skills for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer


Radio Frequency Engineers seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Satellite, Microwave Technology, Simulation, and Matlab are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 5 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Windows Operating System General Use, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. Most people who know Microsoft Excel also know Engineering Design.

Pay by Experience Level for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer

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


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Radio Frequency Engineers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. The average beginner in this position makes around $70K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $84K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $97K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $102K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 30 percent, Radio Frequency Engineers in San Jose receive some of the highest pay in the country. Radio Frequency Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Sunnyvale (+22 percent), Orlando (+17 percent), San Diego (+16 percent), and Los Angeles (+9 percent). In Atlanta, salaries are 15 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Dallas (7 percent lower) and Denver (5 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Salaries




National Average
$81,000


Skills That Affect Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Salaries



Simulation
up arrow 3%

Wireless
up arrow 2%

Matlab
up arrow 2%

Visual Basic (VB)
up arrow 2%

Project Management
up arrow 1%

C++
0%

National Average
$81,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 1%

C
up arrow 1%

Test Engineering
up arrow 2%

Wireless Data Communications
up arrow 4%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 227 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 81%
vision benefits Vision: 70% employee benefits None: 8%