Senior Principal Engineer Salary

Average pay for Senior Principal Engineers in the United States is more than reasonable, with annual salaries pushing past the six-figure mark ($127K). Cash earnings for Senior Principal Engineers — which occasionally include more than $24K from bonuses and more than $14K from profit sharing — stretch from around $100K to approximately $173K. The particular firm is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography and experience level. For the most part, Senior Principal Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all have medical and dental plans, and a strong majority have vision insurance. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$97,226 - $160,845

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$47.97 - $82.42

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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
$97,226 - $160,845  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,181  
Profit Sharing
$771 - $14,353  
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).
)
$99,770 - $172,739  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 980
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$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$47.97 - $82.42  
   
Overtime
$52.37 - $105.43  
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$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,181  
   
Profit Sharing
$771 - $14,353  
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).
)
$99,770 - $172,739  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 39
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Job Description for Senior Principal Engineer

A senior principal engineer oversees engineering projects for their organization or business. They may be employed within the electrical, mechanical, computer, civil, or chemical engineering profession. The role of a senior principal engineer is generally similar through all the industries in which they are employed. Responsibilities may include coordinating hiring, training and scheduling; preparing progress reports that are to presented to upper-level management throughout the project's duration; providing guidance and managing the engineering teams working on that project; ensuring the project is completed on time and on budget. and providing technical and program-level support, including execution strategies.

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Senior Principal Engineer Tasks

  • Plan and implement the design specifications for the engineering project.
  • Responsible for making sure financial restraints are followed and for timely completion of the project.
  • Oversee engineering projects using both technical engineering and administrative skills.

Common Career Paths for Senior Principal Engineer


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As Senior Principal Engineers transition into upper-level roles like Aerospace Engineer, they may see a sharp decline in salary. Aerospace Engineers will usually earn $75K.

Principal Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Principal Engineer


Raytheon Co., Western Digital Corporation, BAE Systems Inc., Oracle Corp., and Broadcom Corporation are among the top companies that take on many Senior Principal Engineers. Although Broadcom Corporation offers the highest salaries (median pay is $162K), survey participants reported a rather limited pay range of $144K to $238K. Senior Principal Engineers will also find cushy salaries at Raytheon Co. (+$155K), Oracle Corp. (+$150K), and Raytheon Missile Systems (+$139K).

A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include BAE Systems Inc. ($128K), Western Digital Corporation ($134K), and Raytheon Missile Systems ($139K).

Popular Skills for Senior Principal Engineer


Survey results imply that Senior Principal Engineers put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Semiconductor, Systems Engineering, Project Management, and Software Development are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Manufacturing Process Engineering. For most people, competency in Engineering Design indicates knowledge of Systems Engineering.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Principal Engineer

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


For Senior Principal Engineers, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Senior Principal Engineers in the early stages of their careers take home approximately $109K on average. The average for people in the five-to-10 year group is only a little larger at $115K. Senior Principal Engineers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $134K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $141K.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Senior Principal Engineers, Santa Clara offers exceptional salaries, 21 percent above the national average. Senior Principal Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+18 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), Boston (+11 percent), and San Francisco (+9 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Huntsville, 11 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Denver and Austin (10 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Senior Principal Engineer Salaries



National Average
$134,000


Entry-Level
up arrow 18%

Skills That Affect Senior Principal Engineer Salaries

Engineering Design, Semiconductor
up arrow 16%

Systems Engineering
up arrow 4%

Project Management
up arrow 2%

Engineering Design
up arrow 1%

Product Development
up arrow 1%

Software Development
up arrow 1%

Research Analysis
up arrow 1%

National Average
$134,000

Technical Analysis
up arrow 1%

Manufacturing Process Engineering
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 197 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
9%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
50%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 94% dental benefits Dental: 89%
vision benefits Vision: 78% employee benefits None: 5%
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