Senior Principal Engineer Salary

Six-figure salaries are the norm for Senior Principal Engineers in the United States, with median pay hovering around $130K per year. With some bonuses approaching $25K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $18K, overall incomes of Senior Principal Engineers spread between $101K and $179K depending on individual performance. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the particular firm, followed by geography and tenure. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Nearly all get medical and dental insurance, and a strong majority get vision plans, too. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$98,229 - $164,723
(Median)
$98K
$130K
$160K
MEDIAN: $129,782
10%
50%
90%

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$47.78 - $82.67
(Median)
$48
$67
$83
MEDIAN: $67.00
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
$98,229 - $164,723  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $25,093  
Profit Sharing
$973 - $18,246  
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).
)
$100,760 - $178,537  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,091
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$32$64$96
Hourly Rate
$47.78 - $82.67  
   
Overtime
$54.30 - $94.70  
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$70K$140K$210K
Bonus
$0.00 - $25,093  
   
Profit Sharing
$973 - $18,246  
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).
)
$100,760 - $178,537  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 37
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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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Senior Principal Engineers who take an Aerospace Engineer role, an upper-level role, may see a decrease in pay. Pay for Aerospace Engineers is usually $76K.

Principal Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Principal Engineer


Known for taking on a considerable number of Senior Principal Engineers, Raytheon Co., BAE Systems Inc., Oracle Corp., Western Digital Corporation, and Broadcom Corporation are leading firms in the industry. Although Oracle Corp. heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $165K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $86K to $190K. Broadcom Corporation, Raytheon Co., and Raytheon Missile Systems are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Senior Principal Engineers earning around $162K, $158K, or $139K at each firm, respectively.

Employees at BAE Systems Inc., Western Digital Corporation, and Raytheon Missile Systems can also expect below-average earnings of $128K, $135K, and $139K.

Popular Skills for Senior Principal Engineer


Survey results show that Senior Principal Engineers use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Semiconductor, Software Development, Product Development, and Systems Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 14 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Manufacturing Process Engineering. Most people skilled in Engineering Design are similarly competent in 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, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Survey participants with less than five years' experience report a median income of $111K, and earnings aren't much higher for respondents who have five to 10 years under their belts; respondents in the latter group report a median of just $115K. Senior Principal Engineers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $137K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Senior Principal Engineers with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $144K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $137,387

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 20 percent, Senior Principal Engineers in Santa Clara receive some of the highest pay in the country. Senior Principal Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+17 percent), San Francisco (+16 percent), Boston (+12 percent), and Los Angeles (+10 percent). Falling short of the national average by 11 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Huntsville. Employers also pay below the national average in Denver (8 percent lower) and Austin (5 percent lower).

Senior Principal Engineer Reviews

What is it like working as a Senior Principal Engineer at Oracle Corp.?

Senior Principal Engineer in Santa Clara:
"Challenging job; company very tightly controlled."
Pros: Challenging work. Many very sharp colleagues to work with.
Cons: Oracle is stingy about supplying employees the tools they need to do their job. For example, even for *engineers*, it only provides mid-range Windows laptops, whereas in our part of the company we need Unix-based, higher-end computers. Many of us end up spending $2500 out of our own pockets to supply the "tools" we need to do our jobs. The other thing I dislike is that the company operates very "top-down" -- decisions are made on top, pushed down, and must be accepted without question. No reasons are given for the decisions, and no appeals are tolerated. There is no transparency; it feels like upper management is saying "we're the parents and you are the children, *that's* why; we don't need to explain our decisions". I'd expect that in the military, but not in a corporation.

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Experience Affects Senior Principal Engineer Salaries



National Average
$137,000


Entry-Level
up arrow 19%

Skills That Affect Senior Principal Engineer Salaries

Engineering Design, Semiconductor
up arrow 14%

Software Development
up arrow 10%



Technical Analysis
up arrow 3%

Software Architecture
up arrow 3%

Project Management
up arrow 2%

Engineering Design
up arrow 1%

Research Analysis
0%

National Average
$137,000

Manufacturing Process Engineering
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 190 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
8%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
51%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 93%
dental benefits
Dental: 89%
medical benefits
Vision: 77%
dental benefits
None: 5%
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