Senior Principal Engineer Salary

Wages for Senior Principal Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($127K) per year. Cash earnings for Senior Principal Engineers — including $24K in bonuses and $14K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $100K to $173K depending on individual performance. While the particular city and years of experience impact pay for this group, the particular firm is the most influential factor. Almost all claim medical and dental insurance and a fair number get vision coverage. Most Senior Principal Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$97,140 - $160,965
(Median)
$97K
$130K
$160K
MEDIAN: $126,992
10%
50%
90%

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$47.97 - $82.42
(Median)
$48
$66
$82
MEDIAN: $66.00
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$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$97,140 - $160,965  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,374  
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).
)
$99,739 - $172,973  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 979
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$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$47.97 - $82.42  
   
Overtime
$52.37 - $105.43  
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$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,374  
   
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).
)
$99,739 - $172,973  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 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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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 $75K.

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., Western Digital Corporation, BAE Systems Inc., Oracle Corp., and Broadcom Corporation are leading firms in the industry. Although the highest salaries can be found at Broadcom Corporation where median pay is $162K, there is little variation in compensation; paychecks are spread only between $144K and $238K. Other big spenders include Raytheon Co., Oracle Corp., and Raytheon Missile Systems, top-paying firms where Senior Principal Engineers see paychecks nearing $155K, $150K, or $139K.

BAE Systems Inc., Western Digital Corporation and Raytheon Missile Systems are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, showing salaries around $128K, $134K, and $139K.

Popular Skills for Senior Principal Engineer


Senior Principal Engineers seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Semiconductor, Systems Engineering, Project Management, and Software Development are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate 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.


Senior Principal Engineers with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Individuals who have worked for fewer than five years bring in approximately $109K on average. Those in the five-to-10 year range can expect an average that is only a touch bigger at $115K. Senior Principal Engineers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $134K. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Senior Principal Engineer with more than 20 years of experience can earn $140K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Senior Principal Engineers will find that Santa Clara offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 21 percent. Senior Principal Engineers will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+18 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), Boston (+11 percent), and San Francisco (+9 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 11 percent south of the national average, can be found in Huntsville. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Denver (10 percent lower) and Austin (4 percent lower).

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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 199 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: 4%
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