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Senior Principal Engineer Salary (United States)

Bountiful salaries abound for Senior Principal Engineers in the United States, with average pay above six figures ($133K) per year. Total cash compensation for Senior Principal Engineers runs from $99K to $171K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $21K and profit sharing that can reach almost $15K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geography, though years of experience and the particular employer have a (lesser) impact as well. Nearly all receive medical and dental insurance and a fair portion get vision insurance. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Senior Principal Engineer Salary (?
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.
)
$95,646 - $160,029
(Median)
96K
110K
130K
140K
160K
MEDIAN: $125,765
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Senior Principal Engineer Salary (?
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.
)
$48.10 - $80.61
(Median)
48
56
65
74
81
MEDIAN: $64.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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
$95,646 - $160,029  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $21,488  
Profit Sharing
$805 - $14,780  
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).
)
$99,238 - $171,111  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 720
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
$48.10 - $80.61  
   
Overtime
$54.80 - $106.23  
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 - $21,488  
   
Profit Sharing
$805 - $14,780  
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).
)
$99,238 - $171,111  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 35
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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.
Read More...
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.

Principal Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Principal Engineer

Salary cannot be beat at Broadcom Corporation, where median pay comes to $162K. The range seems somewhat confined, however; the lower end sits at $142K, and the higher end is not far away at $171K.
Oracle Corp. offers the least money; the median income there is just $140K. The pay range is also pretty narrow, as compensation generally sits between $88K and $207K. Raytheon Co. also ranks near the bottom for pay.

Popular Skills for Senior Principal Engineer

Survey results suggest that Senior Principal Engineers use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Engineering Design, Semiconductor and Systems Engineering are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Manufacturing Process Engineering and Product Development. Most people who know Engineering Design also know Systems Engineering.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Principal Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Senior Principal Engineers, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. The average inexperienced employee pulls down a cushy six-figure sum; the median salary for people claiming fewer than five years of experience is $108K. For Senior Principal Engineers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $132K. 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 of $140K.

Pay Difference By Location

Santa Clara
up arrow 21%
San Jose
up arrow 16%
Boston
up arrow 12%
San Diego
up arrow 10%
Orlando
up arrow 10%
Los Angeles
up arrow 7%
Seattle
up arrow 7%
El Segundo
up arrow 4%
Washington
up arrow 2%
Irvine
up arrow 1%
Houston
0%
National Average
$133,000
Pittsburgh
up arrow 2%
Minneapolis
up arrow 6%
Austin
up arrow 7%
Huntsville
up arrow 7%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Senior Principal Engineers, working in the bustling city of Santa Clara has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Other big spenders include San Jose, Boston, Orlando, and San Diego, top-paying cities where Senior Principal Engineers see paychecks higher than average (+16 percent, +12 percent, +10 percent, and +10 percent). The lowest-paying market is Austin, which sits 7 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Huntsville and Minneapolis (7 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Senior Principal Engineer Salaries

National Average
$133,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 19%

Skills That Affect Senior Principal Engineer Salaries

Engineering Design, Semiconductor
up arrow 22%
Systems Engineering
up arrow 5%
Research Analysis
up arrow 2%
Engineering Design
up arrow 1%
Project Management
up arrow 1%
Software Development
up arrow 1%
Technical Analysis
0%
National Average
$133,000
Manufacturing Process Engineering
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 192 votes.

Gender

Female
5%
female alumni
 
Male
95%
male alumni

Years of Experience

1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
9%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
49%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 94% dental benefits Dental: 89%
vision benefits Vision: 77% employee benefits None: 5%