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Senior Principal Engineer Salary

Senior Principal Engineers enjoy a hefty income, with average pay passing six figures ($127K) annually in the United States. Cash earnings for Senior Principal Engineers — which occasionally include more than $24K from bonuses and more than $15K from profit sharing — stretch from around $100K to approximately $172K. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the particular firm, followed by the particular city and tenure. Job satisfaction for Senior Principal Engineers is high. Almost all have medical and dental plans, and a fair number have vision insurance. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$97,259 - $160,104
(Median)
$97K
$130K
$160K
MEDIAN: $126,764
10%
50%
90%

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$48.16 - $82.18
(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
$97,259 - $160,104  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,295  
Profit Sharing
$783 - $14,555  
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).
)
$99,948 - $171,697  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 961
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
$48.16 - $82.18  
   
Overtime
$52.69 - $105.14  
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 - $24,295  
   
Profit Sharing
$783 - $14,555  
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).
)
$99,948 - $171,697  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 41
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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' salaries may sharply decline when they move into higher-end positions like Aerospace Engineer. The typical income for an Aerospace Engineer is $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 some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Senior Principal Engineers. Senior Principal Engineers in search of the best pay head to Broadcom Corporation, where the median salary rolls in at $162K. Although pay is top-notch overall, it does seem to be curbed at $238K, which isn't dramatically higher than the lower-end figure of $144K. Other leaders in compensation levels are Raytheon Co. at $156K, Oracle Corp. at $141K, and Raytheon Missile Systems, where Senior Principal Engineers annually earn $139K.

BAE Systems Inc., Western Digital Corporation, and Raytheon Missile Systems are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($127K, $134K, and $139K respectively).

Popular Skills for Senior Principal Engineer


Senior Principal Engineers report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. 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. It is often found that people who know Engineering Design are also skilled in Systems Engineering.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Principal Engineer

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


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Senior Principal Engineers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Folks who are navigating the first five years of their careers have a median salary of approximately $109K in this position. Those who have been around for five to 10 years don't get much more, though; the median salary in that group is $114K. For Senior Principal Engineers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $134K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $140K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

Pay Difference by Location


San Jose offers some of the highest pay in the country for Senior Principal Engineers, 17 percent above the national average. Senior Principal Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+14 percent), Boston (+12 percent), Orlando (+10 percent), and San Francisco (+9 percent). Falling short of the national average by 9 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Huntsville. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Denver (8 percent less) and Austin (6 percent less).

Related Job Salaries

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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 17%

Systems Engineering
up arrow 4%

Engineering Design
up arrow 1%

Project Management
up arrow 1%

Product Development
up arrow 1%

Software Development
up arrow 1%

Research Analysis
0%

National Average
$134,000

Technical Analysis
up arrow 2%

Manufacturing Process Engineering
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 209 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
8%
10-19 years
39%
20 years or more
51%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 94% dental benefits Dental: 89%
vision benefits Vision: 78% employee benefits None: 4%
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