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Senior Principal Engineer Salary

Generous salaries abound for Senior Principal Engineers in the United States, with average pay above six figures ($127K) per year. Overall cash earnings for Senior Principal Engineers stretch from $100K on the lower end to $171K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $24K from bonuses and $15K from profit sharing. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and tenure. In this profession, nearly all enjoy medical and dental coverage, and a strong majority have vision insurance, as well. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$97,396 - $160,091
(Median)
$97K
$130K
$160K
MEDIAN: $126,906
10%
50%
90%

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$47.34 - $80.92
(Median)
$47
$64
$81
MEDIAN: $64.00
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
$97,396 - $160,091  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,047  
Profit Sharing
$817 - $14,620  
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).
)
$99,969 - $171,095  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 930
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
$47.34 - $80.92  
   
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 - $24,047  
   
Profit Sharing
$817 - $14,620  
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).
)
$99,969 - $171,095  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 43

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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 may experience a deep cut in pay as they move into an upper-level role like Aerospace Engineer. That position usually brings in $75K.

Principal Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Principal Engineer


Many Senior Principal Engineers can be found at Raytheon Co., Western Digital Corporation, BAE Systems Inc., Broadcom Corporation, and Oracle Corp., firms that are at the top of the field. With a median salary of $161K, Broadcom Corporation offers Senior Principal Engineers the highest pay. However, earnings don't seem to live on a large spectrum; they generally peter out at $147K and are capped at $208K.

Salaries are easily beat at BAE Systems Inc., where median pay comes to just $128K, the lowest in the field. What's more, with base pay starting at $102K and ending at $144K, range in salary is rather small.

Popular Skills for Senior Principal Engineer


Survey results suggest that Senior Principal Engineers put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Semiconductor, Systems Engineering, Software Development, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Manufacturing Process Engineering. Most people experienced in 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.


Senior Principal Engineers with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. During the first five years of their careers, Senior Principal Engineers see a median income of $110K. Survey respondents with five to 10 years of experience report an only modestly higher median of $114K. On average, Senior Principal Engineers make $133K following one to two decades on the job. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $140K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Senior Principal Engineers in San Jose enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 18 percent above the national average. Senior Principal Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Boston (+12 percent), Orlando (+10 percent), San Diego (+9 percent), and San Francisco (+9 percent). Falling short of the national average by 8 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Huntsville. Denver and Austin are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 8 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

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%

Product Development
up arrow 2%

Software Development
up arrow 2%

Engineering Design
up arrow 1%

Project Management
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 212 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: 94% dental benefits Dental: 89%
vision benefits Vision: 77% employee benefits None: 4%