What am I worth?
Get a free salary report »
What should I pay?
Pay the right way »

Senior Principal Engineer Salary

On average, Senior Principal Engineers in the United States earn six-figure salaries ($127K) annually, making for a very well-paid profession. In the world of Senior Principal Engineers, overall income ranges from $100K near the bottom to $172K at the top; this can include more than $24K from bonuses and more than $15K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by location, but the specific employer and tenure are influential factors as well. Nearly all receive medical and dental insurance and a strong majority get vision plans. The majority of Senior Principal Engineers claim high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$97,235 - $160,222
(Median)
$97K
$130K
$160K
MEDIAN: $126,945
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$47.34 - $81.94
(Median)
$47
$65
$82
MEDIAN: $65.00
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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
$97,235 - $160,222  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,149  
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).
)
$99,885 - $171,520  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 948
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 - $81.94  
   
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 - $24,149  
   
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).
)
$99,885 - $171,520  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 43

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Comp Managers: Start Here »

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.

Common Career Paths for Senior Principal Engineer


Add this chart to your site:   640px 640px    300px 300px


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

Search for more jobs:

Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Principal Engineer


Raytheon Co., Western Digital Corporation, Oracle Corp., BAE Systems Inc., and Broadcom Corporation are among the top companies that take on many Senior Principal Engineers. Although Broadcom Corporation offers the highest salaries (median pay is $162K), survey participants reported a rather limited pay range of $144K to $238K.

Senior Principal Engineers will find the worst pay at BAE Systems Inc., where the median salary crawls in at $128K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $144K, leaving little room for growth.

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, Project Management, and Software 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 do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Even the relatively untested can score weighty six-figure salaries; survey participants with less than five years' experience report earning a median of $109K per year. On average, Senior Principal Engineers make $133K following one to two decades on the job. 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 is home to an above-average pay rate for Senior Principal Engineers, 17 percent higher than the national average. Senior Principal Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Boston (+12 percent), Los Angeles (+11 percent), Orlando (+10 percent), and San Francisco (+9 percent). Trailing the national average by 9 percent, Huntsville is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers in Denver and Austin also lean toward paying below-median salaries (8 percent lower and 6 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 3%

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 210 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
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%
ADVERTISEMENT