Senior Principal Engineer Salary

Senior Principal Engineers receive generous compensation in the United States — earning an average of $127K per year, their standard salaries shoot well into the six-figure range. In the world of Senior Principal Engineers, overall income ranges from $100K near the bottom to $173K at the top; this can include more than $24K from bonuses and more than $14K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. The specific employer is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography and tenure. Nearly all report receiving medical and dental coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect vision insurance. Most Senior Principal Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$97,050 - $161,071
(Median)
$97K
$130K
$160K
MEDIAN: $126,891
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
$97,050 - $161,071  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $24,421  
Profit Sharing
$721 - $14,446  
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).
)
$99,665 - $173,125  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 972
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 - $24,421  
   
Profit Sharing
$721 - $14,446  
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).
)
$99,665 - $173,125  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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 move into an Aerospace Engineer role may often bring in a much lower salary. On average, Aerospace Engineers earn $75K.

Principal Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Principal Engineer


Senior Principal Engineers flock to Raytheon Co., Western Digital Corporation, BAE Systems Inc., Oracle Corp., and Broadcom Corporation, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Broadcom Corporation pays the most with a median salary of $162K, though there is little variation overall ($144K to $238K). Other employers shelling out big bucks include Raytheon Co., Oracle Corp., and Raytheon Missile Systems, where Senior Principal Engineers typically earn around $156K, $150K, or $139K, respectively.

BAE Systems Inc., Western Digital Corporation, and Raytheon Missile Systems also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $128K, $134K, and $139K.

Popular Skills for Senior Principal Engineer


Senior Principal Engineers report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Semiconductor, Systems Engineering, Project Management, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Manufacturing Process Engineering. Those familiar with Engineering Design also tend to know Systems Engineering.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Principal Engineer

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


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. At career start (within the first five years), average income sits near $109K, and the average for folks who have worked for five to 10 years is only slightly higher at $114K. 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


Santa Clara is home to an above-average pay rate for Senior Principal Engineers, 21 percent higher than the national average. Senior Principal Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like 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. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Denver and Minneapolis (9 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

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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
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 201 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

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: 77% employee benefits None: 4%
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