Senior Principal Engineer Salary

Senior Principal Engineers in the United States can expect to earn a very comfortable salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $138K) surpassing six figures annually. Total cash compensation to Senior Principal Engineers bottoms out near $104K and approaches $189K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $30K from bonuses and almost $18K from profit sharing. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the particular firm, though the particular city and tenure have a (lesser) impact as well. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and nearly all earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Senior Principal Engineers. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$100,653 - $174,324
$100K
$140K
$170K
MEDIAN: $138,362
10%
50%
90%

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$56.53 - $90.10
$57
$70
$90
MEDIAN: $70.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$100,653 - $174,324  
   
Bonus
$979 - $29,695  
Profit Sharing
$459.58 - $17,512  
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).
)
$104,451 - $189,362  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 496
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$56.53 - $90.10  
   
Overtime
$49.32 - $82.54  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$979 - $29,695  
   
Profit Sharing
$459.58 - $17,512  
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).
)
$104,451 - $189,362  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 11

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

  • Oversee engineering projects using both technical engineering and administrative skills.
  • Responsible for making sure financial restraints are followed and for timely completion of the project.
  • Plan and implement the design specifications for the engineering project.

Common Career Paths for Senior Principal Engineer


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Compensation may take a strong hit for Senior Principal Engineers who move to positions like Aerospace Engineer. Aerospace Engineers usually make $77K. Many Senior Principal Engineers advance into roles as Civil Engineers or Electrical Engineers, but the median salaries are $85K lower and $76K lower, respectively.

Principal Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Principal Engineer


Dominating the field, Raytheon Co., Western Digital Corporation, BAE Systems Inc., Raytheon Missile Systems, and Oracle Corp. are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Senior Principal Engineers. Those at Broadcom Corporation can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $186K. Oracle Corp., Raytheon Co., and BAE Systems Inc. are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Senior Principal Engineers earning around $165K, $156K, or $146K at each firm, respectively.

Western Digital Corporation, Raytheon Missile Systems, and BAE Systems Inc. are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($135K, $139K, and $146K respectively).

Popular Skills for Senior Principal Engineer


Survey results imply that Senior Principal Engineers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in System Architecture, Software Development, Engineering Design, Semiconductor, and Systems Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 15 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Manufacturing Process Engineering, Research Analysis, and Project Management. It is often found that people who know Engineering Design are also skilled in Systems Engineering.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Principal Engineer

Pay by Experience for a Senior Principal Engineer has a positive trend. An entry-level Senior Principal Engineer with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $125,000 based on 11 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Senior Principal Engineer with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $116,000 based on 61 salaries. An experienced Senior Principal Engineer which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $146,000 based on 253 salaries. A Senior Principal Engineer with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $151,000 based on 272 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $145,159

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Senior Principal Engineers, busy San Jose offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 20 percent above the national average. Senior Principal Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Santa Clara (+18 percent), Denver (+15 percent), Los Angeles (+14 percent), and Boston (+12 percent). The lowest-paying market is Greenville, which sits 28 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Fremont (16 percent less) and Nashua (7 percent less).

Senior Principal Engineer Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Senior Principal Engineer?

Senior Principal Engineer in Santa Clara:
"Challenging job; company very tightly controlled."
Pros: Challenging work. Many very sharp colleagues to work with.
Cons: Oracle is stingy about supplying employees the tools they need to do their job. For example, even for *engineers*, it only provides mid-range Windows laptops, whereas in our part of the company we need Unix-based, higher-end computers. Many of us end up spending $2500 out of our own pockets to supply the "tools" we need to do our jobs. The other thing I dislike is that the company operates very "top-down" -- decisions are made on top, pushed down, and must be accepted without question. No reasons are given for the decisions, and no appeals are tolerated. There is no transparency; it feels like upper management is saying "we're the parents and you are the children, *that's* why; we don't need to explain our decisions". I'd expect that in the military, but not in a corporation.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Senior Principal Engineer

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 54 votes.
Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
7%
10-19 years
38%
20 years or more
54%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Principal Engineer Salaries

▲4%

▲1%

National Average
$145,000

Entry-Level
▼14%

▼20%

Skills That Affect Senior Principal Engineer Salaries








Technical Analysis
▼0%

National Average
$145,000



Manufacturing Process Engineering
▼14%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 54 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
7%
10-19 years
38%
20 years or more
54%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 95%
dental benefits
Dental: 90%
vision benefits
Vision: 81%
no benefits
None: 3%