Senior Principal Engineer Salary

Senior Principal Engineers enjoy a hefty income, with average pay passing six figures ($140K) annually in the United States. Overall cash earnings for Senior Principal Engineers stretch from $108K on the lower end to $188K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $30K from bonuses and $18K from profit sharing. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the specific employer, followed by the particular city and tenure. Work is enjoyable for Senior Principal Engineers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$102,578 - $175,177
$100K
$140K
$180K
MEDIAN: $139,736
10%
50%
90%

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$56.32 - $99.33
$56
$67
$99
MEDIAN: $67.41
10%
50%
90%

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$0$188K
Salary $102,578 - $175,177
Bonus $1,226 - $29,762
Profit Sharing $466.41 - $17,838
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).
)
$107,743 - $188,411
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 502
Hourly Data $0$99
Hourly Rate $56.32 - $99.33
Overtime $49.66 - $95.64
Annual Data $0$188K
Bonus $1,226 - $29,762
Profit Sharing $466.41 - $17,838
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).
)
$107,743 - $188,411
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 10

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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As Senior Principal Engineers make advancements to positions like Aerospace Engineer, salaries may go down sharply. Usually, Aerospace Engineers make $77K. Many Senior Principal Engineers go on to become Civil Engineers or Electrical Engineers despite the fact that median compensation in those roles is reportedly $87K lower and $79K lower, respectively.

Senior Principal Engineer Job Listings

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. For Senior Principal Engineers, comfortable salaries can be found at Broadcom Corporation; in fact, median earnings sit around $186K, the highest in the area. Other big spenders include Oracle Corp., Raytheon Co., and BAE Systems Inc., top-paying firms where Senior Principal Engineers see paychecks nearing $165K, $156K, or $146K.

A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include Western Digital Corporation ($135K), Raytheon Missile Systems ($139K), and BAE Systems Inc. ($146K).

Popular Skills for Senior Principal Engineer


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. 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 5 percent and 13 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Manufacturing Process Engineering, Research Analysis, and Project Management. Most people experienced in Engineering Design also know 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: $147,856

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

San Jose is home to an above-average pay rate for Senior Principal Engineers, 18 percent higher than the national average. Senior Principal Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Santa Clara (+16 percent), Denver (+13 percent), Los Angeles (+12 percent), and Boston (+10 percent). Senior Principal Engineers in Greenville report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 29 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Employers pay around 17 percent less in Fremont and 8 percent less in Nashua, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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
6 %
Male
94 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 52 votes.
Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
6%
10-19 years
37%
20 years or more
55%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Principal Engineer Salaries

▲2%

National Average
$148,000

▼1%

Entry-Level
▼16%

▼21%

Skills That Affect Senior Principal Engineer Salaries







National Average
$148,000


Technical Analysis
▼2%



Manufacturing Process Engineering
▼16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 52 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
6%
10-19 years
37%
20 years or more
55%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 96%
dental benefits
Dental: 90%
vision benefits
Vision: 81%
no benefits
None: 3%
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