Senior Systems Engineer Salary

Salaries for Senior Systems Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($98K) per year. With some bonuses approaching $15K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $10K, overall incomes of Senior Systems Engineers spread between $75K and $143K depending on individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the company, though geography and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. Most Senior Systems Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$74,027 - $135,390
(Median)
$74K
$98K
$140K
MEDIAN: $98,036
10%
50%
90%

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$30.16 - $81.98
(Median)
$30
$50
$82
MEDIAN: $50
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$74,027 - $135,390  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,399  
Profit Sharing
$977 - $10,443  
Commission
$-0.50 - $51,064  
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).
)
$75,177 - $142,838  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 7,397
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$28$56$84
Hourly Rate
$30.16 - $81.98  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00  
Overtime
$29.80 - $76.35  
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$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,399  
   
Commission
$-0.50 - $51,064  
Profit Sharing
$977 - $10,443  
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).
)
$75,177 - $142,838  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 357
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Job Description for Senior Systems Engineer

The senior systems engineer tends to involve more design and build-out work than an standard systems administrator position. While both jobs contain responsibilities for day-to-day administration and upkeep of servers and storage, a senior systems engineer will also have been the one who original designed the solution; this can range anywhere from choosing a server platform to details related to processors, RAM and network cards.

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Senior Systems Engineer Tasks

  • Install, configure and upgrade and enhancements to software/hardware/network systems.
  • May be responsible for designing a data contingency plan or data disaster recovery plan.
  • Oversee the planning, design and implementation of system engineering projects.

Common Career Paths for Senior Systems Engineer


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At the upper end, Senior Systems Engineers who move into a Principal Systems Engineer role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Principal Systems Engineers is a much higher $123K per year. Becoming an Information Technology Manager is, more often than not, the most common role that Senior Systems Engineers move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. A median salary for an Information Technology Manager is $77K. Another frequent advance is for Senior Systems Engineers to assume an Information Technology Architect role; in this role, workers often take home $109K.

Senior Systems Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Engineer


Lockheed Martin Corp, Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman Corporation, Rockwell Collins, Inc., and The Boeing Company are top-notch employers for Senior Systems Engineers in this area. Although The Boeing Company leads the field in pay with a median salary of $124K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $79K on the low end all the way up to $168K at the top. Soaring salaries can also be found at Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, where earnings of $123K, $116K, or $112K are standard for Senior Systems Engineers.

For Senior Systems Engineers, below-average salaries can be found at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems; in fact, average earnings are around $80K, the lowest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($66K versus $133K) is great. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include BAE Systems Inc. at $89K, and Lockheed Martin Corp where $93K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Senior Systems Engineers there earn up to $140K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Engineer


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Requirements Analysis, Project Management, Engineering Design, and C++ are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Internet Information Server, Microsoft Active Directory, and Windows Operating System General Use. Experience with Engineering Design is often linked with knowledge of Systems Engineering.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Systems Engineer

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


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. During their first five years in the workforce, individuals in this position earn $87K on average. Survey participants with five to 10 years under their belts see an only a slightly bigger average of $94K. Between one and two decades on the job, average salaries pass the six-figure mark at around $104K. Senior Systems Engineers who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $119K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $101,090

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

Senior Systems Engineers will find that San Francisco offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 27 percent. Senior Systems Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+20 percent), San Jose (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+15 percent), and New York (+13 percent). The lowest-paying market is Atlanta, which sits 7 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Austin (3 percent lower) and Denver (2 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Senior Systems Engineer Salaries



National Average
$101,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Engineer Salaries

Project Management
up arrow 4%

Requirements Analysis
up arrow 4%

Engineering Design
up arrow 3%

C++
up arrow 3%

UNIX
up arrow 2%

Systems Engineering
up arrow 1%

Linux
up arrow 1%

Matlab
0%

Storage Area Networking (SAN)
0%

National Average
$101,000

VMware ESX
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1303 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
7%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
45%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 92%
dental benefits
Dental: 86%
medical benefits
Vision: 76%
dental benefits
None: 6%
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