Salaries for Senior Systems Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($99K) per year. Total cash earnings of Senior Systems Engineers range from $77K on the low end to $142K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $16K and $13K, respectively. The specific employer is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography and years of experience. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Work is enjoyable for Senior Systems Engineers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$75,393 - $135,071
(Median)
$75K
$99K
$140K
MEDIAN: $99,008
10%
50%
90%

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$30.68 - $86.00
(Median)
$31
$51
$86
MEDIAN: $51.00
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$75,393 - $135,071  
   
Bonus
$992 - $15,769  
Profit Sharing
$960 - $12,613  
Commission
$2,447 - $47,924  
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).
)
$76,540 - $142,469  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 4,470
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$29$58$87
Hourly Rate
$30.68 - $86.00  
   
Overtime
$34.78 - $73.22  
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
$992 - $15,769  
   
Commission
$2,447 - $47,924  
Profit Sharing
$960 - $12,613  
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).
)
$76,540 - $142,469  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 199
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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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Senior Systems Engineers may progress into high-paying roles like Principal Systems Engineer, where median compensation is $124K annually. Senior Systems Engineers go on to become Information Technology Managers more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $77K. Senior Systems Engineers who move into an Information Technology Architect role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $110K.

Senior Systems Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Engineer


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Senior Systems Engineers include Lockheed Martin Corp, Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman Corporation, Rockwell Collins, Inc., and Raytheon Missile Systems. For Senior Systems Engineers, comfortable salaries can be found at Booz, Allen, and Hamilton; in fact, average earnings are around $126K, the highest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($68K versus $142K) is great. Also paying near the top of the field are The Boeing Company at $119K, General Dynamics C4 Systems at $113K, and Northrop Grumman Corporation, where Senior Systems Engineers annually earn $112K.

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems offers the lowest pay in the industry by far, with a median salary 70 percent less than the top paying company ($75K). Also approaching the lower end are Motorola, Inc. at $87K, BAE Systems Inc. at $90K, and Lockheed Martin Corp at $98K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Engineer


Senior Systems Engineers seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in UNIX, Requirements Analysis, Project Management, and Linux are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 6 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft SQL Server, and Windows Operating System General Use. Those familiar with Engineering Design also tend to know Requirements Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Systems Engineer

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


Senior Systems Engineers with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. During their first five years in the workforce, individuals in this position earn $89K on average. Survey participants with five to 10 years under their belts see an only a slightly bigger average of $96K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $105K. Senior Systems Engineers who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $118K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $101,719

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

With a pay rate for Senior Systems Engineers that is 26 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Senior Systems Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+20 percent), Los Angeles (+8 percent), New York (+8 percent), and Seattle (+7 percent). Trailing the national average by 6 percent, Cedar Rapids is the market with the smallest paychecks. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Atlanta and Tucson (5 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Senior Systems Engineer Salaries



National Average
$102,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Engineer Salaries

up arrow 6%

Requirements Analysis
up arrow 4%

Project Management
up arrow 3%

Linux
up arrow 3%

C++
up arrow 2%

Systems Engineering
up arrow 1%

Engineering Design
up arrow 1%

Matlab
0%

National Average
$102,000

VMware ESX
up arrow 3%

Storage Area Networking (SAN)
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%




Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 609 votes.

Gender

Female
10 %
Male
90 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
45%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 86%
medical benefits
Vision: 77%
dental benefits
None: 7%
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