Senior Systems Engineer Salary

Senior Systems Engineers in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $98K per year on average. Overall incomes of Senior Systems Engineers — including $15K bonuses, $10K profit sharing proceeds, and $51K commissions on the more lucrative end — generally ranges between $75K and $143K. The company is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography and experience level. Most Senior Systems Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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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. The most common career progression for Senior Systems Engineers leads to becoming an Information Technology Manager, where pay is typically $77K. However, many Senior Systems Engineers also opt to become Information Technology Architects, a position that pays $109K on average.

Senior Systems Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Engineer


Known for taking on a considerable number of Senior Systems Engineers, Lockheed Martin Corp, Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman Corporation, Rockwell Collins, Inc., and The Boeing Company are leading firms in the industry. The biggest paychecks can be found at The Boeing Company — the median salary there is $124K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $79K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $168K. Other leaders in compensation levels are Booz, Allen, and Hamilton at $123K, Northrop Grumman Corporation at $116K, and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, where Senior Systems Engineers annually earn $112K.

While select General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems employees may bring in up to $133K, a median salary of only $80K — the lowest in the field — suggests a serious lag in the earnings department. 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


Senior Systems Engineers report using a deep pool of skills 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. Engineering Design and Systems Engineering are also commonly seen together.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Systems 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. During the first five years of their careers, Senior Systems Engineers see a median income of $87K. Survey respondents with five to 10 years of experience report an only modestly higher median of $94K. Professionals who claim 10 to 20 years of experience can secure some pretty cushy paychecks; the median for this group is a six-figure $104K. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Senior Systems Engineer with more than 20 years of experience can earn $119K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $101,090

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

For Senior Systems Engineers, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. 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). Falling short of the national average by 7 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Atlanta. Austin and Denver are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 3 percent lower and 2 percent lower, respectively.

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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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