Salaries for Senior Systems Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($100K) per year. Total cash earnings of Senior Systems Engineers range from $77K on the low end to $144K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $16K and $13K, respectively. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the particular firm, but the particular city and years of experience are influential factors as well. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. Male Senior Systems Engineers far outnumber their female contemporaries among those who completed the questionnaire. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Senior Systems Engineers. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$75,846 - $136,442
$76K
$100K
$140K
MEDIAN: $99,720
10%
50%
90%

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$30.20 - $83.20
$30
$51
$83
MEDIAN: $50.83
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
$75,846 - $136,442  
   
Bonus
$989 - $15,594  
Profit Sharing
$773 - $13,025  
Commission
$2,483 - $55,097  
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).
)
$77,006 - $143,622  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 4,344
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
$30.20 - $83.20  
   
Overtime
$32.24 - $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
$989 - $15,594  
   
Commission
$2,483 - $55,097  
Profit Sharing
$773 - $13,025  
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).
)
$77,006 - $143,622  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 197

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United States (change)

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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

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

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. As Senior Systems Engineers progress in their field, many go on to become Information Technology Managers. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and median pay for the role is $77K. Another common career choice for Senior Systems Engineers is to move into an Information Technology Architect role — this promotion usually pays $110K.

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 Raytheon Missile Systems are top-notch employers for Senior Systems Engineers in this area. The biggest paychecks can be found at The Boeing Company — the median salary there is $132K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $94K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $174K. Senior Systems Engineers will also find cushy salaries at Booz, Allen, and Hamilton (+$126K), Northrop Grumman Corporation (+$120K), and General Dynamics C4 Systems (+$113K).

With a reported median salary of only $75K, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems easily takes the cake for lowest-paying firm in town; earnings are 76 percent lower than the top payer. Motorola, Inc., BAE Systems Inc., and Dell, Inc. are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($87K, $88K, and $99K respectively).

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Engineer


Survey takers working as Senior Systems Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. 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 5 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Active Directory, Windows Operating System General Use, and Storage Area Networking. For most people, competency in Engineering Design indicates knowledge of Requirements Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Systems Engineer

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


For many Senior Systems Engineers, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. At career start (within the first five years), average income sits near $89K, and the average for folks who have worked for five to 10 years is only slightly higher at $97K. After one to two decades on the job, professionals can reap plentiful salaries that average out to the six-figure sum of $106K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Senior Systems Engineers with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $119K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $102,328

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

Surpassing the national average by 23 percent, Senior Systems Engineers in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Senior Systems Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Arlington (+23 percent), Washington (+20 percent), New York (+11 percent), and Los Angeles (+10 percent). Cedar Rapids ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 7 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Atlanta and Tucson (6 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Senior Systems Engineer

Gender

Female
11 %
Male
89 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 578 votes.
044
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
45%
20 years or more
21%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Systems Engineer Salaries



National Average
$102,000



Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 578 votes.

Gender

Female
11 %
Male
89 %

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%
vision benefits
Vision: 77%
dental benefits
None: 7%
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