Senior Systems Engineer Salary

Two in three of Senior Systems Engineers in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $74K to $141K per year, and the average comes out to $97K annually. With bonuses occasionally running north of $15K, profit sharing proceeds sometimes surpassing $10K, and a few commissions as high as $49K, total income for Senior Systems Engineers can range between $74K and $141K according to individual performance. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and geography. For the most part, Senior Systems Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$73,076 - $134,161
(Median)
$73K
$97K
$130K
MEDIAN: $96,912
10%
50%
90%

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$29.44 - $79.49
(Median)
$29
$50
$79
MEDIAN: $49.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$73,076 - $134,161  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,159  
Profit Sharing
$988 - $10,193  
Commission
$0.00 - $49,363  
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).
)
$74,171 - $140,913  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 6,571
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$27$54$81
Hourly Rate
$29.44 - $79.49  
   
Overtime
$29.73 - $75.64  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,159  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $49,363  
Profit Sharing
$988 - $10,193  
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).
)
$74,171 - $140,913  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 317

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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 who go on to become Principal Systems Engineers may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Principal Systems Engineers is $122K annually. The most common promotion for Senior Systems Engineers is an Information Technology Manager position, which usually brings in $76K a year. Another standard transition for Senior Systems Engineers seeking advancement is to assume an Information Technology Architect role, where pay is often $108K.

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, The Boeing Company, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) are leading firms in the industry. Employees at Booz, Allen, and Hamilton enjoy the biggest paychecks, and $121K is the median salary. Range in pay, on the other hand, is narrow, with lower figures hovering around $88K and higher ones not far away at only $152K. Soaring salaries can also be found at The Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, where earnings of $121K, $114K, or $113K are standard for Senior Systems Engineers.

While select BAE Systems Inc. employees may bring in up to $135K, a median salary of only $89K — the lowest in the field — suggests a serious lag in the earnings department. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems at $92K, and Lockheed Martin Corp where $92K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Senior Systems Engineers there earn up to $139K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Engineer


Survey results imply that Senior Systems Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Requirements Analysis, Engineering Design, Project Management, and C++ are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Microsoft Active Directory, Windows Operating System General Use, and Microsoft Office. It is not unusual for someone who knows Engineering Design to be familiar with Systems Engineering as well.

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 a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. During the first five years of their careers, Senior Systems Engineers see a median income of $85K. Survey respondents with five to 10 years of experience report an only modestly higher median of $92K. After 10 to 20 years, professionals can make it pretty big; the median salary sits in the six-figure neighborhood of $103K. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $119K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Senior Systems Engineers that is 18 percent greater than the national average, San Jose offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Senior Systems Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+18 percent), New York (+16 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), and Huntsville (+11 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Orlando, 10 percent below the national average. Workers in Atlanta and Austin earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (6 percent less and 4 percent less, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Senior Systems Engineer Salaries



National Average
$100,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Engineer Salaries

Requirements Analysis
up arrow 4%

Engineering Design
up arrow 3%

Project Management
up arrow 2%

C++
up arrow 2%

UNIX
up arrow 2%

Systems Engineering
up arrow 1%

Matlab
up arrow 1%

Linux
0%

National Average
$100,000

Controls
up arrow 1%

SQL
up arrow 2%

VMware ESX
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1471 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: 87%
vision benefits Vision: 76% employee benefits None: 5%