Senior Systems Engineer Salary

Average pay for Senior Systems Engineers in the United States is more than reasonable, with annual salaries pushing past the six-figure mark ($97K). Total cash incomes of Senior Systems Engineers run from $74K to $141K, depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $15K, profit sharing that reaches $10K, and some commissions of nearly $51K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the specific employer, followed by career length and geography. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction for Senior Systems Engineers is high. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$73,330 - $134,323
(Median)
$73K
$97K
$130K
MEDIAN: $97,226
10%
50%
90%

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$29.76 - $79.74
(Median)
$30
$49
$80
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
$73,330 - $134,323  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,210  
Profit Sharing
$994 - $10,242  
Commission
$0.00 - $50,565  
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).
)
$74,493 - $141,007  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 6,745
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
$29.76 - $79.74  
   
Overtime
$29.57 - $75.68  
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 - $15,210  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $50,565  
Profit Sharing
$994 - $10,242  
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).
)
$74,493 - $141,007  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 321
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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 transition into a Principal Systems Engineer role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $122K per year. An Information Technology Manager role is the most prevalent career advancement for Senior Systems Engineers. Paychecks for that role are $76K on average. The Information Technology Architect position is another common transition for Senior Systems Engineers; in this role, salaries are typically at the $109K mark.

Senior Systems Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Engineer


Dominating the field, Lockheed Martin Corp, Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman Corporation, The Boeing Company, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Senior Systems Engineers. For Senior Systems Engineers, comfortable salaries can be found at Booz, Allen, and Hamilton; in fact, average earnings are around $123K, the highest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($86K versus $151K) is great. Other employers shelling out big bucks include The Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and L-3 Communications, where Senior Systems Engineers typically earn around $123K, $119K, or $112K, respectively.

Bringing up the rear, BAE Systems Inc.'s median pay of $90K is the lowest in town; however, employee salaries widely range, with some making up to $135K. Other low-paying employers include General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems at $92K and Lockheed Martin Corp at $93K, though some Senior Systems Engineers there earn up to $140K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Engineer


Survey results imply that Senior Systems Engineers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Requirements Analysis, Engineering Design, Project Management, and UNIX are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Microsoft Active Directory, Internet Information Server, and Windows Operating System General Use. Those with knowledge of Engineering Design tend to be skilled in 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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Senior Systems Engineers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. During their first five years in the workforce, individuals in this position earn $86K on average. Survey participants with five to 10 years under their belts see an only a slightly bigger average of $93K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $103K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $119K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Senior Systems Engineers, San Jose offers exceptional salaries, 18 percent above the national average. Senior Systems Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+18 percent), New York (+16 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), and Huntsville (+12 percent). The lowest-paying market is Orlando, which sits 10 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Atlanta and Austin (7 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Senior Systems Engineer Salaries



National Average
$100,000



Skills That Affect Senior Systems Engineer Salaries

Engineering Design
up arrow 4%

Requirements Analysis
up arrow 4%

Project Management
up arrow 3%

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%

VMware ESX
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 4%




Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1366 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
44%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 87%
vision benefits Vision: 76% employee benefits None: 6%
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