Senior Systems Engineer Salary

Senior Systems Engineers in the United States can expect to earn a very comfortable salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $97K) surpassing six figures annually. With bonuses occasionally running north of $15K, profit sharing proceeds sometimes surpassing $10K, and a few commissions as high as $51K, total income for Senior Systems Engineers can range between $75K and $141K according to individual performance. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the particular firm, followed by career length and geography. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Senior Systems Engineers. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$73,422 - $134,554
(Median)
$73K
$97K
$130K
MEDIAN: $97,296
10%
50%
90%

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$30.03 - $80.20
(Median)
$30
$50
$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
$73,422 - $134,554  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,206  
Profit Sharing
$994 - $10,257  
Commission
$0.00 - $50,684  
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).
)
$74,607 - $141,339  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 6,775
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
$30.03 - $80.20  
   
Overtime
$29.50 - $75.74  
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 - $15,206  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $50,684  
Profit Sharing
$994 - $10,257  
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).
)
$74,607 - $141,339  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 322
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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 $122K annually. An Information Technology Manager role is the most common promotion for Senior Systems Engineers moving up the ladder. Pay for this role tends to be $76K per year. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Senior Systems Engineers is an Information Technology Architect position, where earnings are usually $109K.

Senior Systems Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Engineer


Lockheed Martin Corp, Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman Corporation, The Boeing Company, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Senior Systems Engineers. Although The Boeing Company boasts the highest average salary in town at $124K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $80K or as much as $166K. Also paying near the top of the field are Booz, Allen, and Hamilton at $123K, Northrop Grumman Corporation at $119K, and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, where Senior Systems Engineers annually earn $115K.

Offering a median salary of only $90K, BAE Systems Inc. pays the least. Not only that, but the earnings range of $72K to $135K is pretty narrow, too. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems at $92K, and Lockheed Martin Corp where $93K 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 participants wield an impressively varied skill set 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 pay less than market rate 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.


For Senior Systems Engineers, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. 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. 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


San Jose is home to an above-average pay rate for Senior Systems Engineers, 18 percent higher than the national average. Senior Systems Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+18 percent), New York (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), and Huntsville (+12 percent). Orlando is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 10 percent. Employers pay around 7 percent less in Atlanta and 4 percent less in Austin, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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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%

Project Management
up arrow 3%

Engineering Design
up arrow 3%

UNIX
up arrow 2%

C++
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

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1348 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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