Senior Systems Engineer Salary

Average pay for a Senior Systems Engineer in the United States is considerable, rounding six figures at $100K per year. In the world of Senior Systems Engineers, overall income ranges from $77K near the bottom to $143K at the top; this can include more than $15K from bonuses and more than $14K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. The specific employer is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the particular city and experience level. Among survey respondents, men are more common than women; 89 percent of Senior Systems Engineers are male. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. For the most part, Senior Systems Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$75,795 - $136,369
$76K
$100K
$140K
MEDIAN: $99,968
10%
50%
90%

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$30.53 - $83.18
$31
$51
$83
MEDIAN: $51.20
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
$75,795 - $136,369  
   
Bonus
$963 - $15,485  
Profit Sharing
$596 - $13,906  
Commission
$2,447 - $55,551  
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).
)
$77,009 - $143,497  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 4,095
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
$30.53 - $83.18  
   
Overtime
$31.80 - $72.72  
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
$963 - $15,485  
   
Commission
$2,447 - $55,551  
Profit Sharing
$596 - $13,906  
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).
)
$77,009 - $143,497  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 177

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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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As Senior Systems Engineers transition into upper-level roles such as Principal Systems Engineer, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Principal Systems Engineers earn $124K on average per year. More often than not, an Information Technology Manager role is the next step for Senior Systems Engineers moving up in the field. Pay for Information Technology Managers is usually $78K. Many Senior Systems Engineers choose to take on an Information Technology Architect role instead, where salaries are typically $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 among the top companies that take on many Senior Systems Engineers. Senior Systems Engineers flock to The Boeing Company for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $133K lead the pack in compensation; however, The Boeing Company also provides employees with a wide spectrum of compensation ranging from $94K at one end to $173K at the other end. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Northrop Grumman Corporation, General Dynamics C4 Systems, and Rockwell Collins, Inc., top-paying firms where Senior Systems Engineers rake in a very impressive $119K, $113K, or $104K, respectively.

With a median salary of $84K, Motorola, Inc. provides Senior Systems Engineers with the lowest pay in their field; moreover, earnings are capped at only $101K, limiting employee salary growth. BAE Systems Inc., Dell, Inc., and Lockheed Martin Corp are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($88K, $99K, and $99K respectively).

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Engineer


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in UNIX, C++ Programming Language, Requirements Analysis, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 6 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Microsoft Active Directory, Windows Operating System General Use, and Storage Area Networking. It is often found that people who know Engineering Design are also skilled in Requirements Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Systems Engineer

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


Senior Systems Engineers do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. During the first five years of their careers, Senior Systems Engineers see a median income of $90K. Survey respondents with five to 10 years of experience report an only modestly higher median of $97K. Experienced professionals who have spent one to two decades on the job can score lucrative paychecks that average out to $106K. 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

National Average: $102,624

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

Senior Systems Engineers will find that San Francisco offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 22 percent. Senior Systems Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+19 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), San Diego (+10 percent), and New York (+9 percent). With compensation 7 percent below the national average, Orlando is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers also pay below the national average in Phoenix (7 percent lower) and Atlanta (5 percent lower).

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 545 votes.
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
44%
20 years or more
21%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Systems Engineer Salaries

▲16%

▲3%

National Average
$103,000

▼5%

▼12%

Skills That Affect Senior Systems Engineer Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 545 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
44%
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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