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Senior Systems Engineer Salary

Senior Systems Engineers in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with two in three bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $97K annually on average but can range from $74K to $140K per year. Total cash compensation to Senior Systems Engineers approaches anywhere from $74K on the lower end to $140K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $15K from bonuses and upwards of $10K from profit sharing. The company is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length and location. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$72,517 - $133,815
(Median)
73K
97K
110K
130K
MEDIAN: $96,693
10%
50%
75%
90%

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$28.90 - $77.57
(Median)
29
40
50
64
78
MEDIAN: $49.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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Show Annual Salary Show Hourly Rate

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
$72,517 - $133,815  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,015  
Profit Sharing
$971 - $10,173  
Commission
$0.00 - $49,176  
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).
)
$73,700 - $140,410  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 6,235
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$26$52$78
Hourly Rate
$28.90 - $77.57  
   
Overtime
$29.30 - $74.83  
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 - $15,015  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $49,176  
Profit Sharing
$971 - $10,173  
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).
)
$73,700 - $140,410  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 294
United States (change)

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 an upper level Principal Systems Engineer role may receive a large increase in pay as the position pays an average $122K per year. The most common career progression for Senior Systems Engineers leads to becoming an Information Technology Manager, where pay is typically $76K. However, many Senior Systems Engineers also opt to become Information Technology Architects, a position that pays $108K on average.

Senior Systems Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Systems Engineer


Lockheed Martin Corp, Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman Corporation, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and The Boeing Company are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Senior Systems Engineers. The Boeing Company does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $124K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $79K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $167K. Soaring salaries can also be found at Northrop Grumman Corporation, Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, and L-3 Communications, where earnings of $116K, $115K, or $112K are standard for Senior Systems Engineers.

The lowest salaries can be found at Motorola, Inc. — median pay is $82K — and there is little variation in compensation, with paychecks starting at $71K and only reaching $107K. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems at $91K, and BAE Systems Inc. where $91K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Senior Systems Engineers there earn up to $147K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Engineer


Senior Systems Engineers seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Requirements Analysis, UNIX, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Windows Operating System General Use, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. Most people experienced in Engineering Design also know Project Management. Most people skilled in Systems Engineering are similarly competent in Requirements Analysis and Project Management.

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. In this position, someone who has worked for fewer than five years can expect a median salary of $85K. The median for people with five to 10 years of experience is only a little bit higher at $92K. Between 10 and 20 years, pay surpasses six figures; at this stage, the average professional scores around $103K. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Senior Systems Engineer with more than 20 years of experience can earn $119K on average.

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 can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+16 percent), New York (+14 percent), and Huntsville (+13 percent). With compensation 11 percent below the national average, Orlando is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Atlanta (6 percent lower) and Austin (3 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

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 2%

UNIX
up arrow 2%

Systems Engineering
up arrow 1%

C++
up arrow 1%

Linux
0%

Project
0%

Matlab
0%

National Average
$100,000

Controls
up arrow 2%

VMware ESX
up arrow 3%

SQL
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1525 votes.

Gender

Female
10 %
Male
90 %

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%