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Senior Systems Engineer Salary

Salaries for Senior Systems Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($97K) per year. In the world of Senior Systems Engineers, total cash compensation can vary between $74K and $141K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $15K and $10K, respectively. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is career length, though the specific employer and geography have a (lesser) impact as well. Job satisfaction for Senior Systems Engineers is high. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$73,171 - $134,072
(Median)
$73K
$97K
$130K
MEDIAN: $97,068
10%
50%
90%

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$29.84 - $79.26
(Median)
$30
$49
$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
$73,171 - $134,072  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,173  
Profit Sharing
$989 - $10,222  
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).
)
$74,280 - $140,736  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 6,648
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
$29.84 - $79.26  
   
Overtime
$29.80 - $75.48  
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 - $15,173  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $49,363  
Profit Sharing
$989 - $10,222  
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).
)
$74,280 - $140,736  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 320

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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

  • 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. Going from Senior Systems Engineer to Information Technology Manager is the transition that occurs most often in this field, and the average paycheck for Information Technology Managers is $76K. Many others choose to work as Information Technology Architects, where pay is typically $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 top-notch employers for Senior Systems Engineers in this area. Senior Systems Engineers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at The Boeing Company, where the median salary comes to $123K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($80K) and those starting out ($169K) creates a rather diverse pay scale. Other leaders in compensation levels are Booz, Allen, and Hamilton at $121K, Northrop Grumman Corporation at $118K, and L-3 Communications, where Senior Systems Engineers annually earn $112K.

BAE Systems Inc. offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $90K, but on the other end, some employees may earn up to $136K. 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 $140K.

Popular Skills for Senior Systems Engineer


Senior Systems Engineers seem to require a rather large skill set. 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.


For many Senior Systems Engineers, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Survey participants with less than five years' experience report a median income of $85K, and earnings aren't much higher for respondents who have five to 10 years under their belts; respondents in the latter group report a median of just $93K. Experienced professionals who have spent one to two decades on the job can score lucrative paychecks that average out to $103K. As Senior Systems Engineers reach more than two decades on the job, compensation remains commensurate with experience; the average pay in this group is $119K.

Pay Difference by Location


San Jose is home to an above-average pay rate for Senior Systems Engineers, 19 percent higher than the national average. Senior Systems Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+17 percent), New York (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), and Huntsville (+11 percent). In Orlando, salaries are 10 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers pay around 7 percent less in Atlanta and 3 percent less in Austin, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

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%

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 1427 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%
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