Vice President (VP), Engineering Salary
Job Description for Vice President (VP), Engineering
Engineering vice presidents (VPs) have extraordinary computer knowledge in addition to a good sense of business practices and customer service. They are responsible for overseeing the engineering or research and development departments, and they generally report to the president or CEO. Engineering VPs can manage or oversee teams of engineers or developers and the projects and testing with which they are tasked.Read More...
Ultimately, the VPs' goal is to ensure that the engineering portion of their company runs smoothly and meets company standards. On the business and customer service side, engineering VPs are also typically the spokespeople for product management and are often required to work and meet regularly with clients. Although their work is mostly mental, stress and pressure come with the territory, so VPs must be able to cope with both.
These types of responsibilities require heavy education and experience. Most businesses require their engineering VPs to have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering; in some cases, a master’s degree in business or engineering may be preferred. Beyond this, most companies want at least ten years of successful work experience in the field.
Overall, engineering VPs must have strong and persevering personalities. They can expect long hours and having to work on weekends, especially during times when a new product is ready to be unveiled. For most engineering VPs, travel is almost certainly involved in the job description.
Vice President (VP), Engineering Tasks
- Coordinate and direct teams to complete projects, including documentation and integration of technical components.
- Guide and approve financial decisions including ordering of materials, expenditures and reporting.
- Ensure that the product is fully and correctly defined and documented.
- Analyze available technology, market needs and existing resources to determine project feasibility.
- Lead the engineering team, including coaching, allocating resources effectively and reviewing team performance.
Common Career Paths for Vice President (VP), Engineering
VPs of Engineering may not see large compensation differences if they transition into an upper-level role such as Chief Executive Officer. Chief Executive Officers on average make about as much as VPs of Engineering do. Many VPs of Engineering choose to become Chief Technology Officers and VP of Computer Software Engineerings as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $28K less and $13K less, respectively.
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Popular Skills for Vice President (VP), Engineering
VPs of Engineering report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in UNIX, Leadership, Software Architecture, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 10 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like SQL, Project Management, and Engineering Design. The majority of those who know Engineering Design also know Project Management and Product Development. Those proficient in Leadership are, more often than not, also skilled in Product Development and Project Management.
Pay by Experience Level for Vice President (VP), Engineering
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For VPs of Engineering, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Salaries can reach six figures almost right off the bat; beginning workers who have less than five years' experience bring in a median of $136K per year. On average, VPs of Engineering make $176K following one to two decades on the job. VPs of Engineering who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $183K.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for VPs of Engineering, San Jose offers exceptional salaries, 40 percent above the national average. VPs of Engineering can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Philadelphia (+18 percent), San Francisco (+14 percent), New York (+14 percent), and Boston (+11 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in San Diego, 13 percent below the national average. Workers in Minneapolis and Austin earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (10 percent less and 9 percent less, respectively).
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