Average Principal Mechanical Engineer Salary

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The average salary for a Principal Mechanical Engineer is $117,797.
MEDIAN $117,797
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United States (change)
$92k - $148k
$1k - $20k
Profit Sharing
$963 - $14k
Total Pay
$95k - $156k

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Job Description for Principal Mechanical Engineer

Principal Mechanical Engineer Tasks
  • Manage all aspects Mechanical Engineering projects from beginning phases until completion.
  • Research design and make decisions based on appearance, safety, budget, and function.
  • Manage time and cost to complete projects.
The top respondents for the job title Principal Mechanical Engineer are from the companies Curtiss-Wright Corp, Northrop Grumman Corporation and Honeywell Aerospace. Reported salaries are highest at General Dynamics Electric Boat where the average pay is $138,311. Other companies that offer high salaries for this role include Raytheon Co. and Northrop Grumman Corporation, earning around $129,062 and $122,616, respectively. BAE Systems Inc. pays the lowest at around $110,954. Bechtel Bettis and Honeywell Aerospace also pay on the lower end of the scale, paying $114,762 and $115,985, respectively.

Career Paths

Explore the most common career paths for Principal Mechanical Engineer. Thickness and color of lines indicates popularity of movement from one job to the next. Visit our career path planner to research other job paths.
Principal Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineer
Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
More common (> 20%)
Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Less common (< 8%)

Principal Mechanical Engineer Job Listings

Popular Skills for Principal Mechanical Engineer

Skills in Product Development are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Computer Aided Design (CAD), Project Management, Technical Analysis and Engineering Design.

Pay by Experience Level for Principal Mechanical Engineer

An early career Principal Mechanical Engineer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $96,088 based on 28 salaries. A mid-career Principal Mechanical Engineer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $103,419 based on 175 salaries. An experienced Principal Mechanical Engineer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $117,161 based on 477 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $123,878.
Employees with Principal Mechanical Engineer in their job title in San Jose, California earn an average of 20.0% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in Houston, Texas (11.3% more) and San Diego, California (10.9% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (5.4% less) and Minneapolis, Minnesota (2.6% less).

Years of Experience

This data is based on 1,145 survey responses.
Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career