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Average Principal Mechanical Engineer Salary

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The average salary for a Principal Mechanical Engineer is $119,819.
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$92k - $152k
$2k - $20k
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$990 - $19k
Total Pay
$94k - $162k
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What Do Principal Mechanical Engineers Do?

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.

Job Satisfaction for Principal Mechanical Engineer

3.9 out of 5
Highly Satisfied
The top respondents for the job title Principal Mechanical Engineer are from the companies Northrop Grumman Corporation, Curtiss-Wright Corp and Honeywell Aerospace. Reported salaries are highest at General Dynamics Electric Boat where the average pay is $136,183. Other companies that offer high salaries for this role include Curtiss-Wright Corp and Honeywell Aerospace, earning around $124,006 and $118,000, respectively. Halliburton Energy Services pays the lowest at around $101,000. BAE Systems Inc. and Bechtel Bettis also pay on the lower end of the scale, paying $110,128 and $116,952, 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
More common (> 20%)
Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Less common (< 8%)

Principal Mechanical Engineer Job Listings

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What Are Popular Skills for Principal Mechanical Engineers?

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

What is the Pay by Experience Level for Principal Mechanical Engineers?

An early career Principal Mechanical Engineer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $97,290 based on 22 salaries. A mid-career Principal Mechanical Engineer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $106,915 based on 180 salaries. An experienced Principal Mechanical Engineer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $119,828 based on 394 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $127,284.
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 (9.1% more) and San Diego, California (8.0% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Minneapolis, Minnesota (6.5% less) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2.9% less).

Years of Experience

This data is based on 986 survey responses.
Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career