Updated August 18, 2021
Average Principal Engineer Salary
$113,000 yearly
$54.40 hourly

Entry level Salary
$87,000 yearly
$87,000
10 %
$113,000
Median
$146,000
90 %
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PercentileascdescAnnual SalaryascdescMonthly SalaryascdescHourly Rateascdesc
90th Percentile
$146,000
$12,167
$70
75th Percentile
$129,000
$10,750
$62
Average
$113,149
$9,429
$54
25th Percentile
$98,000
$8,167
$47
10th Percentile
$87,000
$7,250
$42

Average Principal Engineer Salary By State

The darker areas on the map show where principal engineers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

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Average Salary:

Principal Engineer average salary by State

StateascdescAvg. salaryascdescHourly rateascdescJob Countascdesc
Alabama
$97,907
$47.07
Alaska
$119,376
$57.39
Arizona
$114,484
$55.04
Arkansas
$73,956
$35.56
California
$136,359
$65.56
Colorado
$102,284
$49.17
Connecticut
$107,617
$51.74
Delaware
$120,365
$57.87
District of Columbia
$119,265
$57.34
Florida
$96,370
$46.33
Georgia
$98,954
$47.57
Hawaii
$94,313
$45.34
Idaho
$108,329
$52.08
Illinois
$96,713
$46.50
Indiana
$83,521
$40.15
Iowa
$78,455
$37.72
Kansas
$85,382
$41.05
Kentucky
$90,383
$43.45
Louisiana
$104,671
$50.32
Maine
$103,336
$49.68
Maryland
$109,560
$52.67
Massachusetts
$115,324
$55.44
Michigan
$99,419
$47.80
Minnesota
$91,878
$44.17
Mississippi
$95,279
$45.81
Missouri
$90,590
$43.55
Montana
$70,214
$33.76
Nebraska
$74,974
$36.05
Nevada
$123,326
$59.29
New Hampshire
$114,536
$55.07
New Jersey
$112,082
$53.89
New Mexico
$127,394
$61.25
New York
$99,399
$47.79
North Carolina
$90,788
$43.65
North Dakota
$97,513
$46.88
Ohio
$88,894
$42.74
Oklahoma
$91,424
$43.95
Oregon
$110,310
$53.03
Pennsylvania
$98,053
$47.14
Rhode Island
$106,408
$51.16
South Carolina
$94,590
$45.48
South Dakota
$81,850
$39.35
Tennessee
$90,213
$43.37
Texas
$115,070
$55.32
Utah
$103,653
$49.83
Vermont
$103,666
$49.84
Virginia
$106,355
$51.13
Washington
$110,241
$53.00
West Virginia
$97,918
$47.08
Wisconsin
$82,913
$39.86
Wyoming
$85,544
$41.13

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Highest Paying Cities For Principal Engineer

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CityascdescAvg. salaryascdescHourly rateascdesc
San Francisco, CA
$141,742
$68.15
Washington, DC
$119,226
$57.32
Houston, TX
$116,261
$55.89
Boston, MA
$115,250
$55.41
Seattle, WA
$111,186
$53.45
McLean, VA
$108,123
$51.98

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

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How much does a Principal Engineer make?

  • The average principal engineer makes $113,149 in the United States.
  • The average hourly pay for a principal engineer is $54.4.
  • The average entry-level principal engineer salary is $87,000.
  • Highest paying states for principal engineer are California ($136,359), New Mexico ($127,394), Nevada ($136,359) and Delaware ($136,359).
  • Highest paying cities for principal engineer are San Francisco, CA ($141,742), Washington, DC, Houston, TX, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA.
  • Principal engineers on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $87,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $146,000.
  • The best-paid 25% made $129,000 that year, while the lowest-paid 25$ made $98,000
  • Industries with the highest principal engineer salaries are telecommunication, manufacturing and technology.

Average Principal Engineer Salary Over Time

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

Location
    YearascdescAvg. salaryascdescHourly rateascdesc% Changeascdesc
    2021
    $113,000
    $54.40
    +1.7%
    2020
    $111,000
    $53.47
    +2.0%
    2019
    $109,000
    $52.42
    +0.7%
    2018
    $108,000
    $52.04
    +0.6%
    2017
    $108,000
    $51.71
    +1.2%

    Average JOB Salary by Field

    Team Lead Engineer

    Avg. salary: $97,878

    A team leads engineer is in charge of spearheading and overseeing the efforts of an engineering team, ensuring efficiency and smooth workflow. Although the duties may depend on one's industry of employment, it typically includes designing and developing systems according to project requirements, setting objectives and construction guidelines, delegating tasks, managing budgets and schedules, and monitoring the workflow, performing corrective measures as needed. Furthermore, as a team leads engineer, it is essential to encourage the workforce to reach goals, all while enforcing the company's safety standards and regulations.
    202,557 Team Lead Engineer Jobs
    Lead Design Engineer

    Avg. salary: $95,857

    A Lead Design Engineer produces design solutions that can be purchased, installed, and commissioned effectively. They are also responsible for the cost-effectiviness and safety of new designs.
    108,441 Lead Design Engineer Jobs
    Consulting Engineer

    Avg. salary: $90,360

    A consulting engineer is a professional who aids in the planning, designing, and construction of a project from the public and private clients. Consulting engineers are required to advise on the best component suitable according to the needs of their clients. They can manage the project by coordinating with designers, architects, and relevant persons who have commissioned the project. They may incorporate green sustainable energy solutions based on the demands of their clients. Consulting engineers must also conduct a feasibility study and prepare the estimated cost for the project.
    117,473 Consulting Engineer Jobs
    Engineer

    Avg. salary: $78,492

    Engineers are highly trained professionals who determine the feasibility of various projects, usually related to the construction industry. They are considered experts in mathematics and science, two disciplines that they need to use in designing and coming up with plans for projects. They should also be well-versed in different construction or industrial materials, and they ensure that appropriate materials are used for the project. They also ensure that the projects meet the requirements of the groups that hired them. They create spaces that would both address the needs of the end-users and the industry standards. They also ensure that the projects they make would stand the test of time.
    469,965 Engineer Jobs
    Staff Engineer

    Avg. salary: $85,130

    Staff engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and inspecting various products, equipment, or structures. These professionals may perform varied duties depending on their specialization that includes overseeing the design and construction of buildings, bridges, sewer systems, and other infrastructure, estimating the financial costs of construction projects, and ensuring compliance with health and safety laws and regulations. Other duties include designing and developing machinery, tools, and engines, solving design problems, and building the manufacturing equipment needed to create their products.
    255,036 Staff Engineer Jobs
    Integration Engineer

    Avg. salary: $92,133

    An integration engineer specializes in developing programs and projects to improve business systems for optimal processes. Their responsibilities revolve around meeting with clients to determine their needs, coordinating with analysts to identify the company's strengths and weaknesses, implementing various solutions for business processes, and performing corrective measures as needed. They must also respond to any issues or inquiries, resolving them promptly and professionally. Furthermore, an integration manager may perform clerical tasks such as processing and preparing documentation, performing presentations, and updating clients.
    100,731 Integration Engineer Jobs
    Job TitleascdescAnnual SalaryascdescMonthly SalaryascdescHourly RateascdescJob Openingsascdesc
    Team Lead Engineer
    $97,878
    $8,157
    $47.06
    202,557
    Lead Design Engineer
    $95,857
    $7,988
    $46.09
    108,441
    Consulting Engineer
    $90,360
    $7,530
    $43.44
    117,473
    Engineer
    $78,492
    $6,541
    $37.74
    469,965
    Staff Engineer
    $85,131
    $7,094
    $40.93
    255,036
    Integration Engineer
    $92,134
    $7,678
    $44.30
    100,731
    Job Openings

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    Principal Engineer Salaries By Years Of Experience

    The salary for a principal engineer can vary depending on the years of experience that a person has, from entry level to senior level. Data on how experience level affects total compensation is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as part of their National Compensation Survey, which is based on factors such as knowledge, complexity, contacts, and environment.
    Experience LevelascdescAvg. SalaryascdescHourly Rateascdesc
    Entry Level
    $89,700
    $43.13
    Mid Level
    $110,000
    $52.66
    Senior Level
    $175,000
    $84.04

    Which Companies Pay Principal Engineers The Most?

    To earn a high income as a principal engineer, working for The Home Depot or Walmart might be your best bet, as they are the highest paying companies in this field. In addition, companies like Microsoft and GL Noble Denton report highly competitive wages for principal engineers.
    Company

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    Tell us about yourself to get a free, personalized Zippia Salary Report and suggestions on how to increase your pay.

    Recently Added Principal Engineer Salaries

    Location
    CompanyascdescJobascdescLocationascdescDate AddedascdescSalaryascdesc
    Ally
    Remote-Principal Android Engineer
    Remote-Principal Android Engineer
    Charlotte, NC
    08/30/2021
    $135,000
    08/30/2021
    Verizon
    Principal Cloud Engineer
    Principal Cloud Engineer
    Colorado Springs, CO
    08/28/2021
    $98,000
    08/28/2021
    Splunk
    Principal Devsecops Engineer-Product Security
    Principal Devsecops Engineer-Product Security
    Boulder, CO
    08/27/2021
    $135,000
    08/27/2021
    Splunk
    Principal Devsecops Engineer-Product Security
    Principal Devsecops Engineer-Product Security
    San Jose, CA
    08/27/2021
    $135,000
    08/27/2021
    Splunk
    Principal Devsecops Engineer-Product Security
    Principal Devsecops Engineer-Product Security
    Seattle, WA
    08/27/2021
    $135,000
    08/27/2021
    Motion Recruitment
    Principal Angular Engineer/Animation E-Learning
    Principal Angular Engineer/Animation E-Learning
    Seattle, WA
    08/25/2021
    $170,000
    08/25/2021
    Motion Recruitment
    Principal Engineer/Architect
    Principal Engineer/Architect
    Boston, MA
    08/25/2021
    $180,000
    08/25/2021
    Northrop Grumman
    Principal Engineer EHS
    Principal Engineer EHS
    Melbourne, FL
    08/25/2021
    $79,420
    08/25/2021
    Kelly Services
    Principal Engineer (Medical Device)
    Principal Engineer (Medical Device)
    Saint Paul, MN
    08/25/2021
    $93,915
    08/25/2021
    Randstad Us
    Principal Engineer
    Principal Engineer
    Washington, DC
    08/25/2021
    $160,699
    08/25/2021

    Average Principal Engineer Salary by Demographic

    Principal Engineer Gender Pay Gap

    male-income
    Male Income
    $120,948
    female-income
    Female Income
    $117,704
    Genderascdesc
    Incomeascdesc
    Male$120,948
    Female$117,704
    Median Principal Engineer Income by Race
    White principal engineers have the highest average salary compared to other ethnicities. Black or african american principal engineers have the lowest average salary at $116,299.
    $125,000
    $100,000
    $75,000
    $50,000
    $25,000
    $0
    White
    Black or African American
    Asian
    Hispanic or Latino
    Ethnicityascdesc
    Salaryascdesc
    White$120,206
    Black or African American$116,299
    Asian$119,398
    Hispanic or Latino$119,579
    Average Principal Engineer Salary by Education Level
    Principal engineers with a Doctorate degree earn more than those without, at $151,006 annually. With a Masters degree, principal engineers earn a median annual income of $136,396 compared to $120,948 for principal engineers with an Bachelors degree.
    $155,000
    $124,000
    $93,000
    $62,000
    $31,000
    $0
    Master's Degree
    Bachelor's Degree
    Doctorate Degree
    Educationascdesc
    Salaryascdesc
    Master's Degree$136,396
    Bachelor's Degree$120,948
    Doctorate Degree$151,006