Find The Best Principal Systems Engineer Jobs For You

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Average Salary
$122,563
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
90,226
Job Openings

Principal Systems Engineer Careers

Principal systems engineers can work in various fields, from manufacturing to product development and even software. Their job is to create systems that enable the business's smooth performance from product creation to final delivery.

Principal systems engineers may study existing systems to understand their functions and implement upgrades as needed. They may also design and test systems for new business processes. Principal systems engineers usually have a team of other engineers under them. They coordinate their activities, supervise work, and create work plans.

As a principal systems engineer, you may report to the business' operations manager or CEO. Your other responsibilities may include maintaining your department's operating budget and meeting with clients.

To become a principal systems engineer, you need an advanced degree in computer engineering or other specializations. You'll also need some years of experience to qualify for the role.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a principal systems engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $58.92 an hour? That's $122,563 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 18,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Principal Systems Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many principal systems engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, problem-solving skills and analytical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a principal systems engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.1% of principal systems engineers included engineering support, while 8.7% of resumes included hardware, and 6.2% of resumes included dod. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the principal systems engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most principal systems engineers actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Principal Systems Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a principal systems engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 62.4% of principal systems engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 20.4% of principal systems engineers have master's degrees. Even though most principal systems engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a principal systems engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a principal systems engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on principal systems engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a principal systems engineer. In fact, many principal systems engineer jobs require experience in a role such as senior systems engineer. Meanwhile, many principal systems engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as systems engineer or senior software engineer.

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Average Salary
$122,563
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
90,226
Job Openings

Principal Systems Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Principal Systems Engineer

Top Careers After Principal Systems Engineer

Principal Systems Engineer Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Principal Systems Engineer

Principal Systems Engineers in America make an average salary of $122,563 per year or $59 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $149,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $100,000 per year.
Average Salary
$122,563
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range129k - 183k$154k$154,382
Seattle, WA
Salary Range125k - 167k$145k$145,315
Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ
Salary Range113k - 154k$132k$132,287
Beaverton, OR
Salary Range112k - 152k$131k$130,676
New York, NY
Salary Range111k - 152k$130k$130,355
Germantown, MD
Salary Range108k - 150k$128k$128,060
$66k
$183k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Principal Systems Engineer-Infrastructure/Network Engineer
Principal Systems Engineer-Infrastructure/Network Engineer
XXX
XXX
06/30/2021
06/30/2021
$98,70006/30/2021
$98,700
Principal/SR. Principal Systems Engineer
Principal/SR. Principal Systems Engineer
Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman
06/30/2021
06/30/2021
$92,00006/30/2021
$92,000
Principal Systems Engineer/Electrical Engineer
Principal Systems Engineer/Electrical Engineer
Craft Recruiting
Craft Recruiting
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$140,00006/29/2021
$140,000
Principal Engineer Systems Architecture
Principal Engineer Systems Architecture
Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$115,00006/29/2021
$115,000
Principal Systems Engineer-Infrastructure/Network Engineer
Principal Systems Engineer-Infrastructure/Network Engineer
XXX
XXX
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$98,70006/29/2021
$98,700
See More Recent Salaries

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Principal Systems Engineer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Principal Systems Engineer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Principal Systems Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Principal Systems Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Principal Systems Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

83.1 %

female

10.4 %

unknown

6.5 %

Ethnicity

White

63.5 %

Asian

13.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.0 %

Carrier

13.2 %

French

9.4 %
See More Demographics

Principal Systems Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

62.4 %

Masters

20.4 %

Certificate

6.2 %

Top Colleges for Principal Systems Engineers

1. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

2. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

3. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

4. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,353
Enrollment
24,841

5. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tallahassee, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,785
Enrollment
7,711

6. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,184
Enrollment
11,675

7. Milwaukee School of Engineering

Milwaukee, WI • Private

In-State Tuition
$40,749
Enrollment
2,582

8. Texas A&M University

College Station, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,870
Enrollment
53,194

9. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$3,926
Enrollment
9,835

10. University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$19,080
Enrollment
19,127
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Principal Systems Engineer That You May Like

Product Development & Systems Engineering
udemy
4.5
(572)

The complete Product Development & Systems Engineering course! Earn 25 contact hours AND prepare to take the INCOSE Exam...

Introduction to Systems Engineering
coursera

"Introduction to Systems Engineering" uses a structured yet flexible approach to provide a holistic, solid foundation to the successful development of complicated systems. The course takes you step by step through the system life cycle, from design to development, production and management. You will learn how the different components of a system interrelate, and how each contributes to a project's goals and success. The discipline's terminology, which can so often confuse the newcomer, is presen...

Unreal Engine: Character Skill System
udemy
4.6
(358)

Master the tools used to build "Fortnite" as we craft our very own character skill system using Unreal Engine 4!...

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Top Skills For a Principal Systems Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.1% of principal systems engineers listed engineering support on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Best States For a Principal Systems Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a principal systems engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Nebraska, and New Jersey. Principal systems engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $149,122. Whereas in Washington and Nebraska, they would average $144,648 and $132,833, respectively. While principal systems engineers would only make an average of $132,461 in New Jersey, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Principal Systems Engineer Jobs:
2,700
Highest 10% Earn:
$190,000
Location Quotient:
1.68
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. District of Columbia

Total Principal Systems Engineer Jobs:
742
Highest 10% Earn:
$206,000
Location Quotient:
2.01
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Principal Systems Engineer Jobs:
7,875
Highest 10% Earn:
$208,000
Location Quotient:
1.22
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Principal Systems Engineer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ principal systems engineers and discovered their number of principal systems engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Raytheon Company was the best, especially with an average salary of $139,031. General Dynamics follows up with an average salary of $123,857, and then comes BAE Systems with an average of $114,656. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a principal systems engineer. The employers include Science Applications International .., Northrop Grumman, and CVS Health

1. Raytheon Company
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$139,031
Principal Systems Engineers Hired: 
214+
2. General Dynamics
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$123,857
Principal Systems Engineers Hired: 
121+
3. BAE Systems
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$114,656
Principal Systems Engineers Hired: 
118+
4. T-Mobile US
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$128,785
Principal Systems Engineers Hired: 
58+
5. Collins Aerospace
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$140,572
Principal Systems Engineers Hired: 
48+
6. Northrop Grumman
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$136,491
Principal Systems Engineers Hired: 
45+
Updated October 2, 2020