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Working as a Senior Engineer

According to Elon Musk, we can find new solutions to old problems by creating through first principles, which is an application of breaking down the scientific requirements in solving an issue without comparing or adopting the status quo. From the achievements of Elon Musk, we can extract the immense value in learning how to engineer things and systems. Being a senior engineer is one pathway toward understanding and creating systems.

Daily, a senior engineer is involved in reviewing design plans, communicating with clients on work specifications, maintaining engineering processes, and developing a workable budget. Besides that, they perform research, undertake diagnostic testing, and assist in employee onboarding.

Employers require senior engineers to have a bachelor's degree in engineering or STEM-related field, as well as at least two to three years of relevant work experience. This role earns, on average, $48 per hour and suits individuals who are technically oriented and enjoy problem solving.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $49.51 an hour? That's $102,989 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 12,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Senior Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many senior 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 creativity, listening skills and math skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a senior engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.4% of senior engineers included python, while 7.3% of resumes included architecture, and 5.4% of resumes included java. 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 senior engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most senior engineers actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Senior Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a senior engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 42.9% of senior engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 37.8% of senior engineers have master's degrees. Even though most senior 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 senior engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a senior engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior engineer resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

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

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Average Salary$102,989
Job Growth Rate4%

Senior Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Senior Engineer

Engineer
21.5 %

Top Careers After Senior Engineer

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

Average Salary for a Senior Engineer

Senior Engineers in America make an average salary of $102,989 per year or $50 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $131,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $80,000 per year.
Average Salary
$102,989

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Mateo, CA
Salary Range98k - 153k$123k$123,080
Washington, DC
Salary Range95k - 142k$117k$116,805
Phoenix, AZ
Salary Range86k - 135k$108k$108,323
Seattle, WA
Salary Range86k - 129k$106k$106,126
Boston, MA
Salary Range87k - 121k$103k$103,149
Midland, TX
Salary Range82k - 126k$102k$102,236
$60k
$153k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Senior Front End Engineer
Senior Front End Engineer
Randstad
Randstad
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$125,22001/30/2021
$125,220
Senior Os/Hw Engineer
Senior Os/Hw Engineer
Equinix, Inc.
Equinix, Inc.
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$92,00001/29/2021
$92,000
Senior Os/Hw Engineer
Senior Os/Hw Engineer
Equinix, Inc.
Equinix, Inc.
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$92,00001/29/2021
$92,000
SR. Front End Engineer
SR. Front End Engineer
Randstad
Randstad
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$116,87201/29/2021
$116,872
Senior Os/Hw Engineer
Senior Os/Hw Engineer
Equinix
Equinix
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$92,00001/29/2021
$92,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Senior 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 Senior 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 Senior Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Senior 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.

View Detailed Information

Senior Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

82.2 %

female

11.8 %

unknown

6.0 %

Ethnicity

White

72.5 %

Asian

15.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.6 %

Carrier

10.3 %

German

8.7 %
See More Demographics

Senior Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

42.9 %

Masters

37.8 %

Doctorate

8.2 %

Top Colleges for Senior Engineers

1. Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,646
Enrollment
5,736

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

7. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

8. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

10. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582
See More Education Info
Job type you want
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Senior 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, 9.4% of senior engineers listed python on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and listening skills are important as well.

Best States For a Senior Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Delaware, Arizona, and Washington. Senior engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $118,086. Whereas in Delaware and Arizona, they would average $109,051 and $108,149, respectively. While senior engineers would only make an average of $105,235 in Washington, 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. California

Total Senior Engineer Jobs:
16,624
Highest 10% Earn:
$178,000
Location Quotient:
1.76
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 Senior Engineer Jobs:
878
Highest 10% Earn:
$168,000
Location Quotient:
1.53
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. Washington

Total Senior Engineer Jobs:
3,917
Highest 10% Earn:
$153,000
Location Quotient:
1.83
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 Senior 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 senior engineers and discovered their number of senior engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Samsung was the best, especially with an average salary of $108,302. Target follows up with an average salary of $128,762, and then comes The Dow Chemical Company with an average of $91,933. 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 senior engineer. The employers include Consumers Energy, Science Applications International ., and New Relic

1. Samsung
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$108,302
Senior Engineers Hired: 
609+
2. Target
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$128,762
Senior Engineers Hired: 
526+
3. The Dow Chemical Company
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$91,933
Senior Engineers Hired: 
324+
4. Qualcomm
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$117,674
Senior Engineers Hired: 
276+
5. Virtusa
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$75,245
Senior Engineers Hired: 
262+
6. Caterpillar
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$92,044
Senior Engineers Hired: 
254+

Senior Engineer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020