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Working As a Senior Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • $101,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Engineer Do

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

Duties

Mechanical engineers typically do the following:

  • Analyze problems to see how mechanical and thermal devices might help solve a particular problem
  • Design or redesign mechanical and thermal devices or subsystems, using analysis and computer-aided design
  • Develop and test prototypes of devices they design
  • Analyze the test results and change the design or system as needed
  • Oversee the manufacturing process for the device

Mechanical engineers design and oversee the manufacture of many products ranging from medical devices to new batteries.

Mechanical engineers design power-producing machines, such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines, as well as power-using machines, such as refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

Mechanical engineers design other machines inside buildings, such as elevators and escalators. They also design material-handling systems, such as conveyor systems and automated transfer stations.

Like other engineers, mechanical engineers use computers extensively. Mechanical engineers are routinely responsible for the integration of sensors, controllers, and machinery. Computer technology helps mechanical engineers create and analyze designs, run simulations and test how a machine is likely to work, interact with connected systems, and generate specifications for parts.

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How To Become A Senior Engineer

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineers who sell services publicly must be licensed in all states and the District of Columbia.

Education

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineering programs usually include courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design courses. Mechanical engineering technology programs focus less on theory and more on the practical application of engineering principles. They may emphasize internships and co-ops to prepare students for work in industry.

Some colleges and universities offer 5-year programs that allow students to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative plans combine classroom study with practical work, enabling students to gain valuable experience and earn money to finance part of their education.

ABET accredits programs in engineering and engineering technology. Most employers prefer to hire students from an accredited program. A degree from an ABET-accredited program is usually necessary to become a licensed professional engineer.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery. A creative mind is essential for this kind of work.

Listening skills. Mechanical engineers often work on projects with others, such as architects and computer scientists. They must listen to and analyze different approaches made by other experts to complete the task at hand.

Math skills. Mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, statistics, and other advanced subjects in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices and systems.

Problem-solving skills. Mechanical engineers need good problem-solving skills to take scientific discoveries and use them to design and build useful products.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a mechanical engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education to renew their licenses every year. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Several professional organizations offer a variety of certification programs for engineers to demonstrate competency in specific fields of mechanical engineering.

Advancement

A Ph.D. is essential for engineering faculty positions in higher education, as well as for some research and development programs. Mechanical engineers may earn graduate degrees in engineering or business administration to learn new technology, broaden their education, and enhance their project management skills. Mechanical engineers may become administrators or managers after obtaining the requisite experience.

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Senior Engineer Career Paths

Senior Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior Applications Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Group Leader Senior Designer Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Product Engineer Senior Product Development Engineer
Lead Product Developer
7 Yearsyrs
Group Leader Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Test Engineer Senior Product Engineer Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.9 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Staff Engineer 4.2 years
Senior Engineer 4.0 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Engineer 3.3 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Senior Engineer
Engineer 21.5%
Consultant 4.5%
Internship 2.5%
Top Careers After Senior Engineer
Engineer 8.6%
Consultant 8.1%
Manager 4.7%

Do you work as a Senior Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$101,000
Show Salaries
$81,000
Min 10%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Median 50%
$127,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Los Gatos, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.3 years
How much does a Senior Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Engineer in the United States is $101,793 per year or $49 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $81,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $127,000.

Real Senior Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Engineer Apex Systems Ashburn, VA Sep 25, 2019 $166,960
Senior SAP Engineer 1800Admin, LLC Ashburn, VA Feb 17, 2016 $149,760
Senior Cloud Engineer Robert Half Ashburn, VA Feb 20, 2020 $135,000 -
$165,000
SR. Cybersecurity Engineer Visa Technology & Operations LLC Ashburn, VA Sep 06, 2019 $114,878 -
$144,800
SR. Cybersecurity Engineer Visa Technology & Operations LLC Ashburn, VA Aug 12, 2019 $114,878 -
$154,900
SR. Cybersecurity Engineer Visa Technology & Operations LLC Ashburn, VA Feb 20, 2019 $114,338 -
$154,900
SR. Hadoop Engineer GVA Infotech Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 18, 2017 $84,000
Senior Engineer MacTec Engineering and Consulting, Inc. Ashburn, VA Apr 07, 2011 $74,630 -
$94,630
Senior Engineer Geoconcepts Engineering, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 07, 2015 $74,277 -
$94,277
Senior Engineer Brillio LLC Ashburn, VA Nov 05, 2016 $70,000
Senior Engineer Brillio, LLC Ashburn, VA Oct 05, 2016 $70,000
Senior Tunneling Engineer Gall Zeidler Consultants, LLC Ashburn, VA Dec 08, 2009 $69,638
Senior Engineer Brillio, LLC Ashburn, VA Nov 05, 2016 $65,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Engineer

  1. Test Procedures
  2. Data Analysis
  3. SQL
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed test plans, test procedures and technical reports to verify processes meet decontamination factor and throughput requirements.
  • Prepared test reports that provided data analysis, identified qualified alternatives, and gave recommendations for follow up or implementation.
  • Specified, designed and implemented various features for an enterprise point-and-click SQL application
  • Designed and Developed Pl/SQL stored procedures to implement common database transactions.
  • Proposed and implemented an architecture with significantly improved availability characteristics.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Engineers

  1. California
  2. Delaware
  3. Washington
  4. Arizona
  5. District of Columbia
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Maryland
  8. Virginia
  9. New Mexico
  10. Utah
  • (16,624 jobs)
  • (186 jobs)
  • (3,917 jobs)
  • (1,334 jobs)
  • (878 jobs)
  • (563 jobs)
  • (2,589 jobs)
  • (5,138 jobs)
  • (269 jobs)
  • (723 jobs)

Senior Engineer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 24,540 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.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Senior Engineer Resume

View Resume Examples

Senior Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

78.0%

Unknown

11.1%

Female

10.9%
Ethnicity

White

52.5%

Asian

19.4%

Hispanic or Latino

12.7%

Black or African American

9.9%

Unknown

5.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.6%

Carrier

10.3%

German

8.7%

French

8.4%

Chinese

8.4%

Russian

6.2%

Mandarin

5.2%

Japanese

5.1%

Arabic

3.6%

Hindi

3.0%

Portuguese

3.0%

Italian

2.5%

Korean

2.1%

Ukrainian

1.4%

Cantonese

1.3%

Urdu

1.1%

Gujarati

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Dakota

0.8%

Cheyenne

0.8%
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Senior Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

7.6%

Texas A&M University

7.3%

Purdue University

7.3%

Pennsylvania State University

7.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.4%

Northeastern University

5.0%

Arizona State University

4.9%

University of Houston

4.9%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.8%

University of Texas at Austin

4.5%

More Tech Institute

4.5%

University of Florida

4.5%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.4%

University of Southern California

4.2%

University of Washington

4.1%

Wayne State University

3.9%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.7%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.7%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3.7%

George Washington University

3.7%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

20.7%

Mechanical Engineering

15.2%

Computer Science

11.6%

Business

10.4%

Civil Engineering

6.4%

Computer Engineering

4.3%

Engineering

4.1%

Chemical Engineering

3.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.8%

Management

2.8%

Computer Information Systems

2.4%

Physics

2.3%

Information Technology

2.3%

Finance

1.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.8%

Industrial Engineering

1.7%

Aerospace Engineering

1.6%

Project Management

1.6%

Computer Networking

1.5%

Mathematics

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.5%

Masters

34.5%

Other

11.2%

Doctorate

6.7%

Associate

3.4%

Certificate

2.3%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.1%
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