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Working as a Senior Engineer/Scientist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior engineer/scientist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $46.38 an hour? That's $96,464 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 2% and produce 1,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Senior Engineer/Scientist Do

There are certain skills that many senior engineers/scientist 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 business skills, analytical skills and writing skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a senior engineer/scientist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 19.9% of senior engineers/scientist included r, while 7.6% of resumes included facility, and 6.4% of resumes included technical reports. 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/scientist job title. But what industry to start with? Most senior engineers/scientist actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Senior Engineer/Scientist

If you're interested in becoming a senior engineer/scientist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 21.6% of senior engineers/scientist have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 28.8% of senior engineers/scientist have master's degrees. Even though most senior engineers/scientist 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/scientist. When we researched the most common majors for a senior engineer/scientist, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior engineer/scientist resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a senior engineer/scientist. In fact, many senior engineer/scientist jobs require experience in a role such as engineering scientist. Meanwhile, many senior engineers/scientist also have previous career experience in roles such as research assistant or member, technical staff.

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Average Salary$96,464
Job Growth Rate2%

Senior Engineer/Scientist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Senior Engineer/Scientist

Top Careers After Senior Engineer/Scientist

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Average Salary for a Senior Engineer/Scientist

Senior Engineers/Scientist in America make an average salary of $96,464 per year or $46 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $114,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $81,000 per year.
Average Salary
$96,464

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
South San Francisco, CA
Salary Range112k - 164k$136k$135,797
San Antonio, TX
Salary Range105k - 157k$129k$128,659
Bothell, WA
Salary Range97k - 137k$115k$115,420
Saint Louis, MO
Salary Range95k - 133k$113k$113,103
Washington, DC
Salary Range94k - 134k$113k$112,637
Mason, OH
Salary Range92k - 129k$110k$109,596
$72k
$164k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Senior ML Scientist/Engineer-Millions of Users
Senior ML Scientist/Engineer-Millions of Users
Management Decisions, Inc.
Management Decisions, Inc.
11/11/2020
11/11/2020
$200,00011/11/2020
$200,000
Senior Scientist, Antibody Engineering
Senior Scientist, Antibody Engineering
Randstad
Randstad
10/03/2020
10/03/2020
$120,00010/03/2020
$120,000
SR Engineer/SR Scientist, Manufacturing Science and Technology?
SR Engineer/SR Scientist, Manufacturing Science and Technology?
Randstad
Randstad
08/28/2020
08/28/2020
$109,00008/28/2020
$109,000
Engineer/Scientist SR. R&D I
Engineer/Scientist SR. R&D I
Honeywell
Honeywell
03/10/2020
03/10/2020
$104,80003/10/2020
$104,800
Senior Engineer/Scientist
Senior Engineer/Scientist
Missile Defense Agency
Missile Defense Agency
10/10/2019
10/10/2019
$127,91410/10/2019
$127,914
See More Recent Salaries

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Senior Engineer/Scientist Demographics

Gender

male

76.4 %

female

13.9 %

unknown

9.8 %

Ethnicity

White

66.1 %

Asian

17.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

16.7 %

French

16.7 %

Spanish

16.7 %
See More Demographics

Senior Engineer/Scientist Education

Degrees

Doctorate

36.9 %

Masters

28.8 %

Bachelors

21.6 %

Top Colleges for Senior Engineer/Scientists

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

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

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

3. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

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

4. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

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

5. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

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

6. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Public

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

7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

8. Rice University

Houston, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$47,350
Enrollment
3,962

9. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,391
Enrollment
8,568

10. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,353
Enrollment
24,841
See More Education Info
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Top Skills For a Senior Engineer/Scientist

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, 19.9% of senior engineers/scientist listed r on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and analytical skills are important as well.

Best States For a Senior Engineer/Scientist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior engineer/scientist. The best states for people in this position are Texas, California, Colorado, and Alaska. Senior engineers/scientist make the most in Texas with an average salary of $128,239. Whereas in California and Colorado, they would average $126,366 and $119,804, respectively. While senior engineers/scientist would only make an average of $119,086 in Alaska, 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. Texas

Total Senior Engineer/Scientist Jobs:
1,459
Highest 10% Earn:
$185,000
Location Quotient:
0.83
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

2. Colorado

Total Senior Engineer/Scientist Jobs:
591
Highest 10% Earn:
$162,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
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 Senior Engineer/Scientist Jobs:
5,155
Highest 10% Earn:
$181,000
Location Quotient:
1.79
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/Scientist Employers

1. Boeing
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$134,365
Senior Engineer/Scientists Hired: 
68+
2. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$116,302
Senior Engineer/Scientists Hired: 
19+
3. Merck & Co.
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$87,599
Senior Engineer/Scientists Hired: 
15+
4. Procter & Gamble
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$126,100
Senior Engineer/Scientists Hired: 
9+
5. General Dynamics
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$95,773
Senior Engineer/Scientists Hired: 
9+
6. Honeywell
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$112,877
Senior Engineer/Scientists Hired: 
7+
Updated October 2, 2020