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Become A Senior Research Engineer

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Working As A Senior Research Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • $111,438

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Research Engineer Do

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Duties

Industrial engineers typically do the following:

  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning in order to ensure that products meet quality standards
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects

Industrial engineers apply their skills to many different situations, from manufacturing to healthcare systems to business administration. For example, they design systems for

  • moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants
  • delivering goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants
  • evaluating job performance
  • paying workers

Industrial engineers focus on how to get the work done most efficiently, balancing many factors, such as time, number of workers needed, available technology, actions workers need to take, achieving the end product with no errors, workers’ safety, environmental concerns, and cost.

To find ways to reduce waste and improve performance, industrial engineers study product requirements carefully. Then they use mathematical methods and models to design manufacturing and information systems to meet those requirements most efficiently.

Their versatility allows industrial engineers to engage in activities that are useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. For example, industrial engineers engage in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, conduct quality assurance activities to help businesses keep their customer bases satisfied, and work in the growing field of project management as industries across the economy seek to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

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How To Become A Senior Research Engineer

Industrial engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value experience, so cooperative education engineering programs at universities are also valuable.

Education

Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Industrial engineers use creativity and ingenuity to design new production processes in many kinds of settings in order to reduce the use of material resources, time, or labor while accomplishing the same goal.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineers create new systems to solve problems related to waste and inefficiency. Solving these problems requires logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to the problems.

Listening skills. These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff. They must listen to customers and clients in order to fully grasp ideas and problems the first time.

Math skills. Industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance.

Speaking skills. Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available. Being able to explain concepts clearly and quickly is crucial to preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.

Writing skills. Industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference. The documentation must be coherent and explain their thinking clearly so that the others can understand the information.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial 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 in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Advancement

Beginning industrial engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training in classes or seminars. As beginning engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, industrial engineers may advance to become technical specialists, such as quality engineers or facility planners. In that role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Obtaining a master’s degree facilitates such specialization and thus advancement.

Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work they do is closely related to the work of managers. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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Senior Research Engineer Jobs

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Senior Research Engineer Career Paths

Senior Research Engineer
Project Manager Construction Manager Design Manager
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Engineering Director
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Staff Engineer Project Engineering Manager Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Process Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Engineer Lead Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Principal Engineer Research And Development Manager
New Product Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Applications Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Engineer Engineering Supervisor Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Manager Senior Manager Of Research And Development
Research And Development Director
12 Yearsyrs
Scientist Process Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Program Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Product Manager Product Development Manager
Senior Manager, Product Development
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst Product Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Process Engineer Engineering Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Manager Research And Development Director
Vice President Of Research And Development
13 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Senior Engineer 4.2 years
Lead Engineer 3.3 years
Research Engineer 2.9 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 4.8%
Engineer 3.9%
Consultant 2.3%
Top Employers After
Consultant 6.5%
Manager 5.8%
Director 4.8%

Do you work as a Senior Research Engineer?

Senior Research Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

74.0%

Unknown

16.3%

Female

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

47.1%

Asian

29.8%

Hispanic or Latino

10.3%

Black or African American

8.0%

Unknown

4.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

17.8%

French

12.3%

Spanish

9.6%

German

9.6%

Korean

8.2%

Japanese

8.2%

Mandarin

5.5%

Russian

4.1%

Hindi

2.7%

Carrier

2.7%

Xiang

2.7%

Portuguese

2.7%

Dakota

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

Swedish

1.4%

Telugu

1.4%

Turkish

1.4%

Ukrainian

1.4%

Malay

1.4%

Norwegian

1.4%
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Senior Research Engineer Education

Schools

Georgia Institute of Technology -

8.3%

Pennsylvania State University

8.3%

Purdue University

7.9%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

6.9%

Michigan State University

6.0%

Ohio State University

5.6%

University of Utah

5.1%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.6%

Stanford University

4.2%

University of Southern California

4.2%

Texas A&M University

4.2%

Case Western Reserve University

4.2%

University of Connecticut

3.7%

University of Washington

3.7%

Drexel University

3.7%

University of California - Berkeley

3.7%

Northeastern University

3.7%

University of Texas at Austin

3.7%

Cornell University

3.7%
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Majors

Chemical Engineering

19.6%

Electrical Engineering

15.9%

Mechanical Engineering

15.5%

Computer Science

6.4%

Business

6.1%

Materials Science And Engineering

5.1%

Computer Engineering

3.8%

Physics

3.6%

Chemistry

3.2%

Engineering

2.8%

Aerospace Engineering

2.6%

Biomedical Engineering

2.5%

Civil Engineering

2.0%

Plastics Engineering

1.9%

Industrial Engineering

1.8%

Finance

1.8%

Materials Sciences

1.8%

Engineering Science

1.3%

Metallurgical Engineering

1.2%

Mathematics

1.2%
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Degrees

Doctorate

42.7%

Masters

34.5%

Bachelors

15.3%

Other

5.3%

Certificate

1.5%

Associate

0.3%

Diploma

0.3%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Research Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Research Engineer Netflix, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 20, 2015 $350,000
Senior Research Engineer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Jun 18, 2015 $320,200
Senior Research Engineer Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Mar 02, 2015 $320,000
Research Engineer, SR. Staff Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jul 27, 2015 $200,000
SR. Research Engineer Baidu USA LLC Sunnyvale, CA Jan 08, 2016 $181,152
Senior Research Software Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 01, 2015 $177,188
Senior Research Software Engineer Microsoft Corporation Mountain View, CA Jun 13, 2016 $177,000
Senior Research Engineer Newracom, Inc. Irvine, CA Sep 10, 2015 $168,000
SR. Research Engineer-Search and Recommendation Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Dec 09, 2016 $165,006
Senior Research Software Engineer Microsoft Corporation Mountain View, CA Jul 17, 2015 $164,000
Senior Research Engineer Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Spring, TX Sep 10, 2015 $163,488 -
$224,300
Senior Research Engineer Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Spring, TX Aug 11, 2015 $163,488 -
$224,300
Senior Research Engineer Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Spring, TX Sep 19, 2015 $163,488 -
$224,300
Senior Research Software Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 21, 2016 $162,864
Senior Research Engineer Here North America, LLC Chicago, IL Oct 10, 2016 $119,954 -
$135,000
Senior Research Engineer Here North America, LLC Chicago, IL Nov 28, 2016 $119,954 -
$130,000
Senior Research Engineer Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Santa Ana, CA Aug 17, 2016 $119,350 -
$140,900
Research Engineer, Senior Samsung Research America, Inc. Irvine, CA Aug 20, 2015 $118,000
Senior Research and Enterprise Lead Citrix Engineer Fox Entertainment Group, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Mar 04, 2015 $118,000
Senior Research Engineer Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Sep 04, 2015 $117,614
Senior Research Engineer Busek Company Natick, MA Dec 14, 2015 $117,603
Senior Research Engineer Collision Communications, Inc. Nashua, NH Sep 17, 2016 $117,000 -
$127,000
Research Engineer Senior University of Kansas Lawrence, KS Oct 26, 2016 $105,040
Research Engineer Senior The University of Kansas Lawrence, KS Feb 16, 2015 $105,000
Senior Engineer/Researcher Sharp Laboratories of America, Inc. Camas, WA Aug 24, 2016 $105,000
Senior Research Engineer 3M Company Meriden, CT May 08, 2016 $104,942
Senior Research Engineer TGS-Nopec Geophysical Company Houston, TX Aug 11, 2015 $104,524
Senior Research Engineer Southwest Research Institute San Antonio, TX Jul 27, 2015 $103,799
Senior Research Engineer United Technologies Research Center, A Division of UTC East Hartford, CT Aug 15, 2016 $103,792 -
$105,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Research Engineer

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  1. Lab
  2. R
  3. Laboratory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed research laboratories, research library, technical stores and fabrication facility.
  • Represented Merck at National and International conferences to present screening processes, systems and benchmark engineering operations.
  • Created and managed an on-line formulation and coating procedure database to facilitate sharing of information among research laboratory and business divisions.
  • Conducted engineering research and development directed at improving productivity, quality, and safety for all areas of automotive coatings manufacturing.
  • Participated in cross-functional team meetings and provided technical input for new product development and commercialization.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Research Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Colorado
  5. Arizona
  6. Rhode Island
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Wyoming
  9. New Mexico
  10. Louisiana
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  • (112 jobs)
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