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Become A Senior Staff Engineer

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Working As A Senior Staff 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

  • $111,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Staff 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 Staff 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 Staff Engineer Career Paths

Senior Staff Engineer
Principal Engineer Engineering Manager
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Project Manager Quality Manager
Director Of Quality & Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Quality Assurance Lead
Quality Assurance Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Systems Engineer Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
11 Yearsyrs
Owner Project Superintendent Project Engineering Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Engineering Supervisor Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Construction Manager Design Manager
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Lead Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Plant Engineering Manager Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Group Leader Manufacturing Supervisor Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Group Leader Senior Designer Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Systems Engineer Lead Systems Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Project Management Lead Document Control Manager
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Manufacturing Manager Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Staff Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Advisory Engineer 6.9 years
Principal Engineer 4.9 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Staff Engineer 4.2 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Senior Staff Engineer
Engineer 7.4%
Internship 4.5%
Consultant 3.8%
Manager 2.4%
Top Careers After Senior Staff Engineer
Consultant 10.3%
Manager 5.8%
Director 4.0%
Owner 3.4%
Teacher 3.3%
Internship 3.2%

Do you work as a Senior Staff Engineer?

Senior Staff Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

67.4%

Female

20.2%

Unknown

12.4%
Ethnicity

White

52.9%

Asian

18.5%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Black or African American

10.3%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.2%

French

10.8%

Chinese

10.0%

Carrier

7.7%

German

6.9%

Mandarin

6.2%

Arabic

6.2%

Japanese

5.4%

Korean

3.8%

Hindi

3.1%

Russian

2.3%

Italian

2.3%

Bengali

1.5%

Cantonese

1.5%

Portuguese

1.5%

Urdu

1.5%

Telugu

0.8%

Cherokee

0.8%

Hmong

0.8%

Arapaho

0.8%
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Senior Staff Engineer Education

Schools

Arizona State University

6.5%

San Jose State University

6.2%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.2%

Illinois Institute of Technology

5.9%

Texas A&M University

5.9%

University of Southern California

5.9%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

Pennsylvania State University

5.4%

Purdue University

5.3%

University of Illinois University Administration

5.1%

University of Texas at Austin

5.1%

Santa Clara University

4.5%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.4%

George Washington University

4.2%

University of California - Berkeley

4.1%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.1%

Ohio State University

4.1%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.1%

San Diego State University

3.8%

University of Houston

3.8%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

28.7%

Business

12.0%

Computer Science

10.7%

Mechanical Engineering

9.7%

Computer Engineering

4.7%

Civil Engineering

3.7%

Engineering

3.3%

Accounting

3.2%

Physics

3.2%

Chemical Engineering

3.0%

Management

2.5%

Project Management

2.1%

Communication

2.0%

Petroleum Engineering

1.7%

Psychology

1.7%

Mathematics

1.7%

Education

1.6%

Finance

1.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.4%

Law

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.6%

Masters

33.3%

Other

11.4%

Doctorate

9.6%

Associate

3.8%

Certificate

2.6%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$111,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$80,000
Min 10%
$111,000
Median 50%
$111,000
Median 50%
$111,000
Median 50%
$111,000
Median 50%
$111,000
Median 50%
$111,000
Median 50%
$111,000
Median 50%
$154,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Synopsys
Highest Paying City
Hercules, CA
Highest Paying State
Louisiana
Avg Experience Level
4.9 years
How much does a Senior Staff Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Staff Engineer in the United States is $111,735 per year or $54 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $80,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $154,000.

Real Senior Staff Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Staff Engineer Box, Inc. Redwood City, CA May 16, 2016 $263,000
Senior Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Nov 23, 2016 $224,000 -
$288,000
Senior Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Sep 11, 2015 $220,000
Senior Staff Reservoir Engineer Hunt Oil Company Dallas, TX Feb 26, 2016 $220,000 -
$225,000
Senior Staff Production Engineer Hunt Oil Company Dallas, TX May 16, 2016 $219,458
Senior Staff Reservoir Engineer Hunt Oil Company Dallas, TX Jul 12, 2015 $219,400 -
$225,000
Senior Staff Machinery Engineer Exxonmobil Development Company Spring, TX Jun 04, 2015 $214,100 -
$363,900
SR. Staff II, Verification Engineer Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 22, 2015 $210,000
Senior Staff Engineer, Production Cheniere Energy, Inc. Gregory, TX Jul 09, 2016 $200,000
Senior Staff Engineer Cheetah Mobile America, Inc. San Mateo, CA Mar 17, 2016 $199,920
Senior Staff Engineers, Application Platform Socialcode LLC San Francisco, CA Nov 30, 2016 $196,000 -
$208,650
Senior Staff Engineer, Process Cheniere Energy, Inc. Cameron, LA Nov 16, 2015 $195,000
Senior Staff Engineer Home Box Office, Inc. New York, NY Aug 17, 2016 $190,000
Senior Staff Engineer Home Box Office, Inc. New York, NY Sep 07, 2015 $190,000
Senior Staff Engineer Equistar Chemicals, LP Pasadena, TX Oct 16, 2016 $147,536
SR. Staff Engineer Fireeye, Inc. Milpitas, CA Sep 17, 2015 $147,000 -
$170,000
SR. Staff Device Engineer Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Sep 21, 2015 $146,601
Senior Staff Applications Engineer Infineon Technologies Americas Corp. Milpitas, CA Aug 28, 2016 $146,260
Senior Staff Hardware Engineer/Manager/Baseband and Power Management IC Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA May 12, 2015 $146,245 -
$187,200
Senior Staff Engineer, Firmware Nextnav LLC Sunnyvale, CA Jul 28, 2016 $146,062
Senior Staff Engineer, Firmware Nextnav LLC Sunnyvale, CA Oct 01, 2015 $146,062
SR. Staff Engineer Inphi Corporation Santa Clara, CA Sep 18, 2015 $146,000
SR. Staff Engineer Mediatek USA Inc. Austin, TX Aug 08, 2016 $120,016 -
$144,019
Senior Staff Engineer Mediatek USA Inc. Austin, TX Apr 22, 2016 $120,016 -
$144,019
Senior Staff Engineer Tech Vulcan, Inc. San Diego, CA Dec 10, 2015 $120,000
Senior Staff Engineer Polycom, Inc. Austin, TX Jun 10, 2016 $120,000 -
$150,000
Senior Staff Engineer Dynatrace LLC San Mateo, CA Jan 22, 2016 $120,000
Senior Staff IC Applications Engineer Siliconix, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Oct 10, 2016 $120,000 -
$140,000
Senior Staff Engineer Edico Genome Corp. San Diego, CA May 20, 2015 $120,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Staff Engineer

  1. New Product Development
  2. Architecture
  3. Test Cases
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided technical direction for new product development from conception, architecture, and requirements through development, test, and release.
  • Led the effort to develop system architecture requirements in the Fault Management and Performance Management functional areas.
  • Developed regression test cases and executed regression testing for more than 12 major releases of AllJoyn, and several minor releases.
  • Work with cross functional teams performing root cause analysis using engineering methodologies, graphical methods and statistical analysis.
  • Developed subscriber unit and network access point architectures incorporating 802.11b.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Staff Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Colorado
  3. California
  4. New Hampshire
  5. New Mexico
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Virginia
  8. Texas
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Delaware
  • (2,574 jobs)
  • (1,990 jobs)
  • (14,140 jobs)
  • (514 jobs)
  • (262 jobs)
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  • (3,748 jobs)
  • (4,881 jobs)
  • (621 jobs)
  • (145 jobs)

Top Senior Staff Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Staff Engineer Employers

Senior Staff Engineer Videos

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