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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

  • $115,146

    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 jobs

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Senior Staff Engineer Career Paths

Senior Staff Engineer
Program Manager Senior Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Chief Engineer
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Director Technical Director Production Manager
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Director Of Information
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Operations Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager Account Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Project Manager Product Manager
Product Line Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Program Director Operations Director
Senior Director, Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Engineering Director General Manager Account Manager
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Program Manager General Manager
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Engineering Director Vice President, Technology
Vice President Of Global Operations
15 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Program Director Managing Director
Vice President Product Development
12 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Assistant Vice President
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Advisory Engineer 6.5 years
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Equipment Engineer 4.1 years
Head Engineer 3.8 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Service Engineer 3.4 years
Firmware Engineer 3.3 years
Advanced Engineer 3.3 years
Hardware Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Research Engineer 2.9 years
Junior Engineer 2.1 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 6.4%
Consultant 3.7%
Internship 3.6%
Top Employers After
Consultant 10.5%
Manager 4.2%
Owner 3.3%
Director 3.3%

Senior Staff Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

70.1%

Female

24.3%

Unknown

5.6%
Ethnicity

White

70.8%

Asian

17.5%

Hispanic or Latino

8.0%

Unknown

3.0%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

24.3%

French

9.6%

Chinese

9.6%

Japanese

9.6%

Carrier

7.8%

Korean

6.1%

German

6.1%

Italian

5.2%

Arabic

5.2%

Mandarin

4.3%

Hindi

2.6%

Russian

1.7%

Croatian

1.7%

Basque

0.9%

Telugu

0.9%

Cherokee

0.9%

Arapaho

0.9%

Shan

0.9%

Zulu

0.9%

Malay

0.9%
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Senior Staff Engineer Education

Schools

University of Southern California

7.0%

Purdue University

6.8%

University of Phoenix

6.5%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.5%

Arizona State University

6.3%

Illinois Institute of Technology

5.8%

University of Texas at Austin

5.4%

Texas A&M University

5.1%

University of Illinois University Administration

4.7%

Anne Arundel Community College

4.7%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.4%

Santa Clara University

4.4%

Pennsylvania State University

4.4%

San Diego State University

4.4%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4.0%

George Washington University

3.7%

Ohio State University

3.7%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.7%

Stevens Institute of Technology

3.7%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

28.2%

Business

11.9%

Computer Science

10.5%

Mechanical Engineering

9.0%

Computer Engineering

4.6%

Physics

3.6%

Engineering

3.3%

Management

3.1%

Chemical Engineering

2.9%

Civil Engineering

2.6%

Accounting

2.4%

Psychology

2.3%

Mathematics

2.3%

Early Childhood Education

2.2%

Project Management

2.1%

Finance

2.0%

Geology

1.9%

Communication

1.8%

Education

1.8%

Law

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.5%

Masters

31.4%

Other

12.8%

Doctorate

10.5%

Associate

3.5%

Certificate

2.7%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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 Sep 07, 2015 $190,000
Senior Staff Engineer Home Box Office, Inc. New York, NY Aug 17, 2016 $190,000
Senior Staff Firmware Engineer SK Hynix Memory Solutions Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 01, 2015 $149,000
Senior Staff Engineer Futurewei Technologies Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jan 28, 2016 $149,000
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 Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 03, 2015 $120,349 -
$153,500
Senior Staff Engineer Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Mountain View, CA Dec 11, 2015 $120,349 -
$153,500
Senior Staff Engineer Mediatek USA Inc. Austin, TX Apr 22, 2016 $120,016 -
$144,019
SR. Staff Engineer Mediatek USA Inc. Austin, TX Aug 08, 2016 $120,016 -
$144,019
Senior Staff Engineer Dynatrace LLC San Mateo, CA Jan 22, 2016 $120,000
Senior Staff Engineer Polycom, Inc. Austin, TX Jun 10, 2016 $120,000 -
$150,000
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

HardwareArchitectureSafetyLabRFDataAnalysisRVideoC/C++ProductDevelopmentSoftwareDevelopmentProjectManagementTcp/IpFpgaLinuxLessonPlansTechnicalSupportWindowsAsicCustomerService

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Top Senior Staff Engineer Skills

  1. Hardware
  2. Architecture
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed prototype hardware for SW developer.
  • Supported the system integrator to define the system ops concept, architecture, and interface definitions.
  • Enforced all policies and safety procedures.
  • Developed PC integration test bed laboratory.
  • Designed and developed Remote Execution using RMI interface to allow test execution on a remote machine.

Top Senior Staff Engineer Employers

Senior Staff Engineer Videos

A day in the life of a Biomedical Engineer - Chapter 1

A day in the life of a Biomedical Engineer - Chapter 2

A day in the life of a Biomedical Engineer - Introduction

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