What Does A Senior Staff Engineer Do?

A senior staff engineer is responsible for supervising a team of engineers, chemists, software developers, or molecular biologists. His or her responsibilities include generating Structured Query Language (SQL) performance audit checklist template, creating SQL data query routines and functions for data extraction, and working directly with stakeholders. The job requires strong mechanical, listening, and mathematical skills and proficiency in Python programming language and computer architecture and hardware. The education requirements for the job include a bachelor's or master's degree in electrical engineering, business, mechanical engineering, or a related field.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real senior staff engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Provide consultation to the ISO team in achieving certification, and enable company to win many more deals as a result.
  • Select optimal IC device, implement communication protocol, control interface, and software architecture to support functionality.
  • Re-Define prior system network synchronization and timing distribution architecture, and work with hardware & software design engineers to implement.
  • Develop command line interface (python) for backend distribute storage middleware.
  • Define and streamline API need to interface with new set of user applications.
  • Develop SQL data query routines and functions for extraction of data from the database.
  • Work directly with all stakeholders, including development, QA, product management, and product marketing groups.
  • Work with customers such as Sony to bring up their wearable watch product using a version of Linux license from Google.
  • Generate SQL performance audit check list template and run baseline test on SQL to identify existing database performance before making changes.
  • Practice general pipeline designs, such as pipeline sizing, static and VIV fatigue analysis, per DNV and API codes.
Senior Staff Engineer Traits
Mechanical skills refers to one's ability to work with specific machinery related to their industry.
Listening is an important part of the communication process as it allows you to understand information.
Math skills include being able to perform basic addition and subtraction, as well as solving for the unknown and visualizing data that will be helpful in the workplace.

Senior Staff Engineer Overview

When it comes to understanding what a senior staff engineer does, you may be wondering, "should I become a senior staff engineer?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, senior staff engineers have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 4% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of senior staff engineer opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 12,800.

A senior staff engineer annual salary averages $120,940, which breaks down to $58.14 an hour. However, senior staff engineers can earn anywhere from upwards of $92,000 to $158,000 a year. This means that the top-earning senior staff engineers make $66,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a senior staff engineer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a packaging engineer, lead design engineer, system design engineer, and electronics engineer.

Senior Staff Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Senior Staff Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 11% of Senior Staff Engineers are proficient in Python, Architecture, and Hardware. They’re also known for soft skills such as Mechanical skills, Listening skills, and Math skills.

We break down the percentage of Senior Staff Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Python, 11%

    Developed manufacturing and engineering test scripts using Python.

  • Architecture, 9%

    Maximized efficiency by assembling and managing a ring-fenced team to provide business requirements and architecture for Fast Track software features.

  • Hardware, 6%

    Developed and implemented new hardware corrective action systems that were comprehensive and compliant to customer and military requirements.

  • R, 5%

    Installed and Managed Oracle 11gR2 RAC Databases for EBS R 12.x systems and Oracle 12c Databases.

  • Java, 5%

    Designed, developed and implemented Page object model based automation testing framework utilizing Java, TestNG and Selenium WebDriver.

  • Software Development, 4%

    Managed the Dallas facility software development and system administration groups with authority over multiple concurrent projects exceeding a $3M budget.

Most senior staff engineers list "python," "architecture," and "hardware" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important senior staff engineer responsibilities here:

  • Mechanical skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a senior staff engineer to have. According to a senior staff engineer resume, "mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices and systems." Senior staff engineers are able to use mechanical skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "performed failure analysis on mechanical components and systems. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling senior staff engineer duties is listening skills. According to a senior staff engineer resume, "mechanical engineers often work on projects with others, such as architects and computer scientists." Here's an example of how senior staff engineers are able to utilize listening skills: "communicated regularly with sales, service, hardware engineering, and manufacturing on all product issues. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among senior staff engineers is math skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a senior staff engineer resume: "mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, statistics, and other advanced subjects in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "used a mix of spice and maxima math simulations for various analog designs: rf transmitters, smps, etc. "
  • While "creativity" is listed last on this skills list, don't underestimate its importance to senior staff engineer responsibilities. The skill is described by this resume snippet, "mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery" Here is an example of how this skill is used, "inventory and organize critical component kit and pcb. "
  • See the full list of senior staff engineer skills.

    Before becoming a senior staff engineer, 65.0% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 19.9% senior staff engineers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most senior staff engineers have a college degree. But about one out of every nine senior staff engineers didn't attend college at all.

    Those senior staff engineers who do attend college, typically earn either electrical engineering degrees or mechanical engineering degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for senior staff engineers include computer science degrees or business degrees.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a senior staff engineer. We've found that most senior staff engineer resumes include experience from VMware, General Electric, and Zendesk. Of recent, VMware had 58 positions open for senior staff engineers. Meanwhile, there are 47 job openings at General Electric and 36 at Zendesk.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, senior staff engineers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Hunt Consolidated, Cheniere Energy, and Occidental Petroleum. Take Hunt Consolidated for example. The median senior staff engineer salary is $224,468. At Cheniere Energy, senior staff engineers earn an average of $216,471, while the average at Occidental Petroleum is $197,843. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on senior staff engineer salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a senior staff engineer include Lockheed Martin, Qualcomm, and Motorola Solutions. These three companies were found to hire the most senior staff engineers from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious senior staff engineers are:

      What Packaging Engineers Do

      A Packaging Engineer plans and implements packaging designs to ensure product integrity and appeal. Their primary duties include supervising and managing the complete packaging development process, analyzing engineering drawings, and conducting periodic vendor reviews.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take packaging engineer for example. On average, the packaging engineers annual salary is $42,724 lower than what senior staff engineers make on average every year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between senior staff engineers and packaging engineers are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like r, project management, and windows.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a senior staff engineer responsibilities require skills like "python," "c #," "architecture," and "hardware." Meanwhile a typical packaging engineer has skills in areas such as "procedures," "solidworks," "astm," and "package design." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Packaging engineers receive the highest salaries in the health care industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $105,470. But senior staff engineers are paid more in the technology industry with an average salary of $124,758.

      Packaging engineers tend to reach lower levels of education than senior staff engineers. In fact, packaging engineers are 12.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 10.1% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Lead Design Engineer?

      A Lead Design Engineer produces design solutions that can be purchased, installed, and commissioned effectively. They are also responsible for the cost-effectiviness and safety of new designs.

      Now we're going to look at the lead design engineer profession. On average, lead design engineers earn a $21,779 lower salary than senior staff engineers a year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Senior staff engineers and lead design engineers both include similar skills like "hardware," "r," and "project management" on their resumes.

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that senior staff engineer responsibilities requires skills like "python," "c #," "architecture," and "java." But a lead design engineer might use skills, such as, "engineering design," "layout," "fea," and "ul."

      Lead design engineers may earn a lower salary than senior staff engineers, but lead design engineers earn the most pay in the finance industry with an average salary of $117,344. On the other side of things, senior staff engineers receive higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $124,758.

      In general, lead design engineers study at similar levels of education than senior staff engineers. They're 2.9% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 10.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a System Design Engineer Compares

      A system design engineer is a professional who participates in system design engineering and resolves manufacturing and service problems. System design engineers are required to collaborate with the system design team to research emerging technologies and develop new capabilities. They create design layouts by utilizing the use of CAD software such as AutoCad as well as supervise a group of CAD technicians. System design engineers must also provide customer service in the field and deliver individualized problem solving and system design support

      Let's now take a look at the system design engineer profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than senior staff engineers with a $36,196 difference per year.

      By looking over several senior staff engineers and system design engineers resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "architecture," "hardware," and "r." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a senior staff engineer is likely to be skilled in "python," "c #," "api," and "new technologies," while a typical system design engineer is skilled in "matlab," "electrical systems," "business process," and "control systems."

      System design engineers make a very good living in the technology industry with an average annual salary of $104,630. Whereas senior staff engineers are paid the highest salary in the technology industry with the average being $124,758.

      System design engineers typically study at similar levels compared with senior staff engineers. For example, they're 1.7% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 7.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Electronics Engineer

      An electronics engineer specializes in designing and developing electronic components and systems, ensuring efficiency in all aspects. They are primarily responsible for conducting tests and maintenance for systems, identifying any faults or inconsistencies, and performing corrective measures right away. Moreover, an electronics engineer must coordinate with clients to consult them on their needs and meet with other skilled engineers to ensure optimal quality of equipment. An electronics engineer may also perform administrative tasks, mainly to produce progress reports and presentations, manage schedules, and craft instructional written materials for all electronic systems.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than senior staff engineers. On average, electronics engineers earn a difference of $30,053 lower per year.

      While both senior staff engineers and electronics engineers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like hardware, r, and java, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a senior staff engineer might have more use for skills like "python," "c #," "architecture," and "project management." Meanwhile, some electronics engineers might include skills like "clearance," "analog," "circuit boards," and "circuit design" on their resume.

      In general, electronics engineers make a higher salary in the telecommunication industry with an average of $106,917. The highest senior staff engineer annual salary stems from the technology industry.

      Electronics engineers reach similar levels of education when compared to senior staff engineers. The difference is that they're 0.4% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 7.7% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.