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Become A Staff Engineer

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Working As A 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

  • $64,593

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 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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Staff Engineer jobs

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Staff Engineer Career Paths

Staff Engineer
Senior Staff Engineer Principal Engineer Program Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Manager Director Of Information
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Engineering Manager Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Chief Engineer
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Maintenance Manager Production Manager
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Principal Consultant Senior Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Operations Manager Account Executive
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Staff Engineer Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Program Manager General Manager
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Director Vice President Of Engineering
Vice President Product Development
12 Yearsyrs
Engineering Director Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Product Management Director
Vice President-Products
13 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Advisory Engineer 6.5 years
Standards Engineer 4.7 years
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Plant Engineer 4.1 years
Equipment Engineer 4.1 years
Civil Engineer 4.0 years
Staff Engineer 4.0 years
Head Engineer 3.8 years
Engineer, Methods 3.6 years
Product Engineer 3.6 years
Component Engineer 3.5 years
Liaison Engineer 3.5 years
Process Engineer 3.5 years
Packaging Engineer 3.5 years
Optical Engineer 3.5 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Controls Engineer 3.4 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Service Engineer 3.4 years
Project Engineer 3.4 years
Planning Engineer 3.3 years
Advanced Engineer 3.3 years
Firmware Engineer 3.3 years
Hardware Engineer 3.3 years
Quality Engineer 3.3 years
Cost Engineer 3.2 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Software Engineer 3.2 years
Division Engineer 3.2 years
Computer Engineer 3.0 years
Research Engineer 2.9 years
Device Engineer 2.8 years
Energy Engineer 2.5 years
Value Engineer 2.5 years
Robotics Engineer 2.3 years
Junior Engineer 2.1 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 10.0%
Internship 5.3%
Consultant 2.6%
Top Employers After
Engineer 6.7%
Consultant 6.0%
Manager 2.8%

Staff Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.1%

Female

12.5%

Unknown

5.4%
Ethnicity

White

68.6%

Asian

18.9%

Hispanic or Latino

8.2%

Unknown

3.4%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.3%

French

10.4%

German

10.0%

Chinese

8.8%

Japanese

6.7%

Mandarin

6.3%

Carrier

5.4%

Cantonese

2.9%

Italian

2.5%

Portuguese

2.5%

Russian

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%

Hindi

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Urdu

1.3%

Tagalog

1.3%

Turkish

0.8%

Hungarian

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Malay

0.8%
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Staff Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

9.1%

Pennsylvania State University

6.8%

University of Southern California

6.0%

University of Florida

5.7%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.5%

Arizona State University

5.3%

Texas A&M University

5.3%

University of Texas at Austin

5.0%

San Jose State University

4.9%

North Carolina State University

4.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.6%

Iowa State University

4.5%

Stanford University

4.2%

University of Phoenix

4.2%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.2%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.0%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.0%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.0%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

4.0%

Drexel University

4.0%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

23.5%

Civil Engineering

16.7%

Mechanical Engineering

13.1%

Business

8.5%

Computer Science

8.4%

Computer Engineering

4.6%

Chemical Engineering

4.0%

Engineering

3.3%

Physics

2.3%

Environmental Engineering

2.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Management

1.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.6%

Aerospace Engineering

1.6%

Project Management

1.4%

Finance

1.4%

Communication

1.1%

Chemistry

1.1%

Mathematics

1.1%

Industrial Technology

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.0%

Masters

34.7%

Other

9.2%

Doctorate

7.8%

Associate

2.7%

Certificate

2.1%

Diploma

0.3%

License

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

Real Staff Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Staff Engineer Nicira, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 29, 2016 $220,000
Staff Algorithm Engineer Le Technology, Inc. Bellevue, WA Mar 17, 2016 $210,000
Staff Datacenter Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 08, 2016 $205,000
Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 31, 2015 $200,000
Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Oct 09, 2016 $200,000
Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. Bellevue, WA Oct 10, 2016 $200,000
Staff Engineer Nicira, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Nov 01, 2016 $194,000
Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Nov 28, 2016 $192,000
Staff Engineer Nicira, Inc. Palo Alto, CA May 12, 2016 $190,000
Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 08, 2016 $190,000
Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 29, 2015 $190,000
Staff Engineer, Photolithography Samsung Austin Semiconductor, L.L.C. Austin, TX Sep 10, 2015 $190,000 -
$200,000
Staff Engineer Nicira, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Jan 08, 2016 $190,000
Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 29, 2015 $190,000
Staff Dimensional Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Apr 04, 2016 $129,438
Staff Engineer, Packaging Inphi Corporation Westlake Village, CA Dec 09, 2016 $129,001
Engineer, Staff Qlogic Corporation San Jose, CA Dec 15, 2016 $129,000 -
$132,000
Staff Engineer Mediatek USA Inc. San Jose, CA Dec 15, 2016 $129,000 -
$149,000
Staff Engineer IBM Corporation Costa Mesa, CA Jul 29, 2015 $128,996 -
$156,000
Staff Soft. ENG. (Staff APP. Soft. ENG.) Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. Dublin, CA Apr 30, 2016 $128,543
Engineer, Staff Qlogic Corporation Mountain View, CA Aug 06, 2016 $128,232
Staff Engineer ASML Us, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Sep 07, 2015 $128,160
Staff Engineer Le Technology, Inc. San Diego, CA Jun 17, 2016 $99,861 -
$120,000
Network Development Staff Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Aug 13, 2015 $99,838
Network Development Staff Engineer Dell Products L.P. Santa Clara, CA Nov 09, 2016 $99,796
Storage Development Staff Engineer Dell Marketing LP Nashua, NH Feb 18, 2015 $99,637
Storage Development Staff Engineer Dell Marketing L.P. Nashua, NH Feb 19, 2016 $99,637
Staff Engineer 2, Set Top Box Engineering (Specialist at&T Services, Inc. El Segundo, CA Dec 16, 2016 $99,507

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Top Skills for A Staff Engineer

HardwareLabFacilityCADSafetyArchitectureLaboratoryTechnicalReportsProjectManagementRFRC/C++WindowsLinuxAsicTechnicalSupportProductDevelopmentWebFpgaIP

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Top Staff Engineer Skills

  1. Hardware
  2. Lab
  3. Facility
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked remotely with on-site support personnel to diagnose and correct hardware, operating system configuration, and software problems.
  • Reference Manager: available upon request.
  • Water Treatment Facility Modifications, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, Sandy, Utah.
  • Gained proficiency with Cadence Encounter Test tools.
  • Worked in various engineering capacities during my tenure at Deere & Co., i.e.construction management, project management, construction safety.

Top Staff Engineer Employers

Staff Engineer Videos

Apple's employee recruiting video

SQL? NoSQL? NewSQL? What's a Java developer to do?

Cathay Pacific A Day in The Life of an Engineer""

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