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Become A Staff Engineer

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Working As A Staff Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $82,846

    Average Salary

What Does A Staff Engineer Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become A Staff Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. 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
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Do you work as a Staff Engineer?

Staff Engineer Jobs

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Staff Engineer Career Paths

Staff Engineer
Operations Manager Business Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Instructor Field Service Technician Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Staff Engineer Project Manager Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Instructor Lecturer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Contractor/Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Project Engineering Manager Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Lead Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Field Service Technician Process Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Consulting Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Chief Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Staff Engineer Engineering Manager Manufacturing Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Lead Technician Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Consulting Engineer Senior Engineer
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Technical Specialist Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Staff Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Advisory Engineer 6.9 years
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Senior Engineer 4.2 years
Staff Engineer 4.0 years
Lead Engineer 3.3 years
Advanced Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 10.5%
Internship 6.1%
Consultant 2.7%
Top Employers After
Engineer 7.4%
Consultant 6.6%
Manager 3.0%

Do you work as a Staff Engineer?

Staff Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.3%

Female

12.3%

Unknown

5.4%
Ethnicity

White

53.3%

Asian

19.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Black or African American

9.2%

Unknown

5.3%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.1%

French

10.2%

German

9.8%

Chinese

8.5%

Mandarin

6.0%

Carrier

6.0%

Japanese

6.0%

Portuguese

3.0%

Russian

2.6%

Cantonese

2.6%

Italian

2.6%

Hindi

2.1%

Korean

1.7%

Arabic

1.7%

Turkish

1.3%

Urdu

1.3%

Tagalog

1.3%

Gujarati

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.9%

Malay

0.9%
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Staff Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

9.0%

Pennsylvania State University

6.9%

University of Florida

6.0%

University of Southern California

5.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.3%

Arizona State University

5.2%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.2%

Texas A&M University

5.0%

University of Texas at Austin

5.0%

North Carolina State University

4.8%

San Jose State University

4.5%

University of Phoenix

4.5%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.2%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.2%

Iowa State University

4.2%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.1%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.1%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

4.0%

University of Central Florida

4.0%

Drexel University

4.0%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

23.1%

Civil Engineering

17.2%

Mechanical Engineering

13.1%

Business

8.5%

Computer Science

8.2%

Computer Engineering

4.5%

Chemical Engineering

4.0%

Engineering

3.4%

Physics

2.2%

Environmental Engineering

2.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Aerospace Engineering

1.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.5%

Management

1.5%

Finance

1.4%

Project Management

1.4%

Communication

1.2%

Chemistry

1.1%

Mathematics

1.1%

Industrial Technology

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.5%

Masters

34.6%

Other

9.1%

Doctorate

7.7%

Associate

2.7%

Certificate

2.0%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.1%
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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 Oct 09, 2016 $200,000
Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 31, 2015 $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 Vmware, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 29, 2015 $190,000
Staff Engineer Vmware, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 08, 2016 $190,000
Staff Engineer Nicira, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Jan 08, 2016 $190,000
Staff Engineer Nicira, Inc. Palo Alto, CA May 12, 2016 $190,000
Staff Engineer Captricity, Inc. Oakland, CA Nov 07, 2016 $190,000
Staff Engineer, Photolithography Samsung Austin Semiconductor, L.L.C. Austin, TX Sep 10, 2015 $190,000 -
$200,000
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

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  1. Computer
  2. Facility
  3. Lab
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed C and assembly language real-time operating software and analog and digital circuitry for microcomputer based instruments.
  • Provided expertise on industrial equipment for the redesign of a customer machining facility to a lean, cellular manufacturing operation.
  • Led the implementation phase for the introduction of a product supermarket to optimize product availability for final device assembly.
  • Managed the development and execution of test plans and verification procedures then analyzed actual results and re-executed tests when needed.
  • Designed and verified custom analog and digital instrumentation electronics for precision measurement, embedded control, power distribution and safety systems.

How Would You Rate Working As a Staff Engineer?

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Top Staff Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Staff Engineer Employers

Staff Engineer Videos

Apple's employee recruiting video

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

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