How to Become a Principal Engineer?

Are you thinking of becoming a Principal Engineer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Principal Engineer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Principal Engineer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Principal Engineer Career Path

Principal Engineer

Alias: Senior Staff Engineer, Engineer V...(3)
Learn More
8+Years of Experience
$84K - $120K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
Learn More

Senior Principal Engineer

Learn More
8+Years of Experience
$110K - $200K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
Learn More

Distinguished Engineer

Learn More
2 - 4Years of Experience
Not Enough Salary Reports
Learn More

Salary Trajectory

Principal Engineer Career Path

Engineer Associate Manager
Engineer Manager
Mid-level Engineer
Senior Manager of Engineering
Team Lead Engineer
Principal Engineer
Assistant Director of Engineering
Senior Principal Engineer
Associate Director of Engineering
Distinguished Engineer
Director of Engineering
Senior Director of Engineering
Vice President of Engineering
Deputy Chief Engineer
Chief Engineer

Contribute to Glassdoor

Everything you add helps others find a job and company they'll love.
Add Your Salary

Important Skill Sets for the Principal Engineer Career Path

Written Communication
Operating Systems
Packet Forwarding
GO Python

Related careers in the Engineering Industry

Interested in other Engineering careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Principal Engineer skills. Discover some of the most common Principal Engineer career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Project Engineer
13% skills overlap
19% transitioned to Project Engineer