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What Is the Average Pay for a Senior Engineering Technician?

by Rick Suttle, studioD

Senior engineering technicians use science, math and engineering to solve technical problems in manufacturing, research and development, maintenance and construction. They specialize in one of three areas: mechanical, industrial and civil engineering, assisting engineers with their analyses. Those in mechanical engineering work on machinery used during production, while senior engineering technicians in industrial engineering study work flow and employee performance. If you work with civil engineers, you assist them with highway and bridge construction. You can expect to earn a salary averaging between $50,000 and $60,000 annually as a senior engineering technician.

Salary and Qualifications

All senior engineering technicians, including those who specialize in mechanical, industrial and civil engineering, earned average annual salaries of $56,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. To become a senior engineering technician, you need the minimum of an associate degree in mechanical, industrial or civil engineering technology, depending on which field you pursue. Employers may also require you to have two or more years of industry experience. Other essential requirements are an attention to detail and math, teamwork, organizational, communication and computer skills.

Salary by Region

In 2013, average salaries for senior engineering technicians varied considerably in most U.S. regions, according to Indeed. In the Midwest, they earned the highest salaries of $61,000 in Illinois and the lowest of $42,000 in South Dakota. Those in the Northeast made $48,000 to $68,000 per year in Maine and New York, respectively. If you worked as a senior engineering technician in the South, you'd earn the most in Washington, D.C., or the least in Louisiana -- $66,000 or $48,000, respectively. In the West, your salary would range from a low of $38,000 in Hawaii to a high of $61,000 in California.

Contributing Factors

A senior engineering technician may earn more in certain industries. For example, mechanical engineering technicians' salaries were highest in the basic chemical manufacturing industry in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Industrial engineering technicians earned the most in "support activities for mining" -- $82,360 annually. Civil engineering technicians earned the highest salaries in the waste treatment and disposal industry, at $78,940. You may also earn more as a senior engineering technician in these industries, depending on your specialty, as engineering technicians often work for senior engineering technicians.

Job Outlook

The BLS doesn't report job opportunities for senior engineering technicians. It projects a 12-percent increase in jobs for civil engineering technicians through 2020, however, statistically about average compared to the 14-percent growth rate for all jobs. Positions for industrial and mechanical engineering technicians will grow at a below-average pace of 4 percent, the BLS predicts. You may find more available job opportunities as a senior civil engineering technician because highways and bridges need repair throughout the United States.

About the Author

Rick Suttle has been writing professionally since 2009, covering health and business for various online and print publications. He has worked in corporate marketing research and as a copywriter. Suttle holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Miami University and a Master of Business Administration from California Coast University. He is author of the novels "Hell Year" and "Suicide Peak."

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