Salary Information for Antenna Engineers 

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On this page, I'll try to give an idea of what type of salaries antenna engineers earn. Now some of this is based on hard data (I was offered antenna engineer jobs at Boeing and Raytheon in 2005-2006, and Boeing is unionized so keeps public logs of salaries, so I have a good idea there). I also have job offers in the private sector, so I can estimate that somewhat well. If you have any hard data (offer letters or your own salary), please feel free to submit it to [email protected] , and I'll keep the estimates updated.

Note that the salaries will tend to be higher in urban areas and lower in rural areas, and these values are location-dependent.

Defense/Government Jobs

  • Entry Level. Usually requires BS/MS in Electrical Engineering with a little bit of Electromagnetics Emphasis and an antenna class, no prior working knowledge needed. In 2005, I got offered antenna engineer positions at Raytheon and Boeing, both offered US $65,000 base salary to start. These included no stock and minimal starting bonus (roughly $2,000). The jobs were in Texas and Seattle, WA.

  • 2-4 years after Entry Level. Around 2008, if you were an antenna engineer with some experience you could expect to make between US $70,000-$85,000.

  • Mid-Level. Typically, either starting out with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering (with a focus in the antenna field), or at least 6-8 years of experience as an antenna engineer, you would be in the mid-level range. These jobs will pay US $85,000 - $110,000.

  • Senior or Expert Level. Typically these jobs require 10-15 years experience (depending on degree level - BS, MS, PhD). These jobs pay US $110,000 - $150,000.

    Defense jobs typically don't have much in the way of bonuses or stock awards. However, many of these companies pay overtime, which can significantly increase your overall compensation if you work it.

    Private Sector Antenna Design Engineer

  • Entry Level. With a BS or MS and no experience as an antenna engineer, I would expect starting salaries in the range of US $70,000 - US $90,000, particularly in Silicon Valley (San Francisco - San Jose peninsula area). This could be as low as half the above amount in an area like Kansas or Mississippi. With stock and bonuses, the total compensation package could easily exceed $100,000.

  • Mid Level. For Silicon Valley, a PhD might start at US $90,000 - $110,000. With stock and bonuses, the total compensation package might range from US $100,000-$125,000. With a few years of experience, this could increase by $20,000 to $40,000.

  • Senior Level. For silicon valley, a Sr. Antenna Engineer or Technical Manager may earn US $125,000 - $175,000. With stock and bonuses, this could easily exceed US $200,000.

    I'd like to emphasize that this is based on my current knowledge of the antenna engineering positions. I know for a fact some antenna engineers earn significantly more than stated here (due to generous and great-performing stock); I would also not be surprised to hear about some making less.

    Research/University Jobs

    If you are at a smaller tier 2 university, you may start at US $40,000. This would be the very low end though. If you start at a top tier university, you may start at US $110,000. Depending on where the university is and its overall engineer rank, the salary will likely be between these two limits.

    Antenna Engineer Salary Information from Europe

    In Europe, if you have a BS/MS engineering degree with 5 years experience, that's equivalent to a Ph.D in antenna engineering with no work experience. Either of these paths will roughly qualify you for a senior antenna engineering position.

    Here are some salaries, offered to antenna engineers in 2009:

  • Laird Technology - Stockholm, Sweden - Position: Senior Antenna Engineer - Salary $59,000 US [408,000 SEK]

  • Molex - Copenhagen, Denmark - Position: Sr. Antenna Engineer - Salary $85,000 US [473,000 DKK] + Bonuses

  • Swedish Defense Research Agency - Position: Microwave Engineer - Salary $72,000 US [492,000 SEK]

    As you can see, positions vary widely in salary, so it's important to negotiate (or at least try to). It's important to weight the total compensation package (stock, bonuses, benefits, whatever is offered), and the general quality of life (work/life balance) to find a good fit for you. Feel free to use any of the information on these pages as starting points with your employer if offered a lower salary.

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