Career Development

What Does an Engineering Manager Do?

Find out what an engineering manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an engineering manager.

Engineering managers are responsible for overseeing the work of their team. They commonly act as a liaison between their team and upper management, providing regular updates on project status and ensuring that everyone is on the same page with regards to goals, objectives, and other important details.

Engineering managers may also be tasked with developing and implementing new processes or procedures within their department. This might include creating training programs for new hires, updating existing training materials, or even creating entirely new systems for tracking projects, tasks, etc.

Engineering Manager Job Duties

Engineering managers typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Developing a long-term strategic plan to help the company reach its goals
  • Developing new products and processes, including the selection of materials, machinery, and labor needed for construction
  • Monitoring project budgets and schedules and making adjustments as necessary to ensure completion within deadlines
  • Reviewing work performed by subordinates and providing feedback to help them improve their performance
  • Managing projects from start to finish, including hiring subcontractors as needed
  • Hiring new staff to meet growing demand for services or technology changes
  • Overseeing the day to day operations of the engineering department, including hiring new staff members
  • Working with clients to develop new products or projects based on their specifications
  • Overseeing the development of new facilities or major renovations of existing facilities, such as hospitals or schools

Engineering Manager Salary & Outlook

Engineering managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $125,000 ($60.1/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $217,000 ($104.33/hour)

The employment of engineering managers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by demand for engineering services, particularly in fields such as biomedical and nanotechnology engineering. Engineering managers will be needed to oversee the work of engineering design and research teams.

Related: In-Depth Engineering Manager Salary Guide

Engineering Manager Job Requirements

A position as an engineering manager may require the following:

Education: Most employers require engineering managers to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, engineering technology or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree in engineering or a related field. Relevant coursework includes engineering design, mathematics, science and business.

Training & Experience: Engineering managers typically receive on-the-job training in their role after being promoted from an entry-level position. This training may include shadowing the current engineering manager or another senior-level employee in the same role. The training may last for a few months and may include learning about the company’s specific processes and procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: Engineering managers are required to have certain professional certifications to show their expertise in their field. Some employers may also require certifications or certifications for an engineering manager to be eligible for a certain position.

Engineering Manager Skills

Engineering managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Engineering managers need technical skills to understand the engineering processes and systems they oversee. They need to be able to read and interpret technical documents and data to understand the processes and systems they manage. They also need technical skills to communicate with their team about technical processes and systems.

Communication skills: Effective communication is essential for an engineering manager. You may be responsible for conveying information to a team of engineers, clients and other stakeholders. Effective communication can help you convey information clearly, answer questions and resolve issues.

Leadership skills: Leadership skills are essential for engineering managers. They are responsible for directing and motivating their team to complete projects on time and within budget. Effective engineering managers are able to provide clear direction, delegate tasks and motivate their team to perform at their best.

Problem-solving skills: As an engineering manager, you may be responsible for overseeing the completion of a project, leading a team of engineers and ensuring that the project meets the client’s needs. When challenges arise, you may need to identify the problem, develop a solution and implement the solution to ensure the project’s success.

Decision-making skills: As an engineering manager, you are responsible for making important decisions that affect your team and company. Your ability to make effective decisions can help you make the right choices for your team and company.

Engineering Manager Work Environment

Engineering managers typically work in an office environment, although they may spend time on the production floor or in other areas of the company where they work. They typically work a regular 40-hour week, although they may occasionally work overtime to meet deadlines or to attend meetings or conferences. Engineering managers typically have a great deal of responsibility and must be able to handle stress well. They must be able to make decisions quickly and be able to work well under pressure. They must also be able to motivate and lead their team of engineers to achieve the company’s goals.

Engineering Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how engineering managers work. Engineering managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Talent

The need for more technical talent is a trend that is being felt across all industries, as businesses are increasingly relying on technology to run their operations. This has led to an increased demand for engineering managers who have the skills and experience needed to manage teams of engineers.

As engineering managers, you will need to be able to not only manage teams of engineers but also understand the technologies they are working on. This will allow you to provide the necessary guidance and support needed to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.

More Collaboration Between Engineering and Management

There is a growing trend in which engineering and management professionals are collaborating more closely together in order to create a better product. This is due to the fact that both groups have different perspectives on what makes a product successful, and by combining their ideas, they can create something that is better than the sum of its parts.

As this trend continues to grow, engineering managers will need to learn how to collaborate with other departments in order to create a product that meets the needs of customers. This requires a willingness to listen to others’ ideas and to compromise when necessary.

A Greater Focus on Quality Control

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for quality control becomes increasingly important. This is because if products are not built correctly, they can cause serious problems for users and even put lives at risk.

Engineering managers can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in quality control. By doing so, they can help ensure that products are built properly and meet the high standards set by businesses.

How to Become an Engineering Manager

Engineering managers have a lot of options when it comes to career paths. They can move into management roles in different engineering disciplines, or they can move into management roles in other areas of the business, such as marketing or human resources. They can also choose to specialize in a particular area, such as project management or manufacturing engineering.

No matter which path they choose, engineering managers need to be able to lead teams and manage projects effectively. They also need to be able to understand and communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical people.

Related: How to Write an Engineering Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

The most common path for advancement for engineering managers is to first become a project engineer or project manager. In these roles, they learn to lead and manage teams of engineers and other technical staff on specific projects. As they gain experience and demonstrate their ability to manage larger and more complex projects, they are promoted to engineering manager. Some engineering managers eventually become general managers or vice presidents of engineering for their companies.

Other engineering managers move into related fields such as sales, marketing, or technical writing. Some become consultants, providing engineering management services to companies on a contract basis. A few leave engineering altogether and become managers in other fields such as finance, human resources, or information technology.

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