Engineering Manager Job Description
Engineering managers are responsible for supervising junior engineers, coordinating production plans, and researching new procedures and products that they can use in future products.
The exact responsibilities for an engineering manager vary from position to position. For instance, an engineering manager may be tasked with improving a manufacturing process or developing a new product. Though a good engineer would be able to approach either task, it normally makes more sense for an engineering firm to hire specialized managers to solve different types of problems.
Regardless of specialty, most engineering managers share some of the same responsibilities. For example, many engineering managers are responsible for hiring and supervising employees, budgeting, and designing administrative procedures.
Additional responsibilities for engineering managers include:
- Creating project plans that will help the organization meet the goals required for new products or designs.
- Presenting and explaining budget and project proposals to their employer or stakeholder.
- Preparing budgets, bids, and contracts.
- Performing functions related to bookkeeping, payroll, and other administrative tasks.
- Conferring with marketing, production, and outside management to determine product specifications.
Work Environment and Schedule
Most engineering managers spend the majority of their time at their office, though it’s often necessary to spend a lot of time visiting construction sites, manufacturing plants, or other client sites.
Though being an engineering manager can be a very rewarding occupation, it definitely isn’t a job for everyone. The hours can be long, and the pressure to meet deadlines and work within a small budget can be tremendous.
Nearly half of all engineering managers work more than a 40 hour work week, and it’s normally expected that they are able to be contacted at any time of day.
Because of the demands of the job, you should definitely consider the lifestyle you want to live outside of work while considering whether an engineering manager position is right for you.
How to Become an Engineering Manager
A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field (such as architecture or math) is required for most engineering manager positions, but many employers prefer candidates with a master’s in engineering management (MEM) or a master’s in technology management (MSTM).
In most cases, it requires years of work experience before an individual is qualified to become an engineering manager. It takes most people a long time to learn how to manage teams of engineers and handle complex projects, and those skills need to be strong before working as an engineering manager
Depending on the exact nature of the position, the state you work in may require a license to work as an engineering manager.
There are currently 176,800 engineering managers in the United States, with 4,970 new engineering manager job openings created each year.
Engineering Manager jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Engineering Manager Salaries
Engineering Manager salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most engineering managers make between $97,700 – $150,400 per year, or $46.96 – $72.28 per hour.