Engineering Managers

Engineering managers combine their engineering and management skills to direct teams of specialists in technical tasks and projects. Engineering management oversees the planning and functions of manufacturing and industrial operations. They're also responsible for the preparation and administering of budgets.

The title engineering manager is used to describe project management or functional management. Engineering managers usually need training and experience in basic management and also the particular engineering subject that will be utilized by the engineering staff.

Many engineering managers focus on fields such as materials management, product development, architecture, technology, construction and manufacturing. Other popular fields are industrial engineering, software engineering, research and development and production processes.

Some of the job titles of engineering managers are project engineering manager, director of engineering, civil engineering manager, chief engineer, and process engineering manager.


  • Asses the feasibility of projects
  • Direct, review and approve changes in product design
  • Discuss with marketing, production and management personnel product specifications and procedures
  • Coordinate and oversee projects
  • Make detailed plans in order to accomplish objectives
  • Plan and oversee the installation, testing, operation and maintenance and repair of equipment and facilities
  • Assign, oversee and evaluate the work of employees
  • Create bids, budgets and contracts
  • Develop and implement policies, standards and procedures regarding engineering and technical work
  • Evaluate and recommend or approve cost estimates and contracts

Job Characteristics

Engineering managers should have strong communication skills and math skills and be detailed oriented. They should have the skills to coach and motivate technical personnel. They also need to be effective at coordinating the work of employees.

They spend a lot of time in their office and they also spend a significant amount of time in meetings. They typically work a 40 hour week but often work overtime due to deadlines and other issues.

Employment Outlook

In general the growth in engineering management is connected to the growth in engineering jobs and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the growth for engineers is forecasted to be about as fast as average for all occupations. Environmental engineers are expected to have the fastest growth and civil engineers should have the largest employment increase. In addition, the median annual wage for engineering managers in 2008 was $115,270.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Candidates for graduate level engineering management degrees need to have an undergraduate with a major in engineering, the sciences, mathematics or computer science. Some of the titles for the degrees are MS in engineering management, master of business and engineering, MS in management science & engineering and MS in technology or innovation management.

Usually, engineering management programs include coursework in management, engineering economy, accounting, management information systems, financial management, quality control, mathematical modeling and optimization, marketing, environmental program management, innovation and operations research.

There are numerous education programs that offer bachelor's, master's and Ph.D degrees. The Master of Engineering Management is a technically based degree that is useful for engineering management positions.

Professional and industrial associations, including engineer's societies provide certification programs that validate engineering management knowledge and skills. Specialization areas in degrees and certification programs include product and process, management of technology, operations management, organizational management, program management, finance and marketing.

Not all employers require professional certification. Some engineering managers take the licensure exam given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. A license can improve a candidates chance of getting some types of engineering manager positions.


Major Employers

The largest area of employment is architectural, engineering and related services. Other large employment sectors are navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing, scientific research and development services, semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing, and aerospace product and parts manufacturing.

Schools for Engineering Managers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Engineering Managers Skills

Below are the skills needed to be engineering managers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Reading Comprehension4.124.38
Critical Thinking44.25
Active Listening3.884.12
Complex Problem Solving3.754.12

Engineering Managers Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be engineering managers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Engineering and Technology4.876.1
Administration and Management3.994.89
English Language3.894.55

Engineering Managers Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being engineering managers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Getting Information4.594.69
Making Decisions and Solving Problems4.455.25
Interacting With Computers4.394.08
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates4.345.58
Analyzing Data or Information4.134.82

Engineering Managers Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being engineering managers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

Work StyleImportance
Attention to Detail4.65
Analytical Thinking4.39

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Engineering Managers

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Engineering Managers jobs , as of 2017

Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim8,820 $164,650
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara5,660 $188,510
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward5,550 $173,230
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land4,170 $191,970
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington3,690 $157,510
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell3,660 $141,330
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue3,000 $159,330
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson2,840 $140,100
San Diego-Carlsbad2,720 $166,300
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale2,470 $127,740

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Engineering Managers

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to engineering managers

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Engineering Managers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.