Engineering Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Engineering Manager, or Engineer Manager, is responsible for overseeing a team of Engineers in the completion of engineering projects. Their duties include hiring and training qualified engineering staff, setting project budgets and timelines for completion and helping their staff run tests or troubleshoot issues with prototypes.

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Engineering Manager Duties and Responsibilities 

An Engineering Manager uses their industry knowledge to oversee a variety of activities. They may coordinate and direct building activities on a construction site or activities related to maintenance, testing, quality assurance, operations and production at a manufacturing site. Other duties may include: 

  • Developing detailed plans for new designs and products
  • Making determinations for equipment, staff and training needs 
  • Proposing project and program budgets
  • Hiring and supervising staff
  • Leading research and development projects that produce new designs, products and processes. 
  • Checking their team’s work for technical accuracy
  • Ensuring the validity of methods used by staff
  • Coordinating work with other managers and staff

What Does an Engineering Manager Do? 

Engineering Managers typically work for engineering companies or corporations to design and test products. They work closely with other departments like marketing, sales and customer service to provide them with insights on how to talk about products to consumers. Their job is to review project budgets and select staffing and equipment as needed. They may also be responsible for monitoring activities to ensure that their team uses quality methods and materials to develop products.

Engineering Manager Skills and Qualifications

An Engineering Manager spends a great deal of their time coordinating the activities of staff with the activities of other organizations and their staff. They often meet with other managers, including finance, marketing and production, along with materials, equipment and contractor suppliers. Helpful skills include: 

  • Analytical skills for evaluating information carefully and solving complex problems.
  • Communication skills for overseeing staff and working with other management personnel. They need to be able to effectively communicate instructions while leading the team to meet their goals.
  • Detail-oriented for understanding complex systems and the ability to pay attention to details, as a minor error can result in major problems.
  • Math skills, including calculus and other advanced mathematics for developing new processes and products.
  • Organizational skills for keeping track of various budgets, employees and schedules simultaneously.

Engineering Manager Salary Expectations 

An Engineering Manager can expect to make an average salary of $116,299 per year. This information is based on 1,721 anonymously submitted salaries along with information from Indeed users and past and present Indeed job postings within the last 36 months. 

Engineering Manager Education and Training Requirements 

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in an engineering specialty is usually required for an Engineering Manager. Some continue their education in business management skills by earning a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), technology management (MSTM) or engineering management (MsEm or MEM). Some individuals obtain their master’s degree before entering into management positions, while others enroll in a master’s program while working as a manager. Usually, those preferring to manage in more technical areas pursue an MSTM or MsEM, while those interested in pursuing more general management skills work toward an MBA. 

Programs for engineering management generally include coursework in quality control, industrial and human resource management, financial management, engineering economics and accounting. 

Programs for technology management usually include instruction in general management principles, statistics, safety and health issues, quality control, computer applications, project management and production and operations management. 

Engineering Manager Experience Requirements 

An Engineering Manager often advances to their position after years of employment as an Engineer. They generally have experience in making decisions, solving problems, developing designs and working on complex or difficult projects. Prior to achieving a manager position, they have also usually gained experience leading other engineering teams. 

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Frequently asked questions about Engineering Managers

 

What is the difference between an Engineering Manager and a Product Manager?

Engineering Managers and Product Managers both lead teams of professionals to complete projects related to software programs or consumer products. They differ in their areas of expertise and the types of qualifications they have. For example, Product Managers usually need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business or business administration. Rather than participating in the design and creation of products, Product Managers oversee a team, set work schedules, read customer reviews and strategize ways to improve a current product on the market.

In contrast, Engineering Managers typically have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering and they use their experience to help their team develop blueprints and create prototypes. Engineering Managers and Product Managers work closely together to prepare and execute the design or modification of products for a corporation.

 

What are the daily duties of an Engineering Manager?

On a typical day, an Engineering Manager starts by reviewing upcoming deadlines for engineering projects. Throughout the day, they hold meetings with the engineering department to learn about the progress of particular projects. They also use this time to strategize about product modifications or improvements as a result of customer feedback. When the Engineering Manager isn’t at their desk, they work closely with their team to help them troubleshoot design flaws and brainstorm ideas to improve the quality of a product without going over budget.

 

What qualities make a good Engineering Manager?

A good Engineering Manager has a natural ability to lead, which allows them to oversee the efforts of the engineering department and its employees. They have an innovative mindset that motivates them to come up with creative solutions to budget cuts or product defects. Further, a good Engineering Manager values continued education and always looks for new ways to improve their knowledge of software programs or engineering trends. This allows them to lead their team in using up-to-date engineering methods. A good Engineering Manager also values the opinions of their team members and gives them credit for their ideas.

 

Who does an Engineering Manager report to?

An Engineering Manager usually reports to the Director of Engineering. The Director of Engineering is a member of upper management within a corporation who provides the Engineering Manager with insights into product ideas, budgeting expenses and hiring or training needs.

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