Essential Career Information
- Electrical Engineering Director
- Engineering Design Manager
- engineering manager
- Engineering Research Manager
- Global engineering manager
- Mechanical Engineering Director
- Process engineering manager
What Is Engineering Management?
Engineering managers oversee projects and operations within an engineering company. These professionals must possess a keen understanding of quality assurance, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance. They also need broad project management skills in budgeting, problem-solving, and human resources.
Engineering managers may begin their careers as engineers, accumulating experience before advancing to management positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that experienced engineering managers with technical expertise and advanced communication skills have the greatest job opportunities, with the majority of jobs in the manufacturing sector.
Frequently Asked Questions
What jobs can you get with an engineering management degree?
Jobs with an engineering management degree include engineering project manager, construction management engineer, cost systems analyst, industrial management engineer, and senior lead analyst.
Is engineering management a good degree?
Earning a bachelor's degree in engineering management can lead to a variety of lucrative entry-level career options, with advancement commensurate to a higher degree and experience.
What does an engineering manager do?
Engineering managers plan and organize production, operations, and maintenance activities for engineering projects and perform administrative, technical, and supervisory tasks.
How much does an engineering manager make a year?
Engineering managers earn an annual average salary of $140,760, with the top earners employed in scientific research and development services.
What Does an Engineering Manager Do?
Most engineering managers work from an office, though some work at construction sites and in research laboratories and industrial plants. The largest percentage of engineering managers work in the manufacturing sector, followed by engineering and related services. A select number of engineering managers work in government, scientific research, and management companies.
Engineering managers oversee the design, development, and manufacturing of products like cars and technological devices. These professionals regularly work with finance, marketing, and production managers, as well as contractors and suppliers, and help direct each step of the engineering process.
Engineering managers need accounting, quality control, economics, and industrial management expertise. Candidates must obtain state-issued licensure through the National Council for Examiners of Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). They may also pursue voluntary certifications through the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) or Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SEM).
Become an Engineering Manager
Engineering managers need a license and at least a bachelor's degree and professional experience to practice. Prospective engineering managers with a bachelor's degree may work as engineers or gain experience as interns or associates before applying for an engineering management job. Employers may prefer applicants with a master's degree in engineering management or an MBA with an engineering management concentration.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Engineering managers need at least a bachelor's degree and professional experience. Aspiring engineering managers can pursue a bachelor's degree in engineering management or a bachelor's in engineering with an engineering management concentration. Most engineering management bachelor's degrees comprise 120 credits and take four years of full-time study to complete, though some programs may offer accelerated completion options.
Common engineering management concentrations include technology, environmental/energy, and finance and cost-accounting management. Bachelor's degrees in engineering management emphasize leadership and analytical skills through core coursework on topics like accounting, marketing, and operations. Students also gain field skills in subjects like physics and chemistry, materials science, and systems engineering.
Prospective students should look for programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) to ensure they meet field standards for entry-level employment after graduation. Graduates may pursue intern, assistant, and associate positions in engineering management or engineering project management. They may also work as facilities project managers and entry-level plant managers.
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Master's Degree Programs
A master's degree qualifies graduates for senior engineering manager jobs, as well as client service analyst, construction project engineer, and application engineer positions. Students can earn an MS in engineering management, a master of science in engineering, or a master of engineering management. Students may also pursue an MBA with a concentration in engineering management.
Most master's degrees in engineering management require 30 credits and take two years of full-time study to complete, though accelerated completion options are prevalent among online programs. Students may choose to specialize their studies through concentrations in areas like chemical, industrial, or computer engineering management. Master's-level coursework covers topics like project management and leadership, data analytics, and economics and finance.
Generally, master's programs require applicants to hold an accredited bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field. Some schools prefer candidates with an ABET-accredited bachelor's degree.
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Professional Licensure and Certifications
Engineering managers must obtain a license from their state board by passing the NCEES exam. Though requirements vary by state, most states require applicants to hold an ABET-accredited bachelor's in engineering to qualify for licensure. NCEES offers two licensing options: fundamentals of engineering (FE) for recent graduates and students finishing their undergraduate degree, and principles and practice of engineering (PE) for professionals with at least four years of post-college work experience.
The FE exam includes 110 questions and costs $175. The PE exam varies by engineering specialty, such as mechanical, civil, or structural engineering. NCEES does not offer licensure specific to engineering managers. Most PE exams take around eight hours to complete and comprise 80 questions.
Beyond a mandatory professional engineer license, some students opt for voluntary certification through organizations like the ASEM or SME. While not required, many employers prefer to hire senior engineering managers with credentials such as certified associate in engineering management or certified professional in engineering management.