What is this job like?
There are many jobs suited to people with Engineering Management degrees. A person could remain in a technical position, or could move into a management type role. Many people work in jobs similar to an Electronics Engineer (see the previous section). Another opportunity is Engineering Project Management. Engineering Project Managers work in a management role and run engineering projects. Most large projects are very complicated and need good coordination between all parties for successful, on-time completion. The Engineering Project Manager is the person coordinating the project. His duties could include:
*Consult or negotiate with clients to prepare project specifications.
- Set goals within broad outlines provided by top management.
- Confer with management, production, and marketing staff on project specifications.
*Prepare budgets, bids, and contracts, and direct the negotiation of contracts.
*Review and recommend or approve contracts and cost estimates.
*Coordinate and direct projects, making detailed plans to accomplish goals and directing the integration of technical activities.
* Direct, review, and approve project designs and changes.
*Recruit employees; assign, direct, and evaluate their work; and oversee the development and maintenance of staff competence.
* Perform administrative functions such as reviewing and writing reports, approving expenditures, and making decisions about the purchase of materials or services.
*Present and explain proposals, reports, and findings to clients.
*Plan and direct the installation, testing, operation, maintenance, and repair of facilities and equipment.
There is no typical work environment for an Engineering Manager. Some of their time will be in an office environment; however work at the project site will also be necessary. Most work at least 40 hours a week. There will be times when more hours would be required if a deadline is to be met or an emergency occurs.
How do you get ready?
Strong technical and business knowledge is essential for Engineering Project Managers. They must understand the all aspects of the project work from both a management and technical standpoint. Furthermore good communications skills are necessary to explain project details to nontechnical and technical project-team members and management. The degree includes classes in technical and management areas. The technical classes involve electronics and mechanical engineering classes. Business classes include accounting, marketing and other business courses.
Since Engineering Managers work on projects in collaboration with management, vendors, and contractors, courses are required that develop communication and social skills. For example writing, team building, project management and oral communications are art of the program.
What do jobs in Information Technology pay?
In May 2008, average yearly wages of Engineering Managers were $72,900 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 1. This number is highly variable depending on experience and education.
What are the job prospects?
Engineering and managers held about 228,700 jobs in 2008. Employment of engineering and natural sciences managers is projected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations. Opportunities will be best for engineers and scientists with strong communication and business management skills 1.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011.