There are a number of career opportunities available to individuals with Master in Engineering Management degrees. Knowledge of corporate finance, risk analysis and marketing is a requirement of all graduates. Exceptional communication and technical skills paired with this degree will help candidates stand out from others in their field.
Engineers who pursue management positions generally do so after many years of employment as technical staff. Some may already possess master's degrees in engineering, but lack the management skills necessary to lead. It is not uncommon for employers to help potential engineering managers go back to school to earn a Master of Engineering Management (MEM) degree at the company's expense. Courses covered in an MEM degree include corporate finance, marketing, statistics and accounting, along with courses in operations management and risk analysis. Due to the ever-changing nature of engineering, these managers must also remain open to pursuing additional coursework to stay current with developing technologies.
|Career Titles||Architectural/Engineering Manager|
|Education Requirements||Master's Degree in Engineering Management|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||2%*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$132,800*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The purpose of obtaining a Master's in Engineering Management is to allow engineers the opportunity to begin managing projects. This degree prepares graduates to perform many of the management functions associated with engineering careers while simultaneously offering instruction in the general management skills that apply across careers, such as finance, marketing, statistics, accounting, and risk analysis. An MEM degree further offers graduates the ability to work as the liaison between management and the staff that actually carries out engineering projects. Strong technical and communication skills coupled with an MEM degree can afford a graduate many career opportunities.
Salary and Employment Outlook Info
According to the May 2015 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment statistics, engineering managers accounted for about 179,770 jobs across the nation. Although salaries varied by expertise and seniority, the annual median salary for these workers was $132,800 in May 2015. Job opportunities for architectural and engineering managers are expected to grow by around two percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the government statistics. However, due to outsourcing, many engineering jobs are expected to be sent abroad, leaving fewer employees to be managed, thus increasing competition for management positions. Those with excellent technical, communication and business skills should find the best management job opportunities.
Career Information for Engineering Managers
The primary job of an engineering manager is to determine and execute the technical objectives set forth by top company executives or government leaders. These objectives can include conducting scientific research, developing emergent technologies and seeking to improve existing processes. They achieve their goals by preparing detailed engineering plans that identify troublesome technical areas and possible solutions. They then employ their management skills to guide and supervise subordinate technicians, engineers and scientists to achieve company or governmental objectives.
The principle duties of an engineering manager are to prepare, organize and oversee various research and manufacturing pursuits. They establish project policies, guidelines, quality assurance and testing procedures. To be effective, engineering managers must be excellent coordinators, administrators, communicators and budgeters. Their duties may also include hiring appropriate employees and overseeing the accuracy and reliability of their technical methods. In addition, engineering managers must work as liaisons to facilitate communications between upper management and production teams, contractors and materials suppliers.
Engineering managers typically find advancement opportunities within their given field of expertise. However, some may move to non-technical positions such as sales, marketing or human resources. Those working for high-tech industries may be able to excel as marketers or sales personnel due to their specialized knowledge of complex engineering issues.
While the job growth for engineering management is slower than average, there are still leadership opportunities to be found in the architectural and civil engineering industries. Due to strong competition, graduates are encouraged to gain experience in their field of expertise to increase their chances at advancing their careers. In 2015, the median salary for architectural and engineering managers was about $133,000.