Director of Engineering: Salary, Responsibilities & Job Description

Explore more information about becoming a director of engineering. Here, you will find out the education required, expected salary, and job outlook and duties for this career to determine whether or not it is the right one for you.

Director of Engineering Responsibilities

A director of engineering uses their knowledge for an array of activities that assist with the productivity of engineering teams. Directors of engineering determine goals that need to be achieved on a certain time line and even produce plans. A director continually ensures that the staff are working effectively and appropriately by hiring and supervising, determining budgets, and making plans for the introduction of new projects and plans at the business. He or she must have great problem solving skills as he or she solves technical issues and problems that can affect projects. Check out the chart below for more general information:

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Job Duties Propose budgets; establish detailed plans; supervise staff
Median Salary (2019) $139,697 per year**
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% growth* (all architectural and engineering managers)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Statistics, **Payscale.com

Education Required

You will first need to get a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, studying engineering. Many do get their master's, even though it is not required, to further their knowledge and experience in engineering management (MsEM) or technology management (MSTM). You can also take engineering management programs that include classes in engineering economics, quality control, accounting, financial management, and industrial and human resources management. Due to managers needing to understand how engineering companies operate, they must obtain at least 5 years of experience or more before employers would consider them for director of engineering positions.

Required Skills

A director of engineering should have great math skills as they use advanced mathematics to deal with new products and processes. Directors of engineering must also have organizational skills because they have to perform tasks that include preparing budgets and keeping track of workers and ongoing and changing schedules. Being detailed oriented is very important because this position requires a great understanding of complex systems to ensure that limited problems occur. Lastly, a director of engineering should have proficient analytical skills that provide them with the ability to evaluate information carefully and execute solutions when they arise.

Career Salary and Job Outlook

Payscale.com indicates that directors of engineering earned a median of $139,697 per year in 2019, which is about the average for all engineering managers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the top 10% of architectural and engineering managers made more than $208,000 per year and the lowest 10% earned less than $89,620 per year. According to the BLS, between 2016 and 2026, architectural and engineering manager positions are expected to grow by 6%. These job positions are highly desirable and because of this, there is quite a bit of competition for these openings. Those who are likely to obtain these jobs have qualities that include years of related work experience, experience with similar projects, excellent communication skills, and great technical knowledge.

Related Careers

Becoming a director of engineering is a great way to lead large teams and make a difference in the engineering field. There are a variety of jobs that focus on managing and engineering; check out the 4 careers below for more information.


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