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Arkansas State University

A Look at Engineering Management

A Master of Engineering Management (MEM) degree is a good choice for engineers considering leadership roles. This degree combines leadership knowledge with technical skills to prepare graduates for managerial roles within their industries. Learning more about engineering management jobs can help engineers and prospective students evaluate if pursuing an MEM degree is the right choice for them.

Engineering Management Career Statistics

Demographically, men comprise the majority in engineering management, with the ratio of men to women approximately 14 to one. Geographically, California and Texas have the most engineering management jobs. California has more than 30,000 engineering managers employed, while Texas has about a third as many. Michigan, Illinois and New York round out the top five.

Based on the number of engineering managers employed per 1,000 jobs, the District of Columbia has the highest number at 2.65. Michigan comes in second, with New Mexico, Oregon and Massachusetts taking third, fourth and fifth place respectively.

Engineering management jobs pay well on average. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, median pay in 2015 was $132,800 per year, with a median hourly wage of $63.85. Salaries ranged from less than $85,000 to more than $187,000. Engineering managers also receive more benefits and bonuses than engineers who are not managers.

In 2014, engineering management jobs numbered more than 180,000. At 6.5 percent, job growth over the 2014–2024 period is expected to be slightly slower than the national average, with about 3,700 new jobs added for an increase of 2 percent. However, that projection is for the occupation as a whole. Job growth in the individual fields that employ engineering managers will vary based on growth within that industry and may be higher.

Engineering Management Skills and Duties

Since engineering management combines the fields of engineering and business leadership, the skills and duties required are a combination as well. In a broad sense, engineering managers plan projects and direct teams in engineering firms through a wide variety of duties, depending on the industry and the company.

Managers may be responsible for hiring and training new employees. They might be involved in proposing budgets or new projects. They will likely supervise employees and collaborate with other managers and teams. Their jobs can include elements of quality control and testing or research and development.

Communication skills rank among the top requirements for engineering managers. Effective communication helps teams and businesses meet goals. For problem solving, engineering managers need the analytical skills of an engineer. Highly technical, engineering work requires attention to detail and advanced math skills. Good management also requires organizational skills to keep track of all the moving parts involved in leadership.

Choosing to Pursue Engineering Management

The competition for engineering management jobs is stiff. Experience is important, and candidates with strong educational backgrounds will stand out. As managers are involved on the business side of the companies they work for, prospective engineering managers should consider learning business fundamentals. Having financial, legal, marketing and management knowledge will help engineers transition into leadership roles.

A Master of Engineering Management degree offers a foundation in management and business topics. Completing an MEM program can be a beneficial step in the direction of an engineering management career.

Learn more about the A-State online MEM program.


Bureau of Labor Statistics: Architectural and Engineering Managers

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment of Architectural and Engineering Managers, by State, May 2015

Data USA: Architectural & Engineering Managers

IEEE Spectrum: Women Engineers Inch Up the Management Ladder

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