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Arkansas State University

What Do Engineering Managers Make?

Engineering management is a relatively new field — so new, in fact, that the first master’s degrees in engineering management did not appear in the U.S. until the 21st century. Since then, the profession has grown to include all types of engineering, and many engineers seek out this graduate degree to boost their careers.

Engineering managers are the products of two schools: one that teaches engineering principles and one that teaches business. Many compare a Master of Engineering Management to an MBA, though engineering management programs typically take less time to complete, and the tuition can be lower. Because of this (and paired with the increased earnings potential of engineering managers), many are turning to online programs to earn the degree.

The Pay

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an average engineer management salary is around $138,800 a year, or $63.85 per hour. Depending on which fields engineering managers work in, the compensation varies. Those in government engineering management positions can expect to earn around $125,000 a year, while scientific development and research engineering managers earn around $155,000.

Engineer management salary and employment varies by state as well. According to the BLS, the top 10 states for employing engineering managers are California, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. However, while it does not rank in the top 10, engineering managers in Arkansas fare well. The average salary for engineering managers in Arkansas is $114,700 or $54.74 an hour. Because a master’s degree in engineering management typically takes just over a year to complete and is available through flexible online programs, many engineers with a bachelor’s degree choose to further their education and increase their earnings potential.

All of these numbers are promising for aspiring engineering managers, but there is a caveat. The BLS reports that jobs for engineering managers are expected to grow nationally at a rate of only 2 percent over the next decade, well below the average for all other jobs at 7 percent. Competition for these lucrative jobs will be stiff. A master’s degree in engineering management is not a requirement for engineering managers, but it certainly gives applicants an advantage.

While engineering management is not for everyone, many engineers look to boost their careers through online master’s degree programs. Master of engineering management degrees are a relatively inexpensive investment, and the increased earnings potential can more than return on the initial cost. Some engineers even choose to pursue a master’s degree in engineering management while simultaneously working as engineers themselves. Online education works very well for this group, as it allows students to immediately apply the principles they learn in class in a real-world context.

Learn more about the A-State online MEM program.


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