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Engineering management: Your career guide – ZDNet

Do you have the technical and people skills to lead engineering projects? High-demand industries from logistics to energy need engineering management experts.
Contributing Writer
An engineering manager organizes and oversees engineering projects while coaching and leading teams of engineers. Other job tasks include recommending budgets and monitoring expenses, timetables, and production plans. 
Firms pay top dollar for professionals who’ve mastered the hard and people skills the role demands. At $149,530, the median annual salary for engineering managers is more than 3.5 times the national average.
Read on to learn about life as an engineering manager, what skills they need, and whether the job is right for you.
Engineering managers may work in industrial production plants, research laboratories, and office settings resolving regulatory issues. Industry professionals possess accounting, marketing, and computer science expertise. 
 In this role, you’ll collaborate with contractors, stakeholders, and related managers in addition to managing personnel. 
Engineering managers perform an array of tasks and responsibilities. Here are several of the most common.
Many engineering managers are employed full-time and work at least 40 hours per week. Remote work opportunities are available. With budgets to juggle and deadlines to meet, managers should have excellent organizational and time-management skills. 
While engineering management is fast-paced and may be stressful, it offers variety and opportunities for personal improvement with each new project.
As the tech world evolves, engineering managers need continuing education and training to mentor engineers, provide code reviews, and offer relevant feedback on projects.
The median annual wage for engineering managers was $149,530 as of May 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
High-paying industries include scientific research and development services, management of companies and enterprises, and manufacturing. The government and architectural, engineering, and related services also make the list.
The next steps on the career ladder include director of engineering, chief engineer, and vice president of engineering.
Engineering management is a competitive occupation requiring advanced business, engineering and technology, and math and science skills. Earning one of these roles requires both specialized schooling and extensive experience.
Managers typically earn a bachelor’s in engineering (or a closely related degree) and a master’s of engineering management. While earning your degree, you’ll take chemistry, managerial science, and physics courses.
This role generally requires five to 12 years of experience in database management system software, computer aided design software, and other job-relevant technology. Earning Certified Associate in Engineering Management certification can help demonstrate your knowledge to employers.
Are you a career changer with an industry-related degree? Consider pursuing a master’s degree along with your professional engineer license. 
Upper management positions may require Certified Professional in Engineering Management certification.
Engineering managers are leaders in operations, production, and quality assurance. Managers design innovative products and processes and consult with finance, marketing, and production managers. 
In this role, you’ll want to develop your technical and people skills (also called “soft skills”) for managing projects and programs.
Hard skills
People skills
While pursuing engineering management training, you’ll likely complete accounting, engineering economics, and financial management courses along with industrial and human resources and quality control projects. 
As you gain theoretical knowledge, technical skills, and practical experience, make sure your strengths, interests, and career achievements align with the role.
Career achievements
Do you have a strong interest in building tools and machines? Would you consider yourself an investigator of natural laws? Does influencing and motivating engineering teams excite you? 
If so, consider enrolling in an engineering management program as your first step toward an engineering management career.
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