Because of the diversity of industries and businesses where engineering managers work – the answer to the captioned questioned is complicated. Some of the sectors that employ them are manufacturing, construction, software, computer technology, browsers (Google), online retail (Amazon), food production, beverage (Coca-Cola), nutrition (Zinpro), aviation technology (Safran), and many more.
With the diverse areas of employment, there is a myriad of titles associated with the profession. Examples are:
- Project Engineering Manager
- Manufacturing Engineering Manager
- Chief Technical Engineering Manager
- Systems Engineering Manager
- Engineering Operations Manager
- Manager of Facility Engineering
The above positions are a partial list taken from job postings on Indeed. As the job title changes, so do the qualifications of education and experience. In general terms, an engineering manager requires technical knowledge and business acumen with the technical aspect governed by the industry. Therefore, the individual needs an academic background in mathematics, analytics, science, accounting, planning, and management.
St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management with mechanics, programming, business communications, project management, calculus, physics, circuits and systems, and finance courses.
Graduates will be able to assume duties that include:
- Manage and lead team members in areas associated with the particular business
- Confer with upper management on the developments and issues related to the position
- Identify costs and budgets for specific projects
- Conduct performance reviews for those on your team
- Meet with vendors and clients to discuss products and services
- Perform risk analysis
The above incomplete list of responsibilities makes it challenging to establish a typical daily schedule due to the diversity of sectors employing engineering managers. In addition, many job postings under the heading of Qualifications list an engineering degree first. A bachelor’s degree with experience will often open more doors than a master’s with minimal work experience. For example, in Grand Prairie, Texas, PPG Aerospace posted a position for a Manufacturing Engineering Manager. Some of the daily responsibilities include providing technical mentorship, product maintenance, production estimates, and engineering procedures. PPG wants candidates with a B.S. in engineering and ten years of experience in a manufacturing facility.
At Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Disney Parks had an opening (on Indeed) for an Engineering Services Manager with technical skills in pneumohydraulics and drive systems, plus financial management and budgeting. Disney confirms the premise alluded to in the first paragraph by stating that ‘every day is different.’ In addition, this job requires someone familiar with mechanics, as the manager will lead maintenance teams working on attractions, heavy equipment, watercraft, and the monorail. The preferred degree is a bachelor’s in electrical or mechanical engineering.
An example of the diverse nature of engineering management comes from the number one TV streaming platform in the United States – Roku. On the employment site, Indeed, the company seeks a Senior Manager Engineering, whose daily tasks include:
- Recruit and mentor a software engineering team
- Provide technical guidance and direction
- Assess and solve issues reported by customers, partners, internal teams, and quality assurance personnel
- Monitor quality metrics from the field
Applicants for the Roku job should have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, engineering, or related discipline.
Consider if the following duties could be classified as a typical workday?
- Monitor and manage site maintenance costs
- Manage capital expenditure budgets for short and long-term goals
- Maintain and implement safety protocols for accident-free work facility
- Lead projects and delegate operations
Above are some of the job functions for an Engineering Manager at the world’s fifth-largest chemical company – Mitsubishi Chemical in Memphis. The preferred degree is a B.S. in Mechanical, Electrical, or Computer Engineering accompanied by ten years of work experience in a manufacturing or chemical environment.
As illustrated, there are too many branches of engineering management to define a typical daily work routine. In manufacturing, problems will arise when equipment breaks down or projects develop. Some of the jobs refer to the Engineering Manager position, which is, more accurately, an engineer placed in a leadership role. Large hotels list job openings for Engineering Managers that involve technical and administrative leadership for the mechanical and electrical systems within the building. In this role, your applied engineering skills are as significant as your management abilities.
From the wording of job postings, people started in an engineering capacity and then rose through the ranks using their people skills. Few companies list the preferred degree as engineering management. In contrast, the greater emphasis is on one’s technical skills regarding the particular position and management experience.