Are you looking to enter the exciting world of engineering management? This comprehensive guide is designed to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision on whether this field is the right fit for you. Learn about the different types of engineering management positions, what skills and qualifications are required, and what salaries you can expect. Whether you're still exploring your options or are ready to take the next step in your career, this guide has something for you!
What Is Engineering Management?
Engineering management is a field that involves the planning, coordination, and control of all engineering activities within an organization. Engineering managers are responsible for ensuring all projects are completed on time and within budget, while meeting safety and quality standards. They must have a strong understanding of engineering principles and business and management concepts.
What Types of Positions Are Available in Engineering Management?
There are many different types of positions available in engineering management. Some engineers become project managers, responsible for planning and coordinating all aspects of a project. Others become quality control managers, ensuring products meet all safety and performance standards. Some others become research and development managers, overseeing the creation of new products. Whatever position they choose, engineering managers play a vital role in the success of businesses and organizations.
Engineering Management Past and Present: Brief History
Engineering management has a long and storied history, dating back to the early 1800s. At this time, armies relied heavily on engineers to build bridges, roads, and other infrastructure needed for battle. In those early days, engineering management was known as "military engineering."
In 1824, the United States Military Academy at West Point opened its doors, and one of its first graduates was Thaddeus Lowe, who would go on to become a renowned military engineer. Lowe is credited with developing the concept of engineering management and is considered the father of the field.
Over the years, engineering management has evolved and grown to meet the needs of modern businesses and organizations. Today, it is a vital field that plays a crucial role in the success of any company or organization.
Is a Master's in Engineering Management Worth It?
A master's in engineering management is a degree worth pursuing if you want to have a career in engineering management. With a master's in engineering management, you will be able to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be a successful engineering manager. Engineering managers are in high demand, and having a master's degree can give you an edge over the competition.
Benefits of a Master's in Engineering Management
Gain Leadership and Collaboration Skills
A master's degree in engineering management can provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to become an effective leader in the engineering field. You'll learn how to manage engineering and technology projects, teams, and budgets and communicate effectively with other engineers and stakeholders. The coursework will also teach you how to collaborate with other professionals to achieve common goals. In addition, you'll gain an understanding of engineering ethics and the legal aspects of engineering. With this degree, you'll be prepared to take on various leadership roles within engineering and technology organizations. And, because the degree emphasizes teamwork and collaboration, you'll also be well-positioned to work effectively with other professionals in various industries.
Understand the Business Side of Engineering
A master's degree in engineering management will give you the tools you need to understand and analyze the business side of engineering. You will learn financial statement analysis, project management, advanced decision-making, and risk analysis. . In addition, you will learn about the legal aspects of engineering and how to negotiate contracts. The skills you acquire with a master's in engineering management will make you a valuable asset to any engineering organization. With your advanced understanding of both the technical and business sides of engineering, you will be able to lead projects and teams more effectively.
Potential Higher Earnings and Career Options
A master's degree in engineering management can be an excellent asset for those looking to further their career in the engineering field. Not only can it lead to potential higher earnings, but it can also open up more career options. With a master's in engineering management, you will have the skills and knowledge to take on senior roles within an engineering or technology organization. It will also better equip you to handle the complex financial and project management aspects of running an engineering or technology business. If you want to make a real difference in your career, then a master's degree in engineering management could be the perfect choice.
What Jobs Can You Get with an Engineering Management Degree?
With a master's in engineering management, you will have the skills and knowledge to take on senior roles within an engineering organization. Some of the career options available to graduates of a master's in engineering management program include:
- Engineering Manager
- Project Manager
- Director of Engineering
- Chief Technology Officer
- Director of Operations
- Business Analyst
What Does an Engineering Manager Do?
An engineering manager oversees all aspects of engineering projects and ensures they are completed on time, within budget, and to the required standard. They manage the team of engineers working on the project, as well as any contractors or suppliers. Engineering managers also have a strong understanding of financial statements and project management and can communicate effectively with other stakeholders, including clients and senior management.
Daily Roles and Responsibilities
An engineering manager is responsible for ensuring all aspects of an engineering project are completed on time, within budget, and to the required standard. Tasks and responsibilities an engineering manager could expect to perform on a daily basis include:
- Engage in research to design and develop products
- Coordinate training and team development
- Hire contractors and assemble teams
- Get management on board with your product ideas
- Instruct engineering teams clearly and concisely
- Produce new designs, products, and processes through research and development
- Oversee and verify team members' work for technical accuracy
- Work alongside other managers and staff to complete company goals
Engineering Manager vs. Project Manager
An engineering manager oversees all aspects of an engineering project. They ensure everything is done on time, within budget, and to the proper standard. A project manager is in charge of ensuring a project stays on track, but they don't necessarily have as much understanding of the technical side of things as an engineering manager.
Engineering Manager Salary and Career Growth Opportunities
With a master's in engineering management, you could take on senior roles within an engineering organization. Your salary and career growth opportunities will depend on the level of position you can obtain. Generally, those with a higher level of education and experience will have more opportunities for advancement and higher salaries.
As an engineering manager, you will have the opportunity to move into senior positions within your organization. With the right skills and experience, you could eventually become a director of engineering or even a chief technology officer.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an engineering manager is $152,350. However, your salary will depend on factors such as your experience level, education, and the size and type of organization you work for.
How to Become an Engineering Manager
Obtain a Bachelor's/Undergraduate Degree in Engineering/Engineering Management
To become an engineering manager, you will need a master's degree in engineering management. This will give you the skills and knowledge you need to take on senior roles within an engineering organization.
Gain Real World Experience
You will also need several years of experience working in an engineering role. You can gain experience working as a project manager or taking on other functions within an engineering organization. Working effectively with other stakeholders, including clients and senior management, is crucial. You should also understand financial statements and have a strong understanding of project management.
Earn a Master's Degree in Engineering Management
The Master of Science in Engineering Management at Johnson & Wales University is perfect for those with a STEM background and industry professionals who want to build their careers. This degree ties together business, technology, and engineering disciplines to give you the best possible preparation for leadership roles in engineering management. You'll learn the essential skills to lead projects in today's engineering landscape.
Acquire State Engineering License
Every state has a licensure board that provides an exam and outlines required qualifications. Suppose you've graduated from an engineering program approved by your state's licensing board. In that case, you may be classified as an "engineer intern" or "engineer-in-training" after passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. EI or EIT status indicates that you've completed the fundamental criteria and taken the initial step toward earning your PE license. In all states, candidates must have four years of qualifying engineering experience under the direction of a professional engineer. Your institution can often help you locate work in your region as an engineer. The final step to licensure is sitting for and passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam in your state.
Consider becoming a Professional Engineer and Earning your Engineering Manager Professional Certification (EMPC)
Becoming a professional engineer (PE) is the final step to earning your engineering manager professional certification (EMPC). To become a PE, you must meet specific qualifications and pass an exam.
The PE qualification indicates that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to practice engineering in your state. To become a PE, you must have a degree in engineering from an accredited program, four years of experience working under the direction of a professional engineer, and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.
The EMPC designation shows you are qualified to manage engineering projects and teams. You can earn EMPC certification by passing an exam covering business management, financial management, communication, risk assessment, and more.
The EMPC designation can help you advance your career and stand out from the competition. It demonstrates that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to lead projects in today's complex engineering landscape.
Start Your Engineering Management Career
If you are looking for an exciting and rewarding career in engineering management, Johnson & Wales University's master's in engineering management program is an excellent choice, with a curriculum informed by the skills today's employers are looking for. Upon completion of this online master’s degree, you should have the quantitative, analytical, critical thinking, organizational, leadership, problem-solving, and project management skills and techniques necessary for a successful career in engineering management. Plus, you'll be able to earn your degree at your pace. With multiple start dates and an optional accelerated schedule, you can complete your program in as little as two years.