Architectural and Engineering Managers


Quick Facts: Architectural and Engineering Managers
2017 Median Pay $137,720 per year 
$66.21 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation 5 years or more
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2016 180,100
Job Outlook, 2016-26 6% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 9,900

 


Join Nextstep Career Mentorship Programs in Architectural and Engineering Managers with our partners:


Architectural and Engineering Managers Career, Salary, and Education Information

What Architectural and Engineering Managers Do

Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities in architectural and engineering companies.

arch and engineering.jpg

Architectural and Engineering Managers

Duties of Architectural and Engineering Managers

Architectural and engineering managers typically do the following:

  • Make detailed plans for the development of new products and designs

  • Determine staff, training, and equipment needs

  • Propose budgets for projects and programs

  • Hire and supervise staff

  • Lead research and development projects to produce new products, processes, or designs

  • Check the technical accuracy of their staff’s work

  • Ensure the soundness of methods their staff uses

  • Coordinate work with other staff and managers

Architectural and engineering managers use their knowledge of architecture or engineering to oversee a variety of activities. They may direct and coordinate building activities at construction sites or activities related to production, operations, quality assurance, testing, or maintenance at manufacturing sites.

Architectural and engineering managers are responsible for developing the overall concept of a new product or for solving the technical problems that prevent the completion of a project. To accomplish this, they must determine technical goals and produce detailed plans.

Architectural and engineering managers spend a great deal of time coordinating the activities of their staff with the activities of other staff or organizations. They often confer with other managers, including those in finance, production, and marketing, as well as with contractors and equipment and materials suppliers.

In addition, architectural and engineering managers must know how to prepare budgets, hire staff, and supervise employees. They propose budgets for projects and programs and determine staff, training, and equipment needs. These managers must also hire people and assign them specific parts of each project to carry out. Architectural and engineering managers supervise the work of their employees, set schedules, and create administrative procedures.


Work Environment for Architectural and Engineering Managers

Architectural and engineering managers held about 180,100 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of architectural and engineering managers were as follows:

Manufacturing: 36%

Architectural, engineering, and related services: 24%

Government: 9%

Management of companies and enterprises: 6%

Scientific research and development services: 5%

Most architectural and engineering managers work in offices, although some may also work in research laboratories and industrial production plants or at construction sites.

Work Schedules

Most architectural and engineering managers work full time, and about half worked more than 40 hours a week in 2016. These managers are often under considerable pressure to meet deadlines and budgets.


How to Become an Architectural and Engineering Manager

Architectural and engineering managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree and considerable work experience as an architect or engineer.

Education

Most architectural and engineering managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in an engineering specialty or a master’s degree in architecture.

Some also obtain business management skills by completing a master’s degree in engineering management (MEM or MsEM) or technology management (MSTM) or a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). Some workers earn their master’s degree before advancing to management positions, and others earn it while they work as a manager. Typically, those who prefer to manage in technical areas pursue an MsEM or MSTM and those interested in more general management skills earn an MBA.

Engineering management programs usually include classes in accounting, engineering economics, financial management, industrial and human resources management, and quality control.

Technology management programs typically provide instruction in production and operations management, project management, computer applications, quality control, safety and health issues, statistics, and general management principles.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Managers advance to their positions after years of employment as an architect or engineer. They usually have experience working on difficult or complex projects, developing designs, solving problems, and making decisions. Before moving up to a management position, they also typically gain experience leading engineering teams.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Architectural and engineering managers must evaluate information carefully and solve complex problems.

Communication skills. Architectural and engineering managers oversee staff and work together with other levels of management. They must effectively communicate orders and lead teams to meet goals.

Detail oriented. Architectural and engineering managers must pay attention to detail. Their duties require an understanding of complex systems since a minor error can cause major problems.

Math skills. Architectural and engineering managers use calculus and other advanced mathematics to develop new products and processes.

Organizational skills. Architectural and engineering managers keep track of many workers, schedules, and budgets simultaneously.


salaries for Architectural and Engineering Managers

The median annual wage for architectural and engineering managers was $137,720 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $88,050, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $208,000.

 

In May 2017, the median annual wages for architectural and engineering managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Scientific research and development services: $159,400

Management of companies and enterprises: $143,360

Manufacturing: $137,790

Architectural, engineering, and related services: $135,770

Government: $128,450

In addition, some architectural and engineering managers may receive more benefits—such as expense accounts and bonuses—than workers who are not managers.

Most architectural and engineering managers work full time, and about half worked more than 40 hours a week in 2016. These managers are often under considerable pressure to meet deadlines and budgets.


Job Outlook for Architectural and Engineering Managers

Employment of architectural and engineering managers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will largely reflect the growth of the industries in which these managers are employed.

For example, employment of architectural and engineering managers in the engineering services industry is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, adding the most new jobs. Engineering services includes consulting firms that provide services to many other different industries. Civil engineering services—the construction of large buildings, roads, and other infrastructure projects—are the most common services this industry provides. Demand for these services is expected to continue as the nation’s aging infrastructure needs repair and expansion. Mechanical and electrical engineering services are also commonly done by this industry, and these services will continue to be needed for many different projects.

However, employment in manufacturing—the largest industry employing architectural and engineering managers—is projected to decline 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, moderating overall growth of the occupation.

Job Prospects

Because these jobs are highly desirable, candidates can expect competition for openings.

Those with technical knowledge, strong communication skills, and years of related work experience, especially working on complex projects, will likely be in the best position to become managers.

In addition, because architectural and engineering managers are involved in the financial, production, and marketing activities of their firm, business management skills can be beneficial for those seeking management positions.

Employment projections data for Architectural and Engineering Manager, 2016-26

Employment, 2016: 180,100

Projected Employment, 2026: 190,000

Change, 2016-2026: +6%, +9,900


Careers Related to Architectural and Engineering Managers

Aerospace Engineers

Aerospace engineers design primarily aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. In addition, they create and test prototypes to make sure that they function according to design.

Architects

Architects plan and design houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures.

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers conceive, design, build, supervise, operate, construct, and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.

Construction Managers

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generation equipment. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, including broadcast and communications systems, such as portable music players and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.

Industrial Engineers

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Industrial Production Managers

Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products.

Materials Engineers

Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a wide range of products, from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and biomedical devices. They study the properties and structures of metals, ceramics, plastics, composites, nanomaterials (extremely small substances), and other substances in order to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements.

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. Many of these engineers find industrial and medical uses for radioactive materials—for example, in equipment used in medical diagnosis and treatment.


Citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Architectural and Engineering Managers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/architectural-and-engineering-managers.htm