How to Become an Architectural or Engineering Manager
Architectural and engineering managers help to develop and train their employees.
Architectural and engineering managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment in their fields. Nearly all architectural and engineering managers, therefore, have at least a bachelor’s degree in some specialty of engineering or a professional degree in architecture.
Nearly all architectural and engineering managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in an engineering specialty or a professional degree in architecture. Many also gain business management skills by completing a master’s degree in engineering management (MEM) or technology management (MSTM), or a master’s in business administration (MBA), either before or after advancing to management positions. Employers often pay for such training. Typically, those who prefer to manage in technical areas pursue an MEM or MSTM, and those interested in more general management skills earn an MBA.
Engineering management programs typically include classes in accounting, engineering economy, financial management, industrial and human resources management, industrial psychology, and quality control. Technology management programs usually provide instruction in production and operations management, project management, computer applications, quality control, safety and health issues, statistics, and general management principles.
Analytical skills. Architectural and engineering managers should be able to evaluate information and solve complex problems.
Communication skills. Architectural and engineering managers oversee staff and confer with other levels of management. They must be able to communicate well to lead teams in meeting goals.
Detail oriented. Architectural and engineering managers must pay attention to detail. Their duties require an understanding of complex systems, and 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 all at once.
Technical skills. Managers in these fields must thoroughly understand the specific area (architecture or a specific type of engineering) that they are managing.
Architectural and engineering managers are typically experienced architects or engineers, and many states license these occupations. For more information, see the profiles on architects and engineering occupations.
Architectural and engineering managers advance to their positions after years of employment in their fields. Managers typically have experience working on increasingly difficult projects, developing designs, solving problems, and making decisions. Before moving up to a management position, they also typically have experience leading engineering teams.