Architectural and Engineering Managers


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

Duties

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.

Architectural and engineering managers held about 192,500 jobs in 2018. The largest employers of architectural and engineering managers were as follows:

Manufacturing 35%
Architectural, engineering, and related services 25
Government 9
Scientific research and development services 6
Management of companies and enterprises 6

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 some work more than 40 hours a week. These managers are often under considerable pressure to meet deadlines and budgets.

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.

The median annual wage for architectural and engineering managers was $140,760 in May 2018.

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 $89,620, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $208,000.

In May 2018, 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 $162,880
Management of companies and enterprises 148,210
Manufacturing 140,200
Architectural, engineering, and related services 138,380
Government 130,590

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 some work more than 40 hours a week. These managers are often under considerable pressure to meet deadlines and budgets.

Architectural and Engineering Managers

Median annual wages, May 2018

Architectural and engineering managers

$140,760

Management occupations

$104,240

Total, all occupations

$38,640

 

Employment of architectural and engineering managers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2018 to 2028, slower than 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 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, 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, such as wind turbines and other renewable energy.

However, employment in manufacturing is projected to decline 3 percent from 2018 to 2028, 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 managers, 2018-28
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Architectural and engineering managers

11-9041 192,500 197,900 3 5,400 Get data

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of architectural and engineering managers.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2018

Aerospace Engineers

Aerospace engineers design primarily aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles.

Bachelor’s degree $115,220

Architects

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

Bachelor’s degree $79,380

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers design, build, and supervise infrastructure projects and systems. 

Bachelor’s degree $86,640

Construction Managers

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

Bachelor’s degree $93,370

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacture of electrical equipment.

Bachelor’s degree $99,070

Industrial Engineers

Industrial engineers devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Bachelor’s degree $87,040

Industrial Production Managers

Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants.

Bachelor’s degree $103,380

Materials Engineers

Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a wide range of products.

Bachelor’s degree $92,390

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices.

Bachelor’s degree $87,370

Nuclear Engineers

Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation.

Bachelor’s degree $107,600

For information on architecture and engineering management programs, visit

ABET

American Institute of Architects

Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering

CareerOneStop

For a career video on architectural and engineering managers, visit

Architectural and engineering managers

O*NET

Architectural and Engineering Managers

Biofuels/Biodiesel Technology and Product Development Managers


Suggested 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 (visited ).


 

Tracey Lamphere

Tracey Lamphere, M.S. IMC is the editor of Job Affirmations, a publication that provides information and ideas to use mindfulness, positive affirmations, and visualizations to transform your career.

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