Engineering Manager

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What does an engineering manager do?

An engineering manager guides engineering activities by creating goals and strategies for engineers to follow. Daily activities include hiring and training new engineers, devising strategies for specific projects, assisting with technical tasks and creating budgets. Engineering managers evaluate teams and their situations, ensuring engineers have the knowledge and resources needed to meet their goals. 

How do you become an engineering manager?
Answer Part 1

Engineering managers should complete their bachelor’s and master’s in relevant fields before gaining one to four years of work experience.

Answer Part 2

Those aspiring to become engineering managers must demonstrate an extensive education. Students can secure a four-year degree in engineering, computer science or another similar area. For an even stronger resume, applicants can also pursue a master’s degree in engineering management, which takes an additional two years. 

Recent graduates must complement their education with one to four years of experience in the engineering sector. Software developer and software engineer are examples of entry-level roles that provide crucial real-world experience for newcomers. From these prior positions, engineering managers can better understand how to craft career pathways for their employees. A combination of training and on-the-job development enables leaders to relate to engineering teams and grow into more effective engineering managers.

What is the salary of an engineering manager?
Answer Part 1

Engineering managers are compensated for their diverse responsibilities with an average base salary of $162,415.

Answer Part 2

Because of their roles in laying the foundation for engineering teams to succeed, engineering managers make salaries well into the realm of six figures. Engineering managers in the U.S. enjoy an average base salary of $162,415, according to Built In’s salary tool. An additional cash compensation of $29,080 pushes the total compensation further to $191,495. While some engineering managers may start out earning salaries around $77K, those who grow into their roles can raise their salaries to as high as $380K.

What skills does an engineering manager need?
Answer Part 1

Software and coding expertise, business acumen and analytical thinking are all must-haves for engineering managers.

Answer Part 2

While engineering managers take on leadership responsibilities, they still need to retain their knowledge of software development. After all, managers often jump in to assist with specific tasks, such as fixing code. The ideal engineering manager will maintain their engineering background by studying their company’s products and ensuring they remain in command of all core programming languages.

However, engineering managers must also take a step back and focus on the bigger-picture needs of their departments. The ideal manager knows how to allocate financial resources to keep projects within budget while ensuring teams have the tools they need to operate. To evaluate and determine where best to distribute resources, engineering managers must adopt an analytical framework. Engineering managers most successful at their jobs will blend these abilities with managerial expertise and other key traits required for their roles.

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