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.

Is This the Right Career for You?

Not sure how to choose the best career for you? Now, you can predict which career will satisfy you in the long term by taking a scientifically validated career test. Gain the clarity and confidence that comes from understanding your strengths, talents, and preferences, and knowing which path is truly right for you.

Take The Test

 

 

 

 

 

Work Environment

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.

Education and Training

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.

Personality and Interests

Architectural and engineering managers typically have an interest in the Building, Thinking and Persuading interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Building interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Thinking interest area indicates a focus on researching, investigating, and increasing the understanding of natural laws. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people.

If you are not sure whether you have a Building or Thinking or Persuading interest which might fit with a career as an architectural and engineering manager, you can take a career test to measure your interests.

Architectural and engineering managers should also possess the following specific qualities:

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

Communication skills. Architectural and engineering managers oversee staff and confer with other levels of management. They must communicate orders effectively and be able to lead teams to meet 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 particular type of engineering) that they are managing.

Pay

The median annual wage for architectural and engineering managers was $144,830 in May 2019. 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 $92,510, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $208,000.

In May 2019, 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 $167,290
Management of companies and enterprises 152,640
Manufacturing 143,550
Architectural, engineering, and related services                                   143,160
Government 133,320

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.

Job Outlook

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.

For More Information

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

 

FAQ

Where does this information come from?

The career information above is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. This excellent resource for occupational data is published by the U.S. Department of Labor every two years. Truity periodically updates our site with information from the BLS database.

I would like to cite this page for a report. Who is the author?

There is no published author for this page. Please use citation guidelines for webpages without an author available. 

I think I have found an error or inaccurate information on this page. Who should I contact?

This information is taken directly from the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Truity does not editorialize the information, including changing information that our readers believe is inaccurate, because we consider the BLS to be the authority on occupational information. However, if you would like to correct a typo or other technical error, you can reach us at help@truity.com.

I am not sure if this career is right for me. How can I decide?

There are many excellent tools available that will allow you to measure your interests, profile your personality, and match these traits with appropriate careers. On this site, you can take the Career Personality Profiler assessment, the Holland Code assessment, or the Photo Career Quiz.

Find Jobs Near You