Architectural and Engineering Managers

Summary

architectural and engineering managers image
Architectural and engineering managers review plans for projects they oversee.
Quick Facts: Architectural and Engineering Managers
2015 Median Pay $132,800 per year
$63.85 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, 2014 182,100
Job Outlook, 2014-24 2% (Slower than average)
Employment Change, 2014-24 3,700

What Architectural and Engineering Managers Do

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

Work Environment

Most architectural and engineering managers work in offices, although some may also work in laboratories and industrial production plants or at construction sites. Most work full time, and about half worked more than 40 hours a week in 2014.

How to Become an Architectural or Engineering Manager

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

Pay

The median annual wage for architectural and engineering managers was $132,800 in May 2015.

Job Outlook

Employment of architectural and engineering managers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will largely reflect the growth of the industries in which these managers are employed. Very strong competition for jobs can be expected.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for architectural and engineering managers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of architectural and engineering managers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about architectural and engineering managers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Architectural and Engineering Managers Do About this section

Architectural and engineering managers
Architectural and engineering managers spend much of their time supervising employees.

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 production, operations, quality assurance, testing, or maintenance at manufacturing sites, industrial plants, engineering services firms, and research and development laboratories.

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 About this section

Architectural and engineering managers
Architectural and engineering managers frequently work in groups.

Architectural and engineering managers held about 182,100 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most architectural and engineering managers were as follows:

Manufacturing 36%
Architectural, engineering, and related services 25
Government 10
Management of companies and enterprises 5
Scientific research and development services 5

Most architectural and engineering managers work in offices, although some may also work in 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 2014. These managers are often under considerable pressure to meet deadlines and budgets.

How to Become an Architectural or Engineering Manager About this section

Architectural and engineering managers
Architectural and engineering managers help to develop and train their employees.

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 professional degree in architecture.

Many also gain 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. Employers will sometimes pay for such education. 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 communicate orders effectively 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.

Pay About this section

Architectural and Engineering Managers

Median annual wages, May 2015

Architectural and engineering managers

$132,800

Management occupations

$98,560

Total, all occupations

$36,200

 

The median annual wage for architectural and engineering managers was $132,800 in May 2015. 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 $84,710, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $187,200.

In May 2015, 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 $155,600
Management of companies and enterprises 136,990
Manufacturing 133,190
Architectural, engineering, and related services 129,940
Government 125,090

In addition, architectural and engineering managers, especially those at higher levels, often 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 2014. These managers are often under considerable pressure to meet deadlines and budgets.

Job Outlook About this section

Architectural and Engineering Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Total, all occupations

7%

Management occupations

6%

Architectural and engineering managers

2%

 

Employment of architectural and engineering managers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, 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 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, adding the most new architectural and engineering manager jobs. Engineering services is composed of consulting firms that provide services to many 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 be high 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 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, impeding overall growth of the occupation. 

Job Prospects

Because these jobs are highly desirable, candidates can expect very strong 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, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Architectural and engineering managers

11-9041 182,100 185,800 2 3,700 [XLSX]

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

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 Help 2015 MEDIAN PAY Help
Architects

Architects

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

Bachelor's degree $76,100
Civil engineers

Civil Engineers

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

Bachelor's degree $82,220
Chemical engineers

Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. They design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test production methods and byproducts treatment, and direct facility operations.

Bachelor's degree $97,360
Construction managers

Construction Managers

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

Bachelor's degree $87,400
Electrical and electronics engineers

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, such as broadcast and communications systems—from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs).

Bachelor's degree $95,230
Industrial production managers

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.

Bachelor's degree $93,940
Mechanical engineers

Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

Bachelor's degree $83,590
Natural sciences managers

Natural Sciences Managers

Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.

Bachelor's degree $120,160
Aerospace engineers

Aerospace Engineers

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

Bachelor's degree $107,830
Agricultural engineers

Agricultural Engineers

Agricultural engineers attempt to solve agricultural problems concerning power supplies, the efficiency of machinery, the use of structures and facilities, pollution and environmental issues, and the storage and processing of agricultural products.

Bachelor's degree $75,090
Biomedical engineers

Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with medical and biological sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare.

Bachelor's degree $86,220
Environmental engineers

Environmental Engineers

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They are involved in efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control.

Bachelor's degree $84,560
Health and safety engineers

Health and Safety Engineers

Health and safety engineers develop procedures and design systems to prevent people from getting sick or injured and to keep property from being damaged. They combine knowledge of systems engineering and of health and safety to make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other consumer products will not cause harm to people or damage to buildings.

Bachelor's degree $84,600
Industrial engineers

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.

Bachelor's degree $83,470
Materials engineers

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 to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements.

Bachelor's degree $91,310
Petroleum engineers

Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers also find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells.

Bachelor's degree $129,990
Nuclear engineers

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.

Bachelor's degree $102,950
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Architectural and Engineering Managers,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/architectural-and-engineering-managers.htm (visited July 25, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015

What They Do

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Work Environment

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Pay

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State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's Career InfoNet.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2015 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2015, the median annual wage for all workers was $36,200.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2014

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2014, which is the base year of the 2014-24 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2014-24

The projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.

Employment Change, 2014-24

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2014-24

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2014 to 2024.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

2015 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2015, the median annual wage for all workers was $36,200.