Engineering Manager: Salary, Skills, Responsibilities & Hiring

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Rafael Timbó
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Rafael Timbó
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Chief Technology Officer
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Engineering managers play an important role in your tech team. Learn more about what they do, and how they can help your team and company achieve their goals.
Published on
March 6, 2023
Updated on
April 23, 2024

Engineering managers play an important role in the development process of engineering projects. They also provide leadership and direction to ensure project goals are met.

They often work with other managers, engineers, and technicians. Since engineering managers are instrumental to an organization, hiring the right person for the job is essential.

But how do you hire engineering managers? How much should you pay them? Which skills should you look for?

Below, we answer all these questions. We also explain the role of an engineering manager in an organization. Plus, you'll get an overview of the engineering manager hiring process.

What is an Engineering Manager?

An engineer manager oversees the work of engineers and other technical staff within an organization. They are responsible for ensuring that projects are completed on time.

Besides time management, they are also involved in budget handling. These professionals work in various industries, including construction, information technology, and power generation.

The duties of an engineering manager vary depending on the company's size. Their responsibilities may also differ based on the sector they work in.

In small organizations, an engineering manager often works as part of the engineering team. They provide technical guidance to engineers and other staff members.

In larger companies, they may manage a team of engineers. They develop project timelines and assign tasks to engineers. They also review the work of engineers to ensure that it meets requirements.

Responsibilities of an Engineering Manager

An engineering manager has many roles in an organization. How much they do depends on their expertise. The company's size and needs also determine the roles of an engineering manager.

Here are some typical duties.

Research and Development

The engineering manager is responsible for the research and development (R&D) of products and services. In addition, they work with the sales and marketing teams to determine what customers want and need.

They also oversee the development of prototypes and test products to ensure they meet quality standards.

Suppose an IT company wants to develop a new software application. The engineering manager will work with the software developers to create it. They will also test it before release.

Oversee the Need for Talent and Training

Since an engineering manager deeply understands their company's engineering processes, they know the areas that need improvement. They also identify the need for new talent.

An engineering manager might create job descriptions and interview potential candidates. They may also provide training to employees.

Team Building

Engineering managers hire contractors and employees to work on various projects. They also develop policies, procedures, and systems that help the team work together efficiently.

When conflicts arise, the engineering manager resolves them. They also keep track of projects and deadlines to ensure they're on schedule.

Project Management

The engineering manager is responsible for project planning, execution, and monitoring. They work with other managers to develop budgets and schedules.

They also assign tasks to contractors and employees. Some vital project management tasks include:

  • Reviewing project proposals
  • Developing project plans
  • Tracking progress
  • Ensuring quality control
  • Coordinating with other departments
  • Reporting to upper management
  • Providing customer support

The engineering manager is the go-to person for all things engineering.

Lead Research

When a company introduces new products, the engineering manager leads the research. They work with marketing, sales, and other departments to identify customer needs.

They also lead research that produces new processes and designs. For example, an engineering manager in the construction industry may lead research on new building materials.

Check Team's Work

Technical accuracy is essential in engineering. The engineering manager checks their team's work to ensure it meets all requirements.

They also develop quality control procedures. These procedures help the team identify and fix errors.

Develop Budgets

The engineering manager creates budgets for their department. Then, they work with other managers to determine the costs of materials, labor, and other expenses.

They also find ways to save money without sacrificing quality. For example, they may choose cheaper materials that meet all the required specifications.

Prepare Documentation

Engineering managers also create and maintain documentation. The documentation includes:

  • Engineering plans
  • Operating procedures
  • Product specifications
  • Blueprints

Businesses need these documents for reference and training. They also use them to apply for patents and licenses.

Review Regulations

Some laws and regulations govern engineering. The engineering manager ensures the team is following all relevant rules.

For example, the manager might review building plans to make sure they meet zoning regulations. They may also ensure that products meet safety standards.

Act as a Company Spokesperson

The engineering manager represents the company to clients, investors, and the public. They give tours of the facility and answer questions about products.

They also develop relationships with other companies. For example, they may collaborate with other engineering managers to develop new products.

Engineering Manager Skills

The skills you look for in an engineering manager depend on their expertise. If you're searching for an entry-level engineering manager, they will be less skilled than experts.

Here are some skills to consider when you hire engineering managers.

Analytical Skills

Engineering managers have to deal with complex problems. They may have to find new ways to solve problems or improve processes.

Thus, they need strong analytical skills to understand these issues and develop solutions. For example, in IT, an engineering manager might have to solve a problem with a new software application.

If they take too long, the company risks losing money. Likewise, if they fail to solve the problem, it can result in production delays.

Detail-Oriented

In engineering, even minor errors can cause huge problems. That's why engineering managers must be detail-oriented.

They have to check the work of their subordinates to ensure that it meets all the requirements. If they miss something, it can result in costly mistakes.

Leadership Skills

An engineering manager must be able to lead a team of engineers. The manager has to motivate them and ensure that they work together efficiently.

Otherwise, the team will be unable to meet deadlines or produce high-quality work.

Communication Skills

Engineering managers need strong communication skills to explain technical problems to non-engineers. They must also communicate the company's goals to their team and get them on board.

For example, many engineering managers have to work with sales teams. Since the sales team is not engineering-savvy, the manager must be able to explain the features of a new product in layman's terms.

Math Skills

Calculus and other math skills are a must for engineering managers. These skills help them understand complex problems and develop solutions.

Engineering managers also have to create budgets for projects. So, they need to be good with numbers and understand financial reports.

Organizational Skills

An engineering manager must be well-organized to juggle multiple projects simultaneously. They have to create schedules, assign tasks, and track the progress of each project.

All of this can be pretty overwhelming. However, engineering managers must be able to keep everything under control.

Technical Skills

The technical skills of an engineering manager depend on their area of expertise. For example, managers of electrical engineers need to know about circuit design principles.

Likewise, managers of software engineers need to be familiar with coding languages.

Some engineering managers are experts in their field. Others have a general understanding of engineering concepts.

Interpersonal Skills

Since engineering managers have to deal with people, they need strong interpersonal skills. They must be able to build relationships and resolve conflicts.

Moreover, they should be able to give constructive feedback.

Engineering Manager Salary

An engineering manager makes an average of $119,036 per year. However, the salary range may differ based on the location and company.

The manager's experience also significantly affects how much they earn.

Junior Engineering Manager Salary

The average entry-level engineering management salary is around $83,000. The bottom 10% of engineering managers make this amount. Their salary increases with experience.

Entry-level engineering managers have basic skills. These include management, engineering, and leadership. They might not have specialized knowledge of particular fields.

Senior Engineering Manager Salary

On average, a senior engineering manager can make up to $197,000 a year. The average salary for these professionals is $151,000.

However, the salary may differ based on the industry. For example, a senior software engineer manager's salary may differ from that of a professional working in construction or the energy sector.

Senior engineering managers have extensive experience in their work. They also have a deep understanding of one or more specific engineering fields. They might even have a Ph.D. or other advanced degree in engineering.

Where to Find Engineering Managers

When hiring engineer manager professionals, you need to know where to find the right talent. Nowadays, newspaper classifieds aren't your only option.

You can find the best person for the job online too. Here are some places to try.

Job Boards

Job boards are just as effective as classified ads, if not more. You can find plenty of job boards online that focus specifically on engineering management positions.

Once you've found a job board you like, post a job ad. Make sure to include all the relevant information about the position. These include job duties, qualifications, and compensation.

You should also use the right keywords. Most people search for jobs using specific keywords. You're more likely to find qualified candidates using the right keywords. For example, if you're looking for an engineering manager specializing in the aerospace industry, you might use keywords like "aerospace engineering manager" or "engineering manager aerospace."

Here are some tips to perfect the job ad:

  • Mention the company's size.
  • State the specific industry.
  • Use engineering-specific terminology.
  • Include the necessary qualifications for the job.
  • Be clear about the job duties and responsibilities.
  • Mention the compensation and benefits.

Online Recruitment Firms

Besides job boards, you can also try online recruitment firms. Online recruitment firms are companies that specialize in finding candidates for specific industries.

They have a vast network of professionals and can help you find the right candidate for the job. Some online recruitment firms even offer a guarantee.

If unsatisfied with the candidate they provide, you can get your money back. Some benefits of working with such a firm include:

  • It saves you time since you don't have to screen candidates yourself.
  • It's more convenient, as you can do everything online.
  • You're more likely to find qualified candidates.
  • They usually offer a satisfaction guarantee.

LinkedIn

Social media is another great place to find engineering managers. LinkedIn is a great platform to start with. You can find plenty of LinkedIn groups dedicated to engineering managers.

Or, you can use LinkedIn's search function to find potential candidates. Simply type in keywords like "engineering manager." You can also use LinkedIn's Recruiters to be more specific.

For example, you can search for people who have worked in a specific company or have a particular job title. In addition, you can filter your results by location, industry, and other factors.

Once you've found a few candidates, reach out to them and see if they're interested in the job.

Talent Marketplaces

A talent marketplace is a site that connects businesses with the right talent. It can be a great way to hire engineering managers as you save money and time.

The talent on these marketplaces is already vetted. So you can be sure that you're hiring a qualified candidate.

An example of a well-known talent marketplace is us here at Revelo. If you want to hire remote tech talent from Latin America at a fraction of the cost you will pay American talent, Revelo is a go-to. Moreover, the platform can help you manage, onboard, and pay these managers with virtually no hassle and a dedicated support person.

How to Hire an Engineering Manager

Hiring engineer manager professionals can take some time. First, you need to decide where you want to find the talent.

Will you take the job board route or work with a talent marketplace? After choosing the platform, you have to select candidates. What do you do after that? Here are some tips.

Shortlist Candidates

When shortlisting candidates, there are a few things you need to look for. The first is experience.

Ideally, you want someone who has been an engineering manager before. But, if you can't find someone with that experience, don't worry.

You can also look for candidates who have experience leading engineering teams. It's a good way to find someone with the chops to be a great manager.

Another thing to look for is the ability to work in a fast-paced environment. Engineering managers must make decisions quickly. They should also adapt to change effectively, as that’s important in a leadership role.

The last thing you want is someone who gets bogged down in the details. It also helps to look for skills specifically needed in your industry.

For example, a software engineering manager should have experience with coding. Meanwhile, an electrical engineering manager must be familiar with circuitry.

Conduct the Interviews

The interview will give you an insight into the candidate's abilities.

You want to ask questions that will help you understand how the candidate makes decisions. Here are some ideas:

  • What kinds of projects have you led before? Knowing this will help you determine if the candidate has experience managing the types of projects you need them to.
  • How do you handle conflict within the team? This will show you how the candidate deals with difficult situations.
  • What is your engineering philosophy? You need to know how the candidate likes to work. After all, the engineering team will have to follow their lead.
  • Which tools do you think are necessary for managing an engineering team? The answer will tell you about the candidate's management style.

You can also ask about the candidate's methods to motivate their team. Indeed data shows that the engineering industry takes up to 30 days to make a job offer after an interview.

So, you can take your time to find the best candidate for the job.

Conduct a Mock Project

A mock project will help you see how the candidate works under pressure. It will also give you insight into their management style.

For example, if you're hiring an engineering manager for the energy sector, the project can be about designing a renewable energy system.

The project should be challenging but something that the candidate can complete in a few hours. Check the following:

  • Approach the candidate takes
  • How they manage their time
  • Communication style
  • Ability to work under pressure

After you've checked the project, debrief the candidate. Talk about what they did well and where they need to improve. This will show you how they take feedback.

Hire an Engineering Manager with Revelo

It’s obvious that you have to do a lot when you hire engineering managers. Plus, it can take a few weeks to find the perfect candidate.

You can make things easier by working with a talent marketplace like Revelo. Revelo makes hiring engineer managers a breeze by doing most of the work for you.

You only have to specify the skills and experience you need. Then, Revelo will find the best candidates for the job and send them your way.

Plus, all of the candidates are pre-screened — so you don't have to waste time interviewing unqualified candidates. Hire tech talent through Revelo today.

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