Engineering Management

Engineering management, also known as technology management, is a unique type of engineering that combines engineering and management. Managers in this field apply engineering practices to businesses by using problem-solving techniques commonly used in engineering and combining them with the planning, organization and administration skills most commonly found in management. They communicate with other departments to ensure a project is progressing appropriately. Engineering management is needed in order to successfully implement large or complex technical or engineering projects and monitor them from inception to completion. Many engineers become managers over time due to a lack of experienced engineer managers. They then learn to manage through on-the-job training and real-life experiences.

Engineering management is not yet a popular type of engineering program. Most programs are geared toward graduate students, but there are very few programs at the undergraduate level. It is important to find a school geared toward your background, goals and interests. If you find it difficult to find a school in your area, there is the option of studying online. Online education is becoming increasing popular because of the flexibility it provides. You can continue working in your current career while attending school in your free time.

Colleges and universities that offer an engineering management program place emphasis on written and oral communication skills, teamwork and team building, and technology management. Should you choose to pursue a degree in engineering management, you can expect to take classes in engineering, industrial psychology, project management, quality control, human resources, health and safety, operations research, economics, finance and accounting. Although there are many ways to enter the engineering management field, the most popular way is through a business or engineering degree. Also, if you have excellent communication skills and a technical background, you already have the two most important skills coveted by most companies. Once you gain more engineering knowledge, you can start a lucrative career in engineering management.

Engineering management is composed of three main areas: technical, human and conceptual. The technical portion ensures that students understand and are proficient in science and engineering. The human portion assesses a student's ability to work collaboratively within a group setting, as well as managerial skills, such as listening, coaching and motivating. These are all skills that are necessary in order to have a successful career in engineering management. The conceptual portion focuses on the ability to analyze thoughts and processes in order run a project or company successfully. However, it is important to note that the most successful engineering managers have excellent people skills. You will need to have a thorough background and understanding of people management.

If you enjoy engineering and people management, you can expect to enjoy a profitable career in engineering management, especially in terms of pay. The average starting salary is around $75,000, with pay quickly increasing from there. Overall, the average salary for an engineering manager is nearly $123,000, with the top earners making $166,000 or more. Like many industries, the pay is determined by your duties and specific industry. Those who work with royalties and patents earn an average of $151,000. Those who work in the electronic component manufacturing field also make more than others. While most engineering management jobs are in the manufacturing industry, there are also many available in the scientific and technical services field, as well as in the government.

Last Updated: 06/08/2014

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