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Engineering Manager Salary Guide: What to Expect and How to Advance

June 24, 2024

Engineering managers are crucial in ensuring projects conclude on time, within budget and in line with the required quality standards. They work in various industries, from construction and manufacturing to technology and renewable energy. As these industries grow, the need for leaders to manage projects and staff increases to keep operations running smoothly. 

This article outlines engineering manager salaries for various specialized roles and explains what skills, knowledge and credentials you need to pursue these opportunities. It also discusses how to develop those abilities by earning an Online Master of Engineering in Engineering Management (MEM) from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Engineering Management Salary Overview

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, architectural and engineering managers earn a median annual income of $165,370. Salaries vary by industry, job level and specialization. Continue reading to learn more about the salary expectations for these and other roles and for some helpful tips on how to best prepare for these opportunities. Note: job titles vary by industry and employer.

Engineering Director Salary 

Engineering directors coordinate an organization’s engineering activities and support the implementation of regional strategies. They also oversee engineering managers and, in some cases, manage engineering teams. 

Engineering directors solve problems by understanding and interpreting complex technical data. As senior leaders, they bridge the gap between technical projects and business strategy. Engineering directors earn a median salary of about $197,500; the top 10% earn over $235,000 annually. 

Software Engineering Manager Salary 

Software engineering managers lead software development teams, monitoring schedules, progress, and adherence to regulations. The job requires field expertise and strong project management and communication skills. Software engineering managers earn a median salary of approximately $158,000

Mechanical Engineering Manager Salary

Mechanical engineering managers oversee teams of engineers responsible for designing machinery and mechanical components such as electric generators, elevators and conveyor belts. Mechanical engineering managers typically oversee budgeting, project management, technical design and planning. Mechanical engineering managers earn an average salary of about $122,000

Engineering Project Manager Salary 

Engineering project management, a subfield of engineering management, focuses on managing the entire lifecycle of a specific engineering project. In contrast, general engineering management involves managing engineers and engineering-specific tasks on an ongoing basis (i.e., the work is not project-specific). 

Engineering project managers use the same standard methodologies and processes as any other type of project manager. Professionals in this field must have expertise in both project management and engineering. According to PayScale, engineering project managers earn an average salary of about $101,600

Construction Manager Salary 

Construction managers plan, coordinate and supervise construction projects. Their responsibilities include budgeting, managing construction workers, ensuring projects comply with legal requirements and keeping stakeholders updated on the project’s progress. To become a construction manager, you must have field experience and strong project management and leadership skills. Construction managers earn a median income of $104,900

Growth Potential: How to Become an Engineering Manager

Becoming an engineering manager requires a degree in engineering or a related field and a combination of technical and leadership skills. This profession appeals to current engineers who want to step into leadership positions and seasoned leaders looking to change industries.

Aspiring engineering managers can take the following steps to prepare for career advancement: 

  • Gain industry experience: Most engineering manager roles require candidates to have experience in the specific industry they aspire to manage.   
  • Learn engineering analytics and informatics: Modern management techniques increasingly integrate data analytics and informatics. These skills prove valuable to anyone aspiring to engineering leadership roles. 
  • Develop your engineering leadership skills: In addition to general leadership qualities, engineering leaders must also demonstrate proficiency in engineering project oversight, data-informed operations management and managing technical implementations. 
  • Seek out informal learning opportunities: As an aspiring engineering manager, connecting with industry experts through mentoring programs or conferences can help you gain real-world insights and prepare for a successful career. 
  • Earn additional educational credentials or industry certifications: A graduate engineering management degree or industry certification can equip individuals with the skills and credentials necessary to enter engineering management jobs.  

Advance Into Engineering Leadership with the Stevens Institute of Technology MEM Degree  

The online Master of Engineering in Engineering Management (MEM) degree program from Stevens Institute of Technology helps you prepare for a career in engineering management. The Stevens online MEM program offers a 100% online format, making it a viable option for students who want to earn their advanced degrees without putting their professional development on hold. 

The Stevens Online MEM curriculum explores business through an engineering lens, an approach that is distinct from traditional business management master’s degree programs. Upon graduation, Stevens online MEM students possess the managerial and technical expertise to create and lead engineering projects. Stevens online MEM alumni work at industry-leading organizations such as Exxon, BMW, Lockheed Martin, IBM and Goldman Sachs. 

Next Steps: Apply to Our Master of Engineering Management Program

Various technical industries seek leaders to manage projects and staff, creating a demand for engineering managers. Engineering managers generally earn attractive incomes ranging from around $100,000 to over $200,000, depending on the industry and specialization. 

If you’re interested in a career in engineering management, earning an advanced degree — like the Stevens Online MEM — can help you gain the skills needed to reach your goal. To start your journey, review the Stevens Online MEM degree admissions requirements, request an application walk-through, or start your application now