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Career profile Engineering Director

Also known as Civil Engineering Manager, Electrical Engineering Manager, Engineering Director, Engineering Group Manager, Engineering Program Manager, Mechanical Engineering Manager, Process Engineering Manager, Project Engineering Manager, Project Manager

Engineering Director

Also known as Civil Engineering Manager, Electrical Engineering Manager, Engineering Director

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$95,310 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
Knowledge Areas
  • Design
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Manage the coordination and overall integration of technical activities in architecture or engineering projects.
  • Direct, review, or approve project design changes.
  • Consult or negotiate with clients to prepare project specifications.
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What does an Engineering Director do?

Engineering Directors plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as architecture and engineering or research and development in these fields.

What kind of tasks does an Engineering Director perform regularly?

Engineering Directors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Manage the coordination and overall integration of technical activities in architecture or engineering projects.
  • Direct, review, or approve project design changes.
  • Consult or negotiate with clients to prepare project specifications.
  • Prepare budgets, bids, or contracts.
  • Present and explain proposals, reports, or findings to clients.
  • Confer with management, production, or marketing staff to discuss project specifications or procedures.
  • Assess project feasibility by analyzing technology, resource needs, or market demand.
  • Review, recommend, or approve contracts or cost estimates.
  • Develop or implement policies, standards, or procedures for the architectural, scientific, or technical work performed to ensure regulatory compliance or operations enhancement.
  • Perform administrative functions, such as reviewing or writing reports, approving expenditures, enforcing rules, or purchasing of materials or services.
  • Establish scientific or technical goals within broad outlines provided by top management.
  • Direct recruitment, placement, and evaluation of architecture or engineering project staff.
  • Develop or implement programs to improve sustainability or reduce the environmental impacts of engineering or architecture activities or operations.
  • Evaluate the environmental impacts of engineering, architecture, or research and development activities.

The above responsibilities are specific to Engineering Directors. More generally, Engineering Directors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

What is an Engineering Director salary?

The median salary for an Engineering Director is $149,530, and the average salary is $158,100. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Engineering Director salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Engineering Directors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Engineering Directors earn less than $95,310 per year, 25% earn less than $119,310, 75% earn less than $185,270, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Engineering Directors is expected to change by 4.1%, and there should be roughly 14,700 open positions for Engineering Directors every year.

Median annual salary
$149,530
Typical salary range
$95,310 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
4.1%

What personality traits are common among Engineering Directors?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Engineering Director are usually higher in their Enterprising, Realistic, and Investigative interests.

Engineering Directors typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Engineering Directors typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Engineering Directors typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Engineering Directors typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Engineering Director tend to value Achievement, Working Conditions, and Independence.

Most importantly, Engineering Directors very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Engineering Directors very strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Engineering Directors very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Engineering Directors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as analytical thinking, integrity, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Engineering Directors, ranked by importance:

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

What education and training do Engineering Directors need?

Many Engineering Directors have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Engineering Directors may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Engineering Directors

  • 0.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 4.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 7.0% completed some college coursework
  • 4.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 47.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 30.6% earned a Master's degree
  • 5.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Engineering Directors

Engineering Directors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as design, engineering and technology, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Engineering Directors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Important Abilities needed by Engineering Directors

Engineering Directors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Engineering Directors need abilities such as written comprehension, oral comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Engineering Directors, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Engineering Directors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Engineering Directors frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and writing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Engineering Directors, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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