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Become A Chief Engineer

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Working As A Chief Engineer

  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $144,770

    Average Salary

What Does A Chief Engineer Do

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.

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How To Become A Chief Engineer

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.

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Chief Engineer jobs

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Chief Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

93.0%

Female

5.2%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

78.3%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

2.4%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.5%

Carrier

13.6%

French

10.4%

Russian

5.4%

German

4.1%

Chinese

3.6%

Arabic

3.6%

Italian

3.2%

Japanese

3.2%

Portuguese

2.7%

Mandarin

1.8%

Turkish

1.8%

Hindi

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Romanian

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Croatian

0.9%

Persian

0.9%
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Chief Engineer Education

Schools

Ferris State University

10.3%

University of Phoenix

9.3%

Purdue University

8.0%

Maine Maritime Academy

6.7%

Northeastern University

6.3%

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

5.2%

Pennsylvania State University

5.2%

Michigan State University

5.0%

University of Washington

4.3%

Auburn University

4.1%

A-Technical College

4.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.1%

Community College of the Air Force

3.9%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

The Academy

3.7%

University of Southern California

3.2%

Old Dominion University

3.2%

University of Utah

3.2%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3.2%

Naval Postgraduate School

3.2%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

15.7%

Mechanical Engineering

14.1%

Business

13.7%

Engineering

8.6%

Heating And Air Conditioning

7.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

5.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.6%

Management

4.6%

Civil Engineering

4.3%

Computer Science

3.4%

Marine Engineering

2.4%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.4%

Industrial Technology

2.0%

Education

1.9%

Aerospace Engineering

1.9%

Computer Engineering

1.8%

General Studies

1.7%

Project Management

1.5%

Automotive Technology

1.4%

Criminal Justice

1.4%
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Degrees

Other

30.9%

Bachelors

29.6%

Masters

18.2%

Associate

9.0%

Certificate

6.0%

Doctorate

3.1%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.7%
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Real Chief Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chief Engineer EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 12, 2013 $295,000
Chief Engineer X.Commerce San Jose, CA Sep 30, 2013 $295,000
Chief Engineer/Vice Oprona, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 11, 2013 $225,000
Chief Engineer/Vice Oprona, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 15, 2015 $225,000
Powertrain Chief Engineer Polaris Industries, Inc. Wyoming, MN Aug 18, 2014 $210,060
Chief Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Analyst Insidersreferral.Com, Inc. Austin, TX Sep 04, 2015 $207,669
Chief Engineering Manager Rubicon Systems America, Inc. Fort Collins, CO Jun 30, 2015 $200,000 -
$240,000
Chief Engineer American Biocarbon LLC White Castle, LA Feb 05, 2016 $200,000
Chief Engineer Firebird Petroleum LLC Houston, TX Oct 01, 2013 $200,000
Chief Engineering Manager Rubicon Systems America, Inc. Fort Collins, CO Jul 01, 2013 $200,000 -
$240,000
Chief Engineer SGT, Inc. Greenbelt, MD Sep 04, 2015 $198,661
Chief Engineer Rrsat America-Global Communications Network Inc. Hawley, PA Jan 02, 2013 $180,000
Chief Engineering Officer 2253 Apparel Inc. Montebello, CA Aug 28, 2013 $175,000
Chief Engineer Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Sep 18, 2014 $127,587
Chief Engineer Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Sep 15, 2014 $127,587
Chief Engineer Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Sep 01, 2014 $127,587
Chief Engineer Declarativ, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 13, 2013 $125,000
Chief Engineer Declarativ, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jun 15, 2013 $125,000
Chief Engineer Phillips 66 Company Bartlesville, OK Oct 01, 2013 $123,440 -
$185,160
Chief Engineer Jason Fane DBA Ithaca Renting Company Ithaca, NY Apr 11, 2015 $122,678
Chief Engineer Barrick Cortez Inc. Crescent Valley, NV Feb 16, 2016 $104,000 -
$120,000
Chief Engineer Stant USA Corp Pine Bluff, AR Aug 15, 2015 $103,824
Chief Engineer Complex Polygon, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 18, 2014 $103,787
Chief Underground Engineer Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. Carlin, NV Aug 20, 2014 $102,752 -
$124,903
Chief Engineer-Underground Newmont USA Limited Carlin, NV Sep 28, 2013 $100,000 -
$175,000
Project Chief-Engineering Kyyba Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Jul 10, 2015 $100,000

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Top Skills for A Chief Engineer

LifeSafetySystemsHvacFacilityProceduresPreventativeMaintenanceProgramEmergencyGeneratorsBoilersSuperviseVesselGeneralMaintenanceChillersGuestRoomsEngineeringStaffProjectManagementMaintenanceDepartmentMaintenanceStaffEngineRoomCustomerServiceOshaSquareFeet

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Top Chief Engineer Skills

  1. Life Safety Systems
  2. Hvac
  3. Facility
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained mechanical equipment, plumbing, life safety systems, and electrical distribution systems.
  • Performed all HVAC&R maintenance and repairs for building, parking structure and grounds.
  • Developed procedures to support repair and laboratory/manufacturing facility shipment of power PC modules.
  • Specified, selected, and established procedures for installation and operation of automated vision inspection system for quality control.
  • Oversee preventative maintenance program for mechanical equipment, as well as works hands on to repair complex issues.

Top Chief Engineer Employers

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Chief Engineer Videos

U.S. - Engineering Services: Special Operations: A Day in the Life of a Chief Engineer

What it takes to be a Chief Engineer | Atlas Professionals

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