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Become A Design Manager

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Working As A Design Manager

  • 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

  • $91,533

    Average Salary

What Does A Design Manager 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 Design Manager

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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Design Manager jobs

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Design Manager Career Paths

Design Manager

Design Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

61.5%

Female

35.9%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

78.2%

Hispanic or Latino

9.9%

Asian

9.1%

Unknown

2.2%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.2%

French

6.9%

Mandarin

6.4%

German

6.4%

Chinese

5.8%

Italian

4.0%

Portuguese

3.5%

Japanese

3.5%

Korean

2.9%

Russian

2.9%

Cantonese

2.3%

Carrier

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%

Armenian

1.7%

Swedish

1.2%

Turkish

1.2%

Hindi

1.2%

Hungarian

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Polish

1.2%
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Design Manager Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

15.1%

University of Phoenix

10.4%

Savannah College of Art and Design

7.2%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.6%

Syracuse University

5.1%

Iowa State University

5.1%

Pratt Institute-Main

4.5%

Michigan State University

4.3%

University of Texas at Austin

4.0%

University of Arizona

4.0%

New York University

3.8%

University of Cincinnati

3.8%

San Jose State University

3.8%

Brigham Young University

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.6%

University of Washington

3.4%

Purdue University

3.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.2%

University of Houston

3.2%

Northeastern University

3.2%
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Majors

Graphic Design

20.0%

Business

13.6%

Drafting And Design

7.9%

Electrical Engineering

6.9%

Architecture

6.3%

Interior Design

6.1%

Mechanical Engineering

5.5%

Fine Arts

5.0%

Computer Science

3.2%

Civil Engineering

3.2%

Communication

2.8%

Management

2.7%

Design And Visual Communication

2.5%

Marketing

2.5%

Engineering

2.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.2%

Education

2.0%

Computer Applications

1.9%

Project Management

1.8%

Computer Information Systems

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.1%

Other

20.8%

Masters

17.5%

Associate

12.5%

Certificate

4.0%

Doctorate

1.1%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.3%
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Full Time
Part Time
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Real Design Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Design Manager Quality Building Services Corp New York, NY Mar 16, 2016 $215,405
Dimensional Survey and Design Manager Orion Project Services LLC Houston, TX Jul 01, 2015 $200,000
Dimensional Survey and Design Manager Orion Project Services LLC Houston, TX Aug 17, 2015 $200,000
Systems Design Manager Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 14, 2016 $191,704 -
$233,900
Digital Signal Processing Design Manager Cavium Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 03, 2015 $182,800
System Design Manager Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 20, 2016 $167,685 -
$191,000
Manager, Furnace and Reformer Design Petro-Chem Development Co., Inc. Houston, TX Sep 18, 2015 $165,000
Design Verification Manager Teradyne Inc. North Reading, MA Sep 11, 2015 $165,000
Manager of Interaction Design/Ixd SONY Network Entertainment International LLC San Francisco, CA Jun 09, 2015 $163,200
Systems Design MGR Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Dec 16, 2016 $159,099 -
$217,700
Manager, Design Communications Ford Motor Company Dearborn, MI May 01, 2015 $158,101 -
$209,100
Design Manager Asana, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 11, 2016 $155,000 -
$185,000
Analog Design Manager Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas, TX Jan 12, 2016 $154,900
Analog Design Manager Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas, TX May 08, 2015 $154,814
Visual Design Manager Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 12, 2015 $125,790 -
$148,400
Analog Design Manager Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas, TX Sep 02, 2015 $125,278
Analog Design Manager Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas, TX May 11, 2015 $125,278
Digital Design Manager Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP New York, NY Jan 12, 2015 $125,000
Survey Design Manager Concordia Wireless Inc. Carol Stream, IL Oct 01, 2015 $125,000
Design Manager Brose North America Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Sep 23, 2015 $125,000
MGR, RSC Design Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Aug 06, 2016 $124,100
Digital Design Manager Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas, TX Mar 05, 2016 $124,000
Research & Design Manager Bentley Systems, Incorporated Walnut Creek, CA Dec 11, 2015 $93,080 -
$122,928
ART, Design, & Architecture Manager, Corp. Communications R/Ga Media Group, Inc. New York, NY Sep 15, 2016 $93,000 -
$113,000
Industrial Design Manager Fitbit, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 25, 2016 $92,123
Design Manager General Growth Properties Chicago, IL May 01, 2015 $90,025
Manager, Network Design Sears Holdings Management Corporation Hoffman Estates, IL Jun 09, 2016 $90,000
Manager, Network Design Sears Holdings Management Corporation Hoffman Estates, IL Sep 16, 2015 $90,000
Manager, Network Design Sears Holdings Management Corporation Hoffman Estates, IL Sep 09, 2015 $90,000

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Top Skills for A Design Manager

DesignStaffCADStandardsProductDevelopmentAutocadProceduresCompanyWebsiteArchitectsCustomerServiceLayoutDesignConceptsDesignDepartmentProjectManagementFacilityAdobePhotoshopGraphicDesignProductLineConstructionDocumentsDesignProjectsDesignProcessSafety

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Top Design Manager Skills

  1. Design Staff
  2. CAD Standards
  3. Product Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage design staff of 8; delegating, training and overseeing all projects ranging from $20k -$750k.
  • Developed and maintain the office CAD standards.
  • Led North American product development design team challenged with delivering new products for multiple corporate brands and key trade partners.
  • Utilized AutoCAD Lisp routines in combination with added custom pull down menus to improve drawing output efficiency by approximately 200%.
  • Developed and maintained electronic engineering drawing release procedures.

Top Design Manager Employers

Design Manager Videos

A Day in the Life of John Duque: Design Manager - MWH Global

Day in the Life of an Electrical and Electronics Engineer

Career Advice on becoming a Design Manager by Sarah C (Full Version)

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