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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

  • $107,504

    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
Program Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Product Developer Product Development Manager
Director Of New Product Development
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Principal Engineer
Director, Hardware Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Design Engineering Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager/Design Manager Facilities Project Manager
Facilities/Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Engineer Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Project Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Manager Manufacturing Manager
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Designer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Engineering Director Vice President Of Engineering
Senior Vice President, Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager/Design Manager Senior Project Manager
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Design Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

63.2%

Female

34.5%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.8%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

9.3%

Unknown

4.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.6%

French

9.2%

German

8.0%

Mandarin

6.1%

Chinese

6.1%

Italian

4.3%

Portuguese

3.7%

Japanese

3.7%

Russian

3.1%

Arabic

3.1%

Korean

2.5%

Cantonese

2.5%

Carrier

2.5%

Turkish

1.8%

Polish

1.8%

Hindi

1.2%

Hungarian

1.2%

Armenian

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Dakota

1.2%
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Design Manager Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

15.4%

University of Phoenix

11.8%

Savannah College of Art and Design

6.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.7%

Syracuse University

4.4%

University of Cincinnati

4.4%

San Jose State University

4.2%

Arizona State University

4.2%

Iowa State University

4.2%

Michigan State University

4.0%

Purdue University

4.0%

Brigham Young University

3.6%

Pennsylvania State University

3.6%

University of Washington

3.6%

University of Houston

3.6%

Pratt Institute-Main

3.6%

University of Texas at Austin

3.6%

University of Arizona

3.4%

New York University

3.2%

Art Center College of Design

3.0%
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Majors

Graphic Design

19.3%

Business

14.3%

Drafting And Design

7.6%

Electrical Engineering

7.5%

Interior Design

6.0%

Architecture

5.9%

Mechanical Engineering

5.7%

Fine Arts

5.1%

Computer Science

3.4%

Civil Engineering

3.1%

Communication

2.9%

Management

2.9%

Engineering

2.5%

Marketing

2.4%

Design And Visual Communication

2.3%

Education

2.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.9%

Computer Applications

1.8%

Project Management

1.7%

English

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.3%

Other

20.6%

Masters

17.3%

Associate

12.7%

Certificate

3.8%

Doctorate

1.3%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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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
Design Manager Brose North America Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Sep 23, 2015 $125,000
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
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

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  1. CAD
  2. Design Staff
  3. Product Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided comprehensive CAD support for engineering.
  • Implemented new company operations and organized a sales and design staff to encompass the entire state of Tennessee.
  • Managed overall hardware design and product development for the Industrial Automation Division, including electrical and mechanical engineering teams.
  • Spearheaded initiatives by providing workplace suggestions; implemented standard operating procedures.
  • Coordinated activities of architects, general contractors, furniture vendors, telecommunication specialists, and movers.

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Top Design Manager Employers

Jobs From 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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