A design manager is responsible for creating graphic and digital designs, following clients' specifications, and managing project deliverables efficiently. Design managers work closely with the marketing and public relations department, developing strategies to promote the brand to the target audience. They coordinate with the creative team and present the design ideas to the management, ask for final approval, perform revisions as needed, and follow the budget goals. A design manager must have excellent communication and leadership skills to handle the design team's concerns and needs.

Design Manager Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real design manager resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Help achieve status of medical device manufacturer through the FDA.
  • Manage the brand identity, POS advertising and proprietary assets for a mid-size company.
  • Design and project manage kitchen and interior projects for clients within the NYC community.
  • Manage product backlog and lead agile team in shipping SaaS products from ideation to delivery.
  • Manage the creation and implementation of new design tools, and modifications to the RF design specifications.
  • Manage REVIT models for various BIM projects including updating, cleaning, and linking arch models for MEP design.
  • Use of AutoCAD 2002 and LDD3.
  • Design graphics and icons for UX, and control elements.
  • Design blueprints, bills of materials, FEA as required.
  • Prepare JetCAM CNC program code downloading to Finnpower turret punch press.
Design Manager Traits
Math skills include being able to perform basic addition and subtraction, as well as solving for the unknown and visualizing data that will be helpful in the workplace.
Organizational skills are essential to working as efficiently as possible through being able to focus on projects at hand while also keeping a clean workspace.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.

Design Manager Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, design manager jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "slower than average" at 3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a design manager?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of design manager opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 5,400.

On average, the design manager annual salary is $93,240 per year, which translates to $44.83 an hour. Generally speaking, design managers earn anywhere from $59,000 to $145,000 a year, which means that the top-earning design managers make $86,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a design manager, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming an engineering supervisor, engineering director, research and development director, and vice president of engineering.

Design Manager Jobs You Might Like

Design Manager Resume Examples

Design Manager Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 8% of Design Managers are proficient in Project Management, Procedures, and User Interface. They’re also known for soft skills such as Math skills, Organizational skills, and Detail oriented.

We break down the percentage of Design Managers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Project Management, 8%

    Project Management-created custom Microsoft ACCESS programs utilized to track all aspects of projects milestones, relationships with customers, and municipalities.

  • Procedures, 7%

    Created documenting procedures in specific formats that developed a division wide profit sharing program with a peer evaluation system.

  • User Interface, 6%

    Design and create new features and layouts for customers facing user interfaces, which work responsively for multiple devices and sizes.

  • Layout, 4%

    Generated layout guidelines and interfaced closely with layout designer to complete placement and routing.

  • Powerpoint, 4%

    Prepare presentations in PowerPoint and designed promotional materials Accomplishments.

  • Design Process, 4%

    Developed and implemented a user centered design process that improved overall website design, production and end user experience.

"project management," "procedures," and "user interface" aren't the only skills we found design managers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of design manager responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Math skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a design manager to have. According to a design manager resume, "architectural and engineering managers use calculus and other advanced mathematics to develop new products and processes." Design managers are able to use math skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "managed quantitative and qualitative user research to guide product development. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many design manager duties rely on organizational skills. This example from a design manager explains why: "architectural and engineering managers keep track of many workers, schedules, and budgets simultaneously." This resume example is just one of many ways design managers are able to utilize organizational skills: "collaborated on scitrain's hr task- force to design and implement internal organizational restructuring. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among design managers is detail oriented. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a design manager resume: "architectural and engineering managers must pay attention to detail" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "created project symbol libraries and developed standard details and drawing layout that increased production by 22%. "
  • In order for certain design manager responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "communication skills." According to a design manager resume, "architectural and engineering managers oversee staff and work together with other levels of management" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "created coordinated 2d layout drawings for installation of all major electrical equipment, sleeves, conduit and communication paths. "
  • Another common skill for a design manager to be able to utilize is "analytical skills." Architectural and engineering managers must evaluate information carefully and solve complex problems. A design manager demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "designed christmas trees, interior design layout for commercial spaces, ordered stock, maintained data, trained and supervised employees"
  • See the full list of design manager skills.

    We've found that 62.5% of design managers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 10.0% earned their master's degrees before becoming a design manager. While it's true that most design managers have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every seven design managers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The design managers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied graphic design and business, while a small population of design managers studied drafting and design and architecture.

    Once you're ready to become a design manager, you should explore the companies that typically hire design managers. According to design manager resumes that we searched through, design managers are hired the most by Deloitte, Johnson Controls, and Facebook. Currently, Deloitte has 54 design manager job openings, while there are 36 at Johnson Controls and 32 at Facebook.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, design managers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Expedia Group, Apple, and Airbnb. Take Expedia Group for example. The median design manager salary is $166,216. At Apple, design managers earn an average of $165,911, while the average at Airbnb is $164,988. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on design manager salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at IBM, Intel, and University of California Press. These three companies have hired a significant number of design managers from these institutions.

    For the most part, design managers make their living in the retail and technology industries. Design managers tend to make the most in the technology industry with an average salary of $136,340. The design manager annual salary in the retail and manufacturing industries generally make $118,971 and $111,072 respectively. Additionally, design managers who work in the technology industry make 31.3% more than design managers in the hospitality Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious design managers are:

      What Engineering Supervisors Do

      An engineering supervisor is responsible for monitoring the engineering operations of an organization, developing strategic processes and techniques to improve staff's performance, and facilitating training and programs to maximize productivity. Engineering supervisors evaluate technology procedures and reports to identify and design new opportunities that would generate more resources for revenues and profits. They also meet with clients and handle their business requirements and specifications, informing them of other services that the company offers. An engineering supervisor resolves project complaints and implements business plans to achieve high-quality deliverables.

      In this section, we compare the average design manager annual salary with that of an engineering supervisor. Typically, engineering supervisors earn a $3,776 lower salary than design managers earn annually.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both design managers and engineering supervisors positions are skilled in project management, procedures, and customer service.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a design manager responsibility requires skills such as "user interface," "layout," "powerpoint," and "design process." Whereas a engineering supervisor is skilled in "emergency," "preventive maintenance," "engineering support," and "ensure compliance." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Engineering supervisors really shine in the technology industry with an average salary of $113,037. Whereas design managers tend to make the most money in the technology industry with an average salary of $136,340.

      Engineering supervisors tend to reach higher levels of education than design managers. In fact, engineering supervisors are 8.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.5% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of an Engineering Director?

      An engineering director or director of engineering is a professional who manages a team of engineering managers and coordinates all the engineering activities within the organization. Engineering directors work closely with the organization's executives to develop new strategies to reduce unnecessary costs and time to complete their projects. They must understand and interpret complex sets of data such as profits, losses, or value of liabilities to identify problems and come up with solutions. Engineering directors must also ensure that safety protocols are implemented in the workforce.

      The next role we're going to look at is the engineering director profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $56,872 higher salary than design managers per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Design managers and engineering directors both include similar skills like "project management," "customer service," and "facility" on their resumes.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, design manager responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "procedures," "user interface," "layout," and "powerpoint." Meanwhile, a engineering director might be skilled in areas such as "architecture," "infrastructure," "software development," and "aws." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On average, engineering directors earn a higher salary than design managers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, engineering directors earn the most pay in the technology industry with an average salary of $172,430. Whereas, design managers have higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $136,340.

      On the topic of education, engineering directors earn higher levels of education than design managers. In general, they're 20.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.5% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Research And Development Director Compares

      A research and development director spearheads and oversees the research and development initiatives and projects in a company. It is their duty to set goals and guidelines, establish timelines and budgets, direct and manage different departments, liaise with internal and external parties, gather and analyze data to implement solutions against problem areas, and utilize expertise in developing strategies to optimize company operations. Moreover, as a director, it is essential to lead and encourage the workforce to reach goals, all while promoting the company's policies and regulations, creating new ones as needed.

      Let's now take a look at the research and development director profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than design managers with a $21,042 difference per year.

      Using design managers and research and development directors resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "project management," "product development," and "product design," but the other skills required are very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from design manager resumes include skills like "procedures," "user interface," "layout," and "powerpoint," whereas a research and development director might be skilled in "fda," "oversight," "regulatory agencies," and "strategic initiatives. "

      Research and development directors make a very good living in the technology industry with an average annual salary of $168,292. Whereas design managers are paid the highest salary in the technology industry with the average being $136,340.

      Research and development directors are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to design managers. Additionally, they're 18.2% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 26.8% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Vice President Of Engineering

      A Vice President Of Engineering manages all aspects of the company's engineering product development activities. They are responsible for strategic planning, production designing, quality assurance, and problem resolution.

      Now, we'll look at vice presidents of engineering, who generally average a higher pay when compared to design managers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $55,003 per year.

      According to resumes from both design managers and vice presidents of engineering, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "project management," "customer service," and "product development. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "procedures," "user interface," "layout," and "powerpoint" are skills that have shown up on design managers resumes. Additionally, vice president of engineering uses skills like architecture, cloud, infrastructure, and python on their resumes.

      In general, vice presidents of engineering make a higher salary in the technology industry with an average of $166,559. The highest design manager annual salary stems from the technology industry.

      In general, vice presidents of engineering reach higher levels of education when compared to design managers resumes. Vice presidents of engineering are 17.6% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 6.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.