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Become A Design Manager/Senior Designer

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Working As A Design Manager/Senior Designer

  • 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

  • $84,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Design Manager/Senior Designer 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/Senior Designer

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/Senior Designer Career Paths

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Design Manager/Senior Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

61.8%

Female

29.5%

Unknown

8.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.4%

Asian

10.2%

Black or African American

10.1%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.5%

Chinese

7.7%

French

7.7%

Italian

7.7%

Portuguese

5.1%

German

5.1%

Japanese

5.1%

Mandarin

5.1%

Carrier

5.1%

Filipino

2.6%

Greek

2.6%

Urdu

2.6%

Persian

2.6%

Hindi

2.6%
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Design Manager/Senior Designer Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

12.2%

Rhode Island School of Design

8.8%

University of Cincinnati

7.4%

Art Center College of Design

6.8%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.4%

Pratt Institute-Main

5.4%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.7%

Ball State University

4.7%

Syracuse University

4.1%

School of Visual Arts

4.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

4.1%

San Jose State University

4.1%

Academy of Art University

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.4%

New York University

3.4%

University of California - Berkeley

3.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.4%

University of Houston

3.4%

University of Phoenix

3.4%
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Majors

Graphic Design

27.5%

Business

10.5%

Architecture

8.1%

Interior Design

7.1%

Drafting And Design

6.5%

Fine Arts

6.2%

Electrical Engineering

5.3%

Design And Visual Communication

4.5%

Mechanical Engineering

3.3%

Civil Engineering

3.1%

Computer Science

2.8%

Marketing

2.4%

Environmental Design

2.1%

Communication

1.7%

Management

1.5%

Project Management

1.5%

Computer Applications

1.5%

Construction Management

1.5%

Apparel And Textiles

1.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.6%

Other

18.1%

Masters

17.7%

Associate

11.7%

Certificate

4.4%

Doctorate

1.4%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$84,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$49,000
Min 10%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$146,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.7 years
How much does a Design Manager/Senior Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Design Manager/Senior Designer in the United States is $84,924 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $49,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $146,000.

Real Design Manager/Senior Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Experience Design Manager Adobe Systems Incorporated San Francisco, CA Jan 11, 2016 $223,000
Senior Experience Design Manager Adobe Systems Incorporated San Francisco, CA Jan 07, 2016 $219,243
Senior Scent Design Manager International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $187,200
Senior Design Manager, Digital Services CSAA Insurance Exchange Walnut Creek, CA Oct 20, 2015 $185,000 -
$202,200
Digital Services, Senior Design Manager CSAA Insurance Exchange Walnut Creek, CA Dec 30, 2013 $182,083 -
$202,200
SR Manager, Ux/Design A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 20, 2014 $180,000
Senior Scent Design Manager International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. New York, NY Sep 27, 2014 $180,000
Senior Manager Design Innovation Pepsico, Inc. Plano, TX May 24, 2016 $167,627
Senior Design Manager Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 01, 2011 $160,000
Senior Scent Design Manager International Flavors & Fragrances New York, NY Dec 16, 2016 $160,000 -
$203,940
Senior Manager Class A/Cad Faraday & Future Inc. Gardena, CA Aug 31, 2015 $160,000
Senior Manager-Incentive Plan & Design Administration American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. New York, NY Sep 13, 2016 $155,000
Senior Design Manager Microsoft Corporation Bellevue, WA Apr 12, 2015 $154,333
Senior Manager Technical Design Gap Inc. New York, NY Aug 03, 2015 $150,000
Senior Manager, Asic Design Silicon Image, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Apr 23, 2013 $143,083 -
$155,000
Senior Manager, Asic Design Silicon Image, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 27, 2012 $143,083 -
$170,164
Senior Manager, Design Thinking Strategist Capital One Services, LLC San Francisco, CA Oct 06, 2014 $142,500 -
$186,700
Senior Manager, Digital Design Thinking Strategist Capital One Services II LLC San Francisco, CA Apr 06, 2015 $142,500 -
$186,700
Senior Manager Design Pepsico, Inc. Plano, TX May 11, 2015 $140,000
Senior Manager, Design Thinking Strategist Capital One Services II LLC McLean, VA Jan 07, 2016 $132,900 -
$174,000
Senior Manager, Security Design and Solutions Depa Control Risks Group LLC Houston, TX Apr 04, 2013 $126,618
Senior Industrial Design Manager Vivint Inc. Lehi, UT Jun 01, 2015 $125,000
Senior Manager, Security Design and Solutions Depa Control Risks Group LLC Houston, TX Apr 04, 2011 $113,300
Senior Manager-Incentive Plan Design & Administration American Express TRS Co., Inc. New York, NY Apr 01, 2015 $110,000
Senior Manager-Incentive Plan Design & Administration American Express Company New York, NY Apr 01, 2015 $110,000
Senior Manager, Instructional Design Abbott Laboratories Park City, IL Jan 19, 2010 $109,521
SR. Design Manager Optimum Design Associates, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Oct 15, 2015 $107,037 -
$120,000
SR. Design Manager Optimum Design Associates Inc. Pleasanton, CA Sep 15, 2015 $105,934 -
$120,000

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Top Skills for A Design Manager/Senior Designer

  1. Graphic Design
  2. Business Development
  3. CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed one in-house graphic designer and several freelance designers.
  • Managed design projects and assisted in business development.
  • Implemented guidelines for CAD technicians regarding electronic plans preparation and streamlined printing process across offices.
  • Designed and implemented a service design strategy to mitigate the risk of operational failures due to project delivery.
  • Compiled and maintained 3D AutoCAD library for laboratory and production equipment.

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Top 10 Best States for Design Managers/Senior Designer

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New York
  4. Washington
  5. California
  6. Connecticut
  7. Virginia
  8. Oregon
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Georgia
  • (99 jobs)
  • (286 jobs)
  • (857 jobs)
  • (328 jobs)
  • (1,588 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)
  • (310 jobs)
  • (125 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (512 jobs)

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