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As the name implies, a senior engineering manager is an executive position within the engineering department of a company or an organization whose role is to lead the team in conceiving, building, and providing some sort of product or service, usually in a digital format.

The person in this role is responsible for managing projects in a way that garners a productive but healthy work environment without straying from the given budget or timeline, for the experimentation and development of new products and processes, and the hiring and the subsequent training of new employees. They must also report progress to higher management and even stakeholders.

An individual hoping to begin working as a Senior Engineering Manager will most likely need to have a Bachelor's degree, or even a Master's, in a subject related to Engineering, as well as several years of experience, at least, in software development, cloud computing, and programming languages such as Javascript.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior engineering manager. For example, did you know that they make an average of $80.74 an hour? That's $167,945 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 5,400 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Senior Engineering Manager Do

There are certain skills that many senior engineering managers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, communication skills and detail oriented.

Learn more about what a Senior Engineering Manager does

How To Become a Senior Engineering Manager

If you're interested in becoming a senior engineering manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 67.6% of senior engineering managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 21.9% of senior engineering managers have master's degrees. Even though most senior engineering managers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a senior engineering manager. When we researched the most common majors for a senior engineering manager, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior engineering manager resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a senior engineering manager. In fact, many senior engineering manager jobs require experience in a role such as engineering manager. Meanwhile, many senior engineering managers also have previous career experience in roles such as project engineer or senior engineer.

Senior Engineering Manager Career Paths

Average Salary for a Senior Engineering Manager

Senior Engineering Managers in America make an average salary of $167,945 per year or $81 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $218,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $129,000 per year.
Average Senior Engineering Manager Salary
$167,945 Yearly
$80.74 hourly
$129,000
10 %
$167,000
Median
$218,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Senior Engineering Manager Education

Senior Engineering Manager Majors

11.1 %

Senior Engineering Manager Degrees

Bachelors

67.6 %

Masters

21.9 %

Associate

5.9 %

Top Colleges for Senior Engineering Managers

1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

5. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

6. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

7. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

8. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

9. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

10. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047

Top Skills For a Senior Engineering Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 7.7% of senior engineering managers listed cloud on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Senior Engineering Manager Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Senior Engineering Manager templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Senior Engineering Manager resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Senior Engineering Manager Demographics

Senior Engineering Manager Gender Distribution

Male
Male
90%
Female
Female
10%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among senior engineering managers, 10.1% of them are women, while 89.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among senior engineering managers is White, which makes up 72.4% of all senior engineering managers.

  • The most common foreign language among senior engineering managers is Spanish at 23.5%.

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Best States For a Senior Engineering Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior engineering manager. The best states for people in this position are California, Hawaii, Washington, and Oregon. Senior engineering managers make the most in California with an average salary of $199,156. Whereas in Hawaii and Washington, they would average $185,640 and $180,245, respectively. While senior engineering managers would only make an average of $179,659 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Senior Engineering Manager Jobs:
1,537
Highest 10% Earn:
$225,000
Location Quotient:
1.6 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Senior Engineering Manager Jobs:
5,064
Highest 10% Earn:
$250,000
Location Quotient:
1.31 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Alaska

Total Senior Engineering Manager Jobs:
138
Highest 10% Earn:
$212,000
Location Quotient:
1.25 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Senior Engineering Managers

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Top Senior Engineering Manager Employers

Most Common Employers For Senior Engineering Manager

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1VMware$200,233$96.2749
2Dell$198,697$95.5337
3IBM$192,195$92.4045
4Cisco$183,073$88.0264
5Nordstrom$176,622$84.9142
6Micro Focus (US), Inc.$174,891$84.0848
7Walmart$170,111$81.7843
8Accenture$169,275$81.3842
9Motorola Solutions$169,265$81.3870
10Slack$168,612$81.0634

Senior Engineering Manager Videos

Becoming a Senior Engineering Manager FAQs

How much does a senior engineering manager make?

Senior engineering managers make an average of $175,900 annually, which is $84.57 hourly. The range reported is between $103,00 to $260,500 and varies based on location, industry, and company size. Senior engineering managers have strong work histories and are paid more for additional degrees or specialization.

What qualifications do you need to be a senior engineer?

The qualifications you need to be a senior engineer are:

  • A Bachelor's degree in Engineering from an accredited university

  • Professional Engineer (PE) license or certifications for working in your field

  • Five years of industry experience

  • A Masters in Business (MBA) may be necessary to work as a manager leading teams

  • Strong communication, organization, and budgeting skills

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