Engineering Operations Managers are in charge of supervising engineers, scientists or technicians as they work on projects. They need to have extensive knowledge in the field as well as the managerial skills necessary for overseeing the team. Duties involve coordinating projects, making project plans and schedules, negotiating with clients and meeting financial backers, reviewing changes, administration tasks including report writing, and ensuring that the project adheres to the budget. The Engineering Operations Manager will have to call on his/her extensive engineering knowledge in order to make decisions in regards to the project as well as be very organized.
OM positions require the ability to oversee employees or teams but the position of Engineering Operations Manager also requires extensive knowledge in the field. Engineering Operations Managers will often have worked for many years in the field before being awarded roles as managers. This is a position driven by analysis and the necessities of people skills are minimal.
Day in the Life
The average day of an Engineering Operations Manager varies depending on the specific project being worked on and its field. Before a project can begin, you must make yourself knowledgeable of all the applicable quality control laws and industry standards. You will use your field expertise to write up a project plan along with budget and then hire staff. Often, you will be required to meet with financial backers. Once the project is underway, you will review reports to ensure that the project is moving smoothly. Engineering Operations Managers rarely work on the field and most of their time is spent in an office reviewing and writing reports. They are expected to work long hours and closely control all aspects of the project to ensure it is completed accurately, on time and within budget. You will generally report to a company or department head.
Engineers tend to be analytically minded and have a strong sense of detail. Engineering Operations Managers also must be very well organized and capable of running several tasks at the same time. Additionally, they are team leaders who can communicate with authority.
Engineering Operations Managers will have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field of engineering. They will usually be expected to have a master’s degree as well, preferably in a business-related field or management. Before gaining this position, they work for several years in the field and have extensive knowledge of the industry.
Rate of Pay
Salaries for Engineering Operations Managers range from $88k to upwards of $145k depending on the size of the project and its complexity. The median salary is $117k yearly. Jobs in research tend to be amongst the highest paying while nonprofits are on the lower end.
The industries hiring Engineering Operations Managers include biomedicine and environmental engineering, amongst many others. Companies who hire Engineering Operations Manager are very large and have a lot of resources at hand. You should have extensive knowledge and experience in that field in order to be considered for the position.