As mentioned above, the roles and responsibilities of an engineering manager depend on their workplace. That said, there are a core set of duties that you can expect to find across the majority of work environments - generally speaking, an engineering manager is responsible for:
Supervising the engineers
Engineering managers have a duty to monitor the engineers working under them, and to make sure that each employee is fulfilling his / her duties and being as useful as possible in correlation to their individual skills. This duty also includes assigning and delegating tasks to the engineers. Utilising engineers to get the department running at optimal efficiency is one of the basic responsibilities of an engineering manager.
Keeping projects on track
Regardless of what kind of project the team is currently working on, it's the responsibility of the engineering manager to make sure that everything is running on track, and that all individuals in their department are on track too. Overseeing each aspect of the current project and making sure it's completed - not just on time, but to an appropriate standard - is a key responsibility of an engineering manager.
One responsibility that comes with being an engineering manager is functioning as the mouth piece of your team when it interacts with other departments. You will be the primary line of communication between your team and everyone else you work with, and will likely be the one people go to first when looking to get a message conveyed to all team members. It will fall to you to make sure that any important information from other departments is relayed to key members of your team in a timely fashion.
As an engineering manager, it's your responsibility to ensure that all issues are resolved as quickly as possible, be they technical issues or personal issues among members of staff. At times, it might even be necessary for you to conduct investigations to get to the bottom of why an issue has occurred.
Training new employees
As manager, it will likely fall to you to either train new employees yourself, or supervise the training of new employees by other staff members. It's vital to ensure that the new employee is not only being given all of the information about their duties, but is also being given the correct instructions in order to carry them out correctly and to company standards.
There are a lot of responsibilities that come with the role of engineering manager, and there are a lot of skills an individual would require to suitably fill the role. We've had a look at some of the things you might be expected to do as an engineering manager, but what skills might help you succeed?
Here are some of the most essential skills for this role:
- Staff Management
- Strategic Planning and Organisation
- Quick & Decisive Decision Making
- Interpersonal Skills
- Problem Solving
- Analytical Skills
These are just a few of the many skills that would help you to pursue a career in engineering management. Although demanding, engineering management is a massively rewarding career, and can be a doorway to many new opportunities.