In general, product engineering managers are responsible for leading a team of technical staff within a manufacturing or research and development setting. This staff might include individuals that work in engineering and design, testing, and assembly.
The specific duties required for this management position vary from location to location and between industries. In general, though, production engineering managers must review proposed product designs, evaluate designs to estimate the costs and logistical requirements for production, and approve subsequent production. In addition, because the job is a managerial position, it requires numerous administrative and personnel duties, such as hiring and reviewing employees, determining workforce needs, keeping accurate clerical records, and ensuring that new employees are adequately trained.
The duties that a product engineering manager performs may be summarized as a group of tasks designed to guarantee the quality and efficiency of manufacturing or production, while maintaining cost-effectiveness.
A typical project for a product engineering manager begins with a phase of market testing to ensure that designs have a sufficient potential sales market. Subsequently, the manager oversees the engineering staff as designs are revised and finalized. The prototyping stage follows this period of planning, during which further inspection and testing take place. Once the product engineering manager approves of the final prototype, the manufacturing process is initiated.
Product engineering managers work within many fields, such as computing and technology, electronics, and automobiles. In addition to a general engineering background and managerial skills, effective product engineering managers posses advanced knowledge of their particular industry that is vital for the planning and testing stages. In terms of education, the position generally requires an advanced degree in engineering. Most mangers start within their field as a junior engineer. Employers hiring for a production engineering manager position frequently give preference to candidates that display leadership, communication skills, organizational abilities, and business acumen.
Product Engineering Manager Tasks
- Determine manufacturability and cost of new products.
- Lead the Product Engineering Design team.
- Manage product design and development for new and existing products.