An engineering project manager coordinates all technical activities of assigned programs. This responsibility includes planning, scheduling, and managing personnel and engineering work to ensure effective coordination of projects. Additionally, the engineering project manager is responsible for the monitoring engineering work for compliance to industry standards, company practices, and customer specifications. The engineering project manager must possess sufficient technical knowledge of their programs to identify problems, provide guidance to staff, and be sure the work product fulfills requirements.
Much of the engineering project manager's time is spent in meetings with staff, clients, contractors, and other management; otherwise, they are working behind a desk at a computer or on the phone. The position can be stressful due to the deadline-driven nature of work and the difficulties inherent in overseeing multiple moving parts of multiple projects. Most engineering program managers are employed in the manufacturing industry, technical and professional services, government, or engineering firms.
Typically, this position requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a relevant area of engineering, though a master's degree in engineering management or a related field may be needed. The project manager also should have several years of relevant technical experience. In addition to technical proficiency, the engineering project manager must be proficient in business and management principles, including financial management, budgeting, and personnel management, as well as procurement, policies, and contract negotiations. They must possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and demonstrate leadership. The engineering program manager must have the ability to manage multiple deadlines and priorities, as well as problem-solving skills.
Program Manager, Engineering Tasks
- Manage customer expectations, documenting requirements and changes, creating proposals and modifying bids.
- Develop and train engineers in testing protocols and quality control measures.
- Coordinate projects, budgets, proposals, and contracts throughout the organization.
- Prepare and review documentation including policies, templates, specifications and technical reports.