Engineering vice presidents (VPs) have extraordinary computer knowledge in addition to a good sense of business practices and customer service. They are responsible for overseeing the engineering or research and development departments, and they generally report to the president or CEO. Engineering VPs can manage or oversee teams of engineers or developers and the projects and testing with which they are tasked.
Ultimately, the VPs' goal is to ensure that the engineering portion of their company runs smoothly and meets company standards. On the business and customer service side, engineering VPs are also typically the spokespeople for product management and are often required to work and meet regularly with clients. Although their work is mostly mental, stress and pressure come with the territory, so VPs must be able to cope with both.
These types of responsibilities require heavy education and experience. Most businesses require their engineering VPs to have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering; in some cases, a master’s degree in business or engineering may be preferred. Beyond this, most companies want at least ten years of successful work experience in the field.
Overall, engineering VPs must have strong and persevering personalities. They can expect long hours and having to work on weekends, especially during times when a new product is ready to be unveiled. For most engineering VPs, travel is almost certainly involved in the job description.
Vice President (VP), Engineering Tasks
Analyze available technology, market needs and existing resources to determine project feasibility.
Lead the engineering team, including coaching, allocating resources effectively and reviewing team performance.
Ensure that the product is fully and correctly defined and documented.
Coordinate and direct teams to complete projects, including documentation and integration of technical components.
Guide and approve financial decisions including ordering of materials, expenditures and reporting.