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Architectural and Engineering Managers

At a Glance

  • Oversee the planning and building of roads, structures, and products
  • Hire, train, and supervise employees
  • Work with other managers, employees, suppliers, and contractors
  • Often work overtime to meet deadlines
  • Have at least a bachelor's degree
  • Have years of related work experience
  • Have a license

Career summary

Architectural and engineering managers plan and design new products and systems.

Architectural and engineering managers use advanced technical skills to oversee many types of projects. Projects may include:

Architectural and engineering managers oversee the planning and building of new factories and plants. They oversee the design of new products.

Sometimes they improve the way products are made. Architectural and engineering managers set goals and establish policies and work procedures for meeting those goals.

Architectural and engineering managers review plans and contracts and approve proposals. They propose budgets and timelines for completing projects. They also keep projects running on schedule by working to meet deadlines. Managers identify problems when they occur, and work to find solutions to them.

Architectural and engineering managers make decisions about the money and staff needed to complete projects. They hire and assign tasks to:

They review work and set policies for employees. Managers oversee the purchase of new equipment and the redesign of old equipment. They may also design programs to reduce the impact of the projects on the environment.

Architectural and engineering managers need good communication skills. They meet with other managers to coordinate work on projects. They talk and negotiate with suppliers. They meet with contractors.

Managers sometimes speak in public to gain support or funding for a project. They look at projects from many points of view to help set goals. These points of view include the social, environmental, or legal impacts of projects.

Related careers

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to architectural and engineering managers.

Common work activities

Architectural and engineering managers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, architectural and engineering managers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Architectural and engineering managers frequently:

It is important for architectural and engineering managers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for architectural and engineering managers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Architectural and engineering managers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Use math and science

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as an architectural or engineering manager, you typically need to:

Education after high school

You need at least a bachelor's degree in architecture or engineering for most management positions. In many cases, you need a master's degree. Architectural managers must have administrative skills as well as architecture skills. Engineering managers must have administrative skills as well as engineering skills. A master's in business administration (MBA) is good preparation for non-technical management jobs. For technical management jobs, a master's in engineering management is the best preparation.

Work experience

You must prove yourself as an architect or engineer before you can consider moving into this occupation. Architectural and engineering managers work for many years as architects or engineers before becoming managers.

On-the-job training

Employers often provide training or pay for college course work. This is so you can update your technical skills or expand your administrative skills. As a new manager, you are likely to receive on-the-job training. In general, training lasts about less than a year.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum (external link) may be different from your state's graduation requirements (external link). Engineers use math and science frequently. Try to take math classes through Trigonometry and science classes through Physics.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups (PDF file) that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Most employers require that architectural and engineering managers have at least a bachelor's degree in architecture or engineering. Some employers prefer people who have a master's degree. Employers also look for people with strong communication skills and experience working as an architect or engineer. Certification or licensing may also be required.

Costs to workers

Some workers may wish to join a professional association, which may have annual dues.


Engineers employed in responsible positions in government or in firms offering services to the public, or who stamp their work as being done by an engineer, must be licensed by the Washington State Department of Licensing.

Architects must be registered by the Washington State Board for Architects to legally call themselves architects or to contract to provide architectural services.

#Decided to add just these two general statements (since NWOIS description mentions licensing) but not add the full licensing info we put in either Architects or any of the engineering occupations, 8/6/13 cj. Left this as is 2/6/18 cj.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Architectural and engineering managers (SOC 11-9041)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $49.59 $60.01 $71.35 $84.62 (1)
Monthly $8,594 $10,400 $12,365 $14,665 (1)
Yearly $103,150 $124,820 $148,400 $176,010 (1)
    Bellingham Hourly $53.79 $56.73 $61.62 $68.25 $79.27
Monthly $9,322 $9,831 $10,679 $11,828 $13,737
Yearly $111,879 $117,991 $128,176 $141,948 $164,866
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $54.80 $60.29 $65.75 $70.91 $79.50
Monthly $9,497 $10,448 $11,394 $12,289 $13,777
Yearly $113,984 $125,385 $136,768 $147,485 $165,362
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $20.54 $34.26 $46.40 $48.30 $73.52
Monthly $3,560 $5,937 $8,041 $8,370 $12,741
Yearly $42,721 $71,262 $96,518 $100,463 $152,907
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $56.01 $65.64 $76.08 $90.81 (2)
Monthly $9,707 $11,375 $13,185 $15,737 (2)
Yearly $116,512 $136,528 $158,249 $188,878 (2)
    Longview Hourly $49.12 $56.33 $65.97 $76.80 $90.35
Monthly $8,512 $9,762 $11,433 $13,309 $15,658
Yearly $102,167 $117,159 $137,220 $159,737 $187,911
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $51.19 $56.73 $63.91 $75.82 $84.55
Monthly $8,871 $9,831 $11,076 $13,140 $14,653
Yearly $106,486 $117,996 $132,951 $157,712 $175,850
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $45.62 $55.04 $66.14 $75.28 $83.74
Monthly $7,906 $9,538 $11,462 $13,046 $14,512
Yearly $94,881 $114,480 $137,573 $156,586 $174,177
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $51.71 $64.19 $75.84 $90.67 (2)
Monthly $8,961 $11,124 $13,143 $15,713 (2)
Yearly $107,561 $133,523 $157,741 $188,605 (2)
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $44.06 $52.19 $61.32 $72.78 $87.12
Monthly $7,636 $9,045 $10,627 $12,613 $15,098
Yearly $91,641 $108,558 $127,546 $151,396 $181,195
    Vancouver Hourly $44.22 $53.65 $64.70 $76.57 $90.92
Monthly $7,663 $9,298 $11,213 $13,270 $15,756
Yearly $91,978 $111,601 $134,567 $159,261 $189,102
    Walla Walla Hourly $53.89 $58.44 $62.31 $65.70 $69.82
Monthly $9,339 $10,128 $10,798 $11,386 $12,100
Yearly $112,107 $121,564 $129,620 $136,646 $145,209
    Wenatchee Hourly $51.62 $57.14 $65.69 $74.88 $87.64
Monthly $8,946 $9,902 $11,384 $12,977 $15,188
Yearly $107,380 $118,842 $136,638 $155,754 $182,287
    Yakima Hourly $50.13 $55.65 $62.25 $71.57 $80.62
Monthly $8,688 $9,644 $10,788 $12,403 $13,971
Yearly $104,273 $115,742 $129,481 $148,860 $167,686
United States Hourly $43.09 $54.04 $67.67 $83.26 (1)
Monthly $7,467 $9,365 $11,727 $14,429 (1)
Yearly $89,620 $112,400 $140,760 $173,180 (1)

(1) Wages are greater than $90/hour or $187,200/year.
(2) Wage estimate is not available.

Wages vary by employer and area of the country. The manager's level of education and experience also affect wages.

Benefits vary by employer. Managers usually receive health insurance, vacation days, and retirement benefits. Some also receive expense accounts, stock option plans, and bonuses.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Engineering Managers (SOC 11-9041)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 4,626 7.7% 16.1% 400
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 50 6.0% 13.4% 4
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 136 11.8% 8.6% 13
    Benton and Franklin Counties 524 6.5% 15.0% 43
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 96 3.1% 11.9% 7
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 249 6.0% 15.2% 20
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 64 10.9% 14.1% 5
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 143 13.3% 14.6% 14
    King County 2,007 12.2% 19.6% 195
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 19 5.3% 13.8% 1
    Pierce County 146 8.9% 15.2% 13
    Snohomish County 882 -1.5% 12.4% 57
    Spokane County 110 5.5% 13.9% 9
United States 192,500 2.8% 5.2% 14,600

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Overall employment growth for engineering managers will be slower than average. 

Growth for architectural managers will depend on the demand for construction. The need for new office buildings, schools, and health care facilities will create the most job growth.

Some job openings for architectural and engineering managers will result from the need to replace workers who retire or move into other occupations.

Other resources

American Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) (external link)
(This website provides a list of engineering-related programs accredited by ABET)
415 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
American Society for Engineering Management (external link)
SMAP Center
200 Sparkman Dr, Suite 2
Huntsville, AL 35805
Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (external link)
1840 Michael Faraday Drive, Suite 200
Reston, VA 20190
IEEE Computer Society (external link)
2001 L Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (external link)
3 Park Avenue, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10016
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (external link)
Society of Women Engineers (external link)
130 East Randolph Street, Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60601


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational clusters