Design and Engineering
Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses
- Bachelor’s degree in engineering
- 15+ years of experience
- Professional Engineer license
Preferred Education and Credentials
- Master’s degree
- HVAC/R engineering expertise
- Critical thinking
- Project management
- New business development
Engineering managers are heads of entire engineering teams, supervising all activities involved in the development and execution of engineering projects.
Engineering managers engage in strategic planning with responsibility for setting goals and operating procedures, hiring staff members and fostering their professional development, and attracting new business by building client relationships and writing project proposals. To execute individual assignments, engineering managers need to possess excellent project management skills. They develop plans for new projects, negotiate contracts with vendors and clients, and allocate department resources to ensure successful project completion. Organization skills are also needed to manage budgets, schedules, and coordinate workflow among their team members, other departments in their organization, and external project stakeholders.
Engineering managers in the HVAC/R field use their technical expertise to oversee design work, troubleshoot mechanical challenges that their staff encounter, perform quality checks, ensure compliance with industry standards and building codes, and directly lead design and engineering work for large, complex projects. They must be critical thinkers and detail-oriented to carry out job duties with accuracy.
Engineering managers need to demonstrate excellent leadership and communication to motivate and manage their team. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills are essential to make optimal decisions. Resilience and self-motivation are other important qualities for engineering managers to possess.
Engineering managers generally work in offices, but they may also work onsite at project locations to supervise implementation of their team’s design and engineering work. Most positions are full-time, and some engineering managers work additional hours to meet deadlines.
According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 7,100 architectural and engineering managers in New York State and opportunities for employment are expected to be favorable through 2028 – the Department projects this occupation to grow by 490 jobs between 2018 and 2028.
Entering the Field
Engineering managers need to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and extensive work experience (15 or more years, on average) that reflects their leadership capabilities. Although job advertisements posted online in 2020 for engineering managers in the HVAC/R field did not indicate the need for an advanced degree, nearly one-third (32%) of workers in the overall occupation (architectural and engineering managers across all industries and specialized fields) have a master’s degree. Some design engineers in the HVAC/R field pursue advanced study in mechanical engineering, and others pursue master’s in engineering management or business administration to hone their management skills. Having a New York State Professional Engineer’s License is typical for most candidates.
In New York State, the median wage for architectural and engineering managers is approximately $163,000. Entry-level workers earn about $116,200 and experienced workers earn about $197,600.
Annual Wage (Q1 2021 dollars, rounded to 100s) – Statewide and by Labor Market Region
|New York State||$116,200||$163,000||$197,600|
|Central New York||$113,900||$152,600||$181,300|
|New York City||$120,500||$165,600||$207,500|
|Western New York||$95,200||$144,800||$170,500|
Source: New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 11-9041 (Architectural and Engineers Managers)
Engineering managers may lead teams of mechanical engineers at professional services firms that provide engineering design and consulting services for HVAC/R machinery and systems, manufacturers of HVAC/R equipment and parts, and government agencies. Alternative job titles for these positions include chief engineer and director of engineering.
The top three employers with the most online job advertisements in each region in 2020 are listed below. (Some regions did not have at least three employers that posted relevant ads.)
Central New York
- Carrier Corporation
- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Baldwin Richardson Foods Company
- WSP-Parsons Brinckerhoff
- NYU Winthrop Hospital
- Danaher Corporation
Mohawk Valley (Employers did not post any job ads online in 2020.)
New York City
- NYC Health & Hospitals
- STV Group Incorporated
North Country (Employers did not post any job ads online in 2020.)
- WSP-Parsons Brinckerhoff
Western New York
- Ingersoll Rand
Source: Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight™. 2021.
Engineering managers who design HVAC/R systems in the private sector are typically not union members, but those who work for government agencies may be members of a public union. Check with public unions that represent government workers in the local community to see if their members include engineers in supervisory roles.
Education and Training Programs
Bachelor’s and graduate-level degree programs in engineering are offered at schools across New York State. Almost all the institutions listed in the table below offer degrees specifically in mechanical engineering, which is particularly relevant to the HVAC/R field. Some also offer master’s programs in engineering management. Graduate programs in business administration are available at some of these schools as well as others throughout the state. Check with local colleges and universities for business programs.
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)||School of Engineering||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|SUNY at Albany||College of Engineering and Applied Sciences||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|Union College||Mechanical Engineering||No||No||•Yes||No||No|
|Central New York|
|Syracuse University||Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Mechanical Engineering||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|University of Rochester||Mechanical Engineering||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|SUNY New Paltz||Division of Engineering Programs||No||No||•Yes||No||No|
|Hofstra University||DeMatteis School of Engineering & Applied Science||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||No|
|New York Institute of Technology||College of Engineering & Computing Sciences||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|Stony Brook University||College of Engineering and Applied Sciences||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|SUNY Polytechnic Institute||Majors & Programs||No||No||•Yes||No||No|
|New York City|
|Columbia University in the City of New York||Columbia Engineering||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|New York University||Tandon School of Engineering||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|SUNY Maritime College||School of Engineering||No||No||•Yes||No||No|
|The City College of New York (CUNY)||The Grove School of Engineering||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|Clarkson University||Coulter School of Engineering||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|SUNY College of Technology at Canton||Canino School of Engineering Technology||No||No||•Yes||No||No|
|Binghamton University||Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|Cornell University||Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
|Western New York|
|Alfred University||Inamori School of Engineering||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||No|
|University at Buffalo||School of Engineering and Applied Sciences||No||No||•Yes||•Yes||•Yes|
No connections for this senior-level position