Architectural and Engineering Managers
Architectural and engineering managers plan, coordinate, and direct activities in architecture and engineering, including research and development in these fields.
Architectural and engineering managers typically do the following:
- Make detailed plans to reach technical goals, such as development of new products and designs
- Manage research and development teams that produce new products, processes, or designs, or improve existing ones
- Check the technical accuracy of the work and soundness of the methods their staff uses
- Direct and coordinate the design of equipment and machinery
- Confer with other levels of management on architectural and engineering activities
- Propose budgets for projects and programs and determine staff, training, and equipment needs
- Hire, assign, and supervise staff
Architectural and engineering managers use their knowledge in architecture or engineering to oversee a variety of activities. They determine technical goals, such as improving manufacturing or building processes, or developing new products or designs, and then they make detailed plans to accomplish these goals.
They may direct and coordinate production, operations, quality assurance, testing, or maintenance in industrial plants. They may develop the overall concepts of a new product or identify technical problems preventing the completion of a project.
Architectural and engineering managers must know how to budget, hire, and supervise. They propose budgets for projects and programs and determine staff, training, and equipment needs. Architectural and engineering managers hire and assign people to carry out specific parts of each project. They supervise the work of these employees and set administrative procedures, policies, or standards, such as environmental standards.
Architectural and engineering managers spend a great deal of time coordinating the activities of their unit with the activities of other units or organizations. They confer with other managers, including financial, production, and marketing managers, and with contractors and equipment and materials suppliers.
Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from early development to completion.
Construction managers typically do the following:
- Prepare and negotiate cost estimates, budgets, and work timetables
- Select appropriate construction methods and strategies
- Interpret and explain contracts and technical information to workers and other professionals
- Report on work progress and budget matters to clients
- Collaborate with architects, engineers, and other construction and building specialists
- Instruct and supervise construction personnel and activities onsite
- Respond to work delays and other problems and emergencies
- Select, hire, and instruct laborers and subcontractors
- Comply with legal requirements, building and safety codes, and other regulations
Construction managers, often called general contractors or project managers, coordinate and supervise a wide variety of projects, including the building of all types of residential, commercial, and industrial structures, roads, bridges, powerplants, schools, and hospitals. They oversee specialized contractors and other personnel. Construction managers schedule and coordinate all design and construction processes to ensure a productive and safe work environment. They also make sure jobs are completed on time and on budget with the right amount of tools, equipment, and materials. Many managers also are responsible for obtaining necessary permits and licenses. They are often responsible for multiple projects at a time.
Construction managers work closely with other building specialists, such as architects, engineers, and a variety of trade workers, such as stonemasons, electricians, and carpenters. Projects may require specialists in everything from structural metalworking and painting, to landscaping, building roads, installing carpets, and excavating sites. Depending on the project, construction managers also may interact with lawyers and local government officials. For example, when working on city-owned property or municipal buildings, managers sometimes confer with city council members to ensure that all regulations are met.
For projects too large to be managed by one person, such as office buildings and industrial complexes, a construction manager would only be in charge of one part of the project. Each construction manager would oversee a specific construction phase and choose subcontractors to complete it. Construction managers may need to collaborate and coordinate with other construction managers who are responsible for different aspects of the project.
To maximize efficiency and productivity, construction managers often use specialized cost-estimating and planning software to effectively budget the time and money required to complete specific projects. Many managers also use software to determine the best way to get materials to the building site. For more information, see the profile on cost estimators.