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What does a Product Engineering Manager do?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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A product engineering manager oversees workers at a manufacturing plant or research and development company. The manager leads teams of designers, assemblers, and testers to ensure high quality end products. The specific daily duties of a product engineering manager vary between settings, but most professionals are responsible for reviewing engineers' designs, determining the costs and equipment needed to produce an item, and granting permission to begin production. Managers also perform standard administrative tasks like setting schedules, keeping records, and training new workers.

The main responsibility of a product engineering manager is to create the policies and procedures necessary to ensure quality, efficient, cost-effective production. With the aid of his or her engineering team, the manager conducts market research to determine the most appropriate items to produce. He or she then supervises designers who draw the blueprints for a particular product. After plans are in place, the product engineering manager helps workers construct prototypes or models. The manager inspects the prototype and makes the decision whether or not to mass produce the item.

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In addition to overseeing production, a manager often assumes human resources responsibilities as well. Managers advertise engineering position openings, hire new workers, and provide hands-on training. They perform regular performance reviews and help struggling workers recognize areas for improvement. Managers also regularly inspect equipment, arrange for maintenance and repairs, and order new supplies when they are needed. It is common for managers to read industry journals and attend seminars on a regular basis to stay up to date on the latest technological advancements.

Product engineering managers specialize by working in particular types of manufacturing facilities. They are employed by consumer electronics, aeronautics, computer software, and automobile industries, among many others. Professionals must have expert knowledge of their specialty, since the techniques used to design and manufacture different products vary widely. A project engineering manager needs to understand how specific computer programs, tools, and machines operate in order to develop the best policies for their use.

An advanced engineering degree is usually necessary to become a product engineering manufacturer. Most professionals work as junior engineers at a company for several years before they are rewarded with managerial opportunities. A worker who wants to advance within his or her company must be able to demonstrate strong leadership skills, business sense, and a desire to undertake a great deal of responsibility. With many years of product engineering manager experience, a person may have the chance to assume an executive position.

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julies
Post 4

I really don't have much technical aptitude or ability, but my son as been a computer whiz for as long as I can remember. Even when he was just a young boy, he was showing me how to do something on the computer.

I kept thinking, I just need to keep all that talent and ability channeled in the right direction. It was no surprise when he majored in engineering, and now works in software product engineering.

Even though I don't understand the technicalities of his job, I love to hear him talk about the new projects he is working on. He is still excited and passionate about computers and has found a way to make a good living at it.

He is in a management position with a few people under him, but most of his job does not require him to manage people, but work on new software development which is where he does his best work.

John57
Post 3

When my son went to college to study engineering, he really had no idea specifically what he wanted to do. He just knew that engineering and numbers came very easy to him.

Fast forward many years later to today, and he is employed as an engineering product manager at an aerospace company that makes commercial airplanes.

This job is very challenging and rewarding for him at the same time. He has to do some administrative work along with his other duties, but the favorite part of his job is when he can be hands on, and have input in the design process.

cloudel
Post 2

Production engineering managers have the responsibility to produce products in the most economical way possible. My friend is a designer, and he is frustrated with his manager because he has decided to start using cheaper parts from another country to keep the price of manufacturing down.

The manager said that if he didn’t start getting cheaper parts, they would have to go up on the price of their products. That might deter customers from buying them.

One reason my friend is upset over this is because he has to use the parts to make models, and he says that they break easily and are harder to manipulate. Having to create quality products from these will present quite the challenge.

lighth0se33
Post 1

My friend is a product engineering manager for a company that makes window blinds. He has a really good understanding of designs and what it will take to make them come to life, because he worked for many years as a designer at the same company.

One of his current responsibilities is to test the models created by his designers. The office has a large robot that is made to pull the string on the blinds over and over until it breaks. This way, they can see how durable a product will be.

I think that he is much happier as a manager than he was as a designer. He has a lot more control over situations now.

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