Industrial Managers in engineering and science develop expertise in their specialty, gain experience in their field as engineers, scientists or mathematicians, and display sharp business and communication skills to land a managerial position.
Industrial Managers must be specialists in the work they overseen, but that alone is not enough to become a manager. Administrative and communication skills are essential since managers will be leading groups, communicating with a variety of people, and handling business and financial aspects of projects. Managers hire, train and supervise staff, overseeing people who design and develop machinery, and directing production and operations within an industry. They draw up plans and budgets for their projects and communicate with clients, management, staff and the public along the way.
Employees can move up to management positions by displaying sharp business sense and communication and leadership skills. Managers must have a strong grasp of technical knowledge and the ability to explain work in non-technical terms to customers and managers. In high-tech companies, standout engineering or science employees can rise to management positions in non-technical areas such as marketing, human resource or sales where being well-versed in technical knowledge is crucial for the company.
Most of an industrial manager’s time is spent in the office, with some positions offering work in lab or industrial plants close to research scientists or production workers. Pressure to reach deadline and budget goals can be tough.
Nearly 40% of industrial managers are employed by manufacturing industries, the largest being industries that produce computer and electronic equipment and transportation equipment including aerospace products and parts.
Others work in firms providing scientific research and development or professional, scientific or technical services. Federal, state, and local government agencies also offer many opportunities for managerial roles.
Industrial management jobs open up when managers retire or move into other roles, as well as when firms grow and expand employment, so keeping an eye on the industry and what is happening in different firms is important to knowing what jobs are available and gaining a position.