SoloPoint Insights

Pros and Cons of Becoming an Engineering Manager

Everyone craves promotions and career growth, but not everyone considers the tradeoffs that come with it. For engineers eyeing managerial positions, there are some pros and cons to consider before making the transition.

  • PROS: What you can get. Transitioning to an engineering manager role can offer many benefits, such as:
    • Higher Compensation: Engineering managers typically earn higher salaries than individual contributors, reflecting the increased responsibility and leadership skills required. To get a better perspective on the salary differences, here is the average salary of engineers in the US:
      Engineer (Senior Level II-III) Manager-Senior Manager
      MECHANICAL $90,641 – $109,323 $153,683 – $178,410
      ELECTRICAL $90,303 – $110,294 $152,145 – $180,972
      MANUFACTURING $86,907 – $106,843 $112,790 – $161,061
    • Leadership Opportunity: As an engineering manager, you can develop leadership skills and gain experience managing people and projects.
    • Decision-Making Opportunity: Engineering managers can have a more significant impact on their organization by guiding the project’s direction.
    • Career Advancement: Transitioning to a management role comes with more responsibilities. This can open up new and even better career opportunities.
    • Expanded Network: Engineering managers have more connections as they guide the path of product development, they’ll have more connections with stakeholders, partners, and employees.
  • CONS: What you give up. On the other hand, there are also potential drawbacks to take into account, such as:
    • Reduced Technical Focus: Engineering managers will be focused more on managing and leading a team of engineers and may have less opportunity to engage in technical work.
    • Increased Administrative Work: Engineering managers are responsible for more administrative tasks such as meetings, budgeting, hiring, and performance reviews.
    • People Management Challenges: Managing people can be challenging, especially when dealing with interpersonal issues among team members.
    • Reduced Autonomy: Engineering managers must prioritize their team’s and organization’s needs over their personal preferences, which can be an adjustment for those used to having more control over their work.
    • Performance Pressures: Managers are responsible for ensuring their team performs well and meets organizational goals, which can be challenging and require working under pressure.
  • Is it worth it?

Whether it’s worth it to transition from an individual contributor to an engineering manager ultimately depends on your personal goals, strengths, and preferences. 

If you are passionate about leadership and enjoy developing people and driving strategic initiatives, transitioning to a management role may be worth it. On the other hand, if you value technical work and autonomy over managing people and projects, then it may not be the best fit for you.

Becoming an engineering manager is a significant career move that requires careful consideration of the tradeoffs involved. By weighing the pros and cons, engineers can make an informed decision about their career growth.

If you’re considering a transition to engineering management, don’t let limited opportunities hold you back. Talk to a SoloPoint Technical Recruiter today and discover the right engineering management role for you:

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