Transitioning From Engineer to Manager : Engineering Career Advice from a Panel of Engineers that Have Made the Leap

Last week I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Eastern Regional Younger Member Council (ERYMC) in Nashville, Tennessee.  The conference overall was awesome, but in this post I wanted to summarize the engineering career advice shared in the Saturday afternoon panel where three experienced engineers explained how they transitioned from engineer to manager.

The following is the advice that the three panelists shared:

  • You know you are ready to make the leap from engineer to manager when you feel like you are looking for something more; you want to contribute on a larger scale.
  • They all had a desire to move into engineering management position; they didn’t “have-to.”
  • You have to look at the big picture when you become a manager; look at the forest not the tree.
  • Try to get your employees to also look at the big picture.
  • You must be prepared to deal with human resources issues.  For example, people’s personal issues and emotions.
  • You must learn to delegate so that you have time to deal with these human resources issues.
  • Be clear about your expectations when you delegate to your staff.
  • Seek advice from other leaders that have transitioned from engineer to manager.
  • Lead by example and don’t ask your staff to do something that you wouldn’t.
  • Be prepared to take risks like opening up a new office, or leaving your company for a more challenging opportunity.

The three panel members were:

Paul Holzen, P .E., LEED AP – Engineering Supervisor at City of Franklin, TN
Michael Marassa, P.E. – Business Development Manager at Hayward Baker
Monica Sartain, P.E., CHMM, M. ASCE – Branch Manager at Patriot Engineering and Environmental, Inc.

I know this is a short post, but I have been getting requests on information regarding how to transition from engineer to manager and I thought the information shared here was perfect!

If you would like to get periodic advice on how to make the transition from engineer to manager, our founder Anthony Fasano, P.E., author of Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career sends out free daily career inspiration to engineers through his popular Daily Boosts, you can read about the Daily Boosts or simply sign up below.

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  • Stone Panels Inc.

    Thanks for sharing! We definitely agree with, “Be clear about your expectations when you delegate to your staff.” We will be keeping up with your blog and Twitter.

  • Anthony Fasano

    Thank Stone Panels – looking forward to getting to know you!