Employment of engineering and natural sciences managers is expected to grow about as fast as the average through the year 2012—in line with projected employment growth in engineering and most sciences. However, many additional jobs will result from the need to replace managers who retire or move into other occupations. Opportunities for obtaining a management position will be best for workers with advanced technical knowledge and strong communication skills. In addition, business management skills are important because engineering and natural sciences managers are involved in their firm’s financial, production, and marketing activities.
Projected employment growth for engineering and natural sciences managers should be closely related to the growth of the occupations they supervise and the industries in which they are found. For example, opportunities for managers should be better in rapidly growing areas of engineering—such as electrical, computer, and biomedical engineering—than in more slowly growing areas of engineering or physical science, such as aerospace and petroleum engineering. (See the statements on engineers
and on life and physical scientists, elsewhere in the Handbook.) In addition, many employers are finding it more efficient to contract engineering and science management services to outside companies and consultants, creating good opportunities for managers in management services and management, scientific, and technical consulting firms.