Published: June 26, 2019

The decision to return to school and pursue an advanced degree is a big one. Even with many engineering management degree programs now designed to meet the scheduling demands of working technical professionals, pursuing education as an adult still involves a major sacrifice of time and resources.

students in classIf this is a step you’re considering, it only makes sense to find out as much as you can about what kind of return on investment you can expect. While potential salary is usually not the only key factor to consider in determining educational ROI, it is an important one. Naturally, you may be curious about, how much do engineering managers make? What will additional education do for my career.

Research done at CU Boulder’s Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program (EMP) indicates that, based on the success of its graduates, education in management and leadership skills for technical professionals is a learning investment that pays off in terms of career outcome.

The Power & Payoff of the EMP Experience

CU Boulder’s EMP looked at the impact of the Program on well over 200 graduates between the years 2010 and 2018. This includes the types of jobs they moved on to, where they are working geographically, the top skills the Program equipped them with, the companies they work for and average salary.

The results indicate that the EMP had a decidedly positive impact on the careers of technical professionals. When it comes to the all-important question of how much do engineering managers make, the estimated annual salary of the EMP graduates in the survey is more than $97,000. It’s important to note that this is an average and not an indication of the highest level of earning potential; salary will vary according to the area of specialization, industry, geographic location and level of experience. Other factors that affect total compensation of technical managers can include benefits such as expense accounts and bonuses not typically paid to workers who are not managers.

While EMP graduates move on to a wide range of dynamic professional opportunities, including postsecondary teaching, a vast majority of them do, in fact, ascend to management positions in engineering and other technical areas such as:

  • Industrial engineers
  • Architectural and engineering managers
  • Software developers
  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Manufacturing engineers
  • Management analysts
  • Industrial production managers

A Strong Presence in Colorado

It’s no secret that Colorado, and the Boulder area specifically, is a technological and engineering hotbed. The area provides an ideal incubator for some of the most innovative tech start-ups in the country. So if you’re looking to earn your engineering management degree in a thriving location for engineers and technical professionals, CU Boulder’s EMP is a smart option.

The research bears this out. Approximately 60% of EMP graduates advance their careers right here in Colorado. More than 50% of EMP graduates are working in Denver or Boulder, with others in locations such as Colorado Springs, Longmont and Broomfield.

But CU Boulder’s presence extends beyond the state line. The quality and convenience of the engineering management online offerings means that the impact of the Program stretches from coast to coast. EMP graduates are succeeding across the country, from New York City and Houston to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

Speaking of Management Skills

A central focus of the CU Boulder engineering management degree Program mission is to empower talented engineers and technical professionals with the skills in leadership and management that will open new doors of opportunity.

Based on CU Boulder’s research, the Program is meeting this goal. In fact, “management” was cited as the most frequently stated skill possessed by 72% of alumni. Project management, leadership, operations and research were also cited as top skills of graduates.

EMP graduates are applying these management and leadership skills working for a variety of employers. Just a sampling of some of the companies and organizations employing Program graduates includes:

  • Medtronic
  • Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Seagate Technology LLC
  • Terumo Bc., Inc.
  • Covidien
  • Micron Technology, Inc.
  • United Launch Alliance

The Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program at CU Boulder

If you’re ready to make a move with your career and are intrigued by what CU Boulder’s EMP could mean for you, it’s time to take the next step.

For the past 30 years, the CU Boulder EMP has been empowering technical professionals to advance their careers through relevant programming, flexible scheduling options and exceptional instruction from seasoned executives.

The EMP offers graduate degrees, as well as professional certificates designed to prepare engineers and other technical professionals to advance their careers, make themselves more marketable to potential employers and take on new leadership challenges.

The engineering management degree Program is offered through the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU Boulder, which was founded in 1893 and is widely recognized among the top public research institutions in the country.

If you would like to speak with an advisor or request more information about any of CU Boulder’s engineering management educational options, please contact the EMP graduate advisor, Kendra Thibeault, at or call 303.492.0954.