How to Become a Design Manager

Step 1: Understand the job description and responsibilities of a Design Manager

What does a Design Manager do?

A Design Manager manages a team of designers and drafters that use computer aided design (CAD) for products. Ensures the drawings and designs are completed on time and adhere to the established specifications and standards. Being a Design Manager may prepare project schedules, bids, or proposals. Requires a bachelor's degree in area of specialty. Additionally, Design Manager typically reports to a head of a unit/department. The Design Manager manages subordinate staff in the day-to-day performance of their jobs. True first level manager. Ensures that project/department milestones/goals are met and adhering to approved budgets. Has full authority for personnel actions. To be a Design Manager typically requires 5 years experience in the related area as an individual contributor. 1 - 3 years supervisory experience may be required. Extensive knowledge of the function and department processes.

People's Opinions on Design Manager responsibilities

The primary role of a design manager is to provide leadership for his team of designers throughout the course of a project.

12/31/2019: Gastonia, NC

For example, a design manager could lead a team of designers on the development of a product's brand, or manage an architectural firm while designing a new building.

12/19/2019: Mobile, AL

These include identifying client project needs, communicating a project outline to his design staff, supervising staff members, providing assistance when necessary and monitoring budget.

02/16/2020: Santa Ana, CA

Perhaps the most important part of being a design manager is effectively identifying his client's needs for each project.

02/24/2020: Concord, NH

It's essential for a design manager to know this information before beginning any other stages of the design process.

02/22/2020: Huntington, NY
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Step 2: Learn best tips to become a Design Manager

Best tips for those who want to become a Design Manager

Here are some tips to become a Design Manager.

People's Opinions on best tips

Don’t be afraid to take a unique path to your goal.

01/04/2020: Portsmouth, NH

Only by having a desire to look at other sectors of construction can a Structurally biased person really have the range of skills required and this can take years to achieve, in fact as a DM you never stop learning as it's so important to continue with as much training as possible and attend CPD seminars on Safety, new construction materials, Building Regulations updates/CDM compliance/MEP and Architectural based topics.

01/04/2020: New Orleans, LA

Get to know and appreciate more the actual level of information and detailing that Architects and Building Services consultants require as traditionally Structural Engineers tend to be totally focused on the main structure and not really get too excited by all of the other remaining elements like internal fitting out/Landscaping works/Acoustics/Internal and external lighting/ internal finishes throughout etc.

01/17/2020: Pocatello, ID

Maybe even consider working initially for a Specialist Sub-Contractor as a Design Manager/Co-ordinator is a very good way to get into mainstream DM with main contractors.

01/06/2020: Bradenton, FL

Be strategic about naming page templates.

02/02/2020: Springfield, OR
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Step 3: View best colleges and universities for Design Manager

Best colleges and universities for Design Manager

  • Butler University
  • Carroll College
  • Cooper Union
  • High Point University
  • Princeton University
  • Providence College

Step 4: Think about whether is it worth to be a Design Manager

Is being a Design Manager Worth it?

People's Opinions on lifestyles

As the Design Manager of Luxury and Lifestyle Brands, you will support the Director, Luxury Architecture and Construction who supports the Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and LRX Brands.

12/07/2019: Virginia Beach, VA

You will also support the Vice President Architecture & Design - Luxury Brands, as well as the Senior Vice President of Global Design Services with portfolio growth initiatives.

01/01/2020: Salisbury, NC

You will collaborate with Brand, Development, and Technical Services teams to build and maintain GDS Design Initiatives, brand narratives and design and construction standards.

02/25/2020: Pine Bluff, AR

Your evaluations are critical for design, brand and technical reviews to achieve GDS approvals for conversion, renovation and newly constructed properties.

12/08/2019: Evansville, IN

You will build positive partnerships with all Hilton internal constituents and owners, developers and designers to promote our dynamic approach relative to planning and operational efficiencies.

01/10/2020: Manchester, NH
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Step 5: Prepare relevant skills for being a Design Manager

What skills do you need to be a Design Manager?

In order to drive yourself and your team to success, in a management position you need to have a broad base of skills.  For success in this position, you effeciency with these skills is key: Computer Aided Design (CAD), Material Requirements Planning, Project Scheduling, Technical Specification Design, Building Design.  For this role, you will need to be adept in with: CAD Software.  Although every company varies in their requirements, these competencies will help you in this role.

People's Opinions on Design Manager skills

Skilled and educated, design managers work full-time hours in an office.

02/15/2020: Binghamton, NY

Design managers are artistic and creative, familiar with design quality and the strategies involved in creating good designs.

12/02/2019: Altus, OK

Successful candidates have at least seven years of design experience and three years of design management experience.

12/21/2019: Raleigh, NC

Successful design managers should also possess the following skills.

02/09/2020: Rock Hill, SC

Conflict management – since they manage a team of multiple designers, design managers should be able to manage and resolve conflict between individual team members and between different teams.

01/25/2020: Nashville, TN
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Step 6: View average salary for Design Manager

How much does a Design Manager make?

The average salary range for a Design Manager is from $102,646 to $141,896. The salary will change depending on your location, job level, experience, education, and skills.

Salary range for a Design Manager
$102,646 to $141,896

Step 7: Find relevant Design Manager jobs, and apply.

Looking for Design Manager jobs?

Here are some Design Manager jobs in the United States.

Search Design Manager Jobs in the United States

Step 8: Explore Career Path of Design Manager

Step 8: Explore Career Path of Design Manager? Design Manager