Design Manager Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a design manager. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a design manager.
Who is a Design Manager?
Design management is a field that employs project management, design, strategy, and supply chain techniques to control a creative process. This field supports a culture of creativity and creates a structure and organization for design. The objective of design management is to create and maintain a productive working environment where a company may use design to accomplish its strategic and mission goals. The goal of design management is to bridge the gap between business and design.
Design managers oversee teams of designers and are in charge of establishing creative strategies, and coaching and advising team members. These managers are also known for attending client meetings, guaranteeing the timely delivery of designs, delegating responsibilities, and putting creative materials into action. A design manager is therefore a director who oversees a design team during a project. Any construction team needs design managers because they are in charge of organizing the design work done during a project. Understanding the duties of a design manager and the qualifications required for this position are essential if you’re interested in learning how to become one. To produce consistent results on each project, design managers typically collaborate with designers, architects, and construction managers.
A design manager is in charge of overseeing a design team and working with other leaders to establish the organization’s design strategy. As a design manager, you can work for specialized businesses that subcontract specific projects to construction firms. Alternatively, you could devote your entire professional life to serving as an internal design manager for a building or architectural firm. No matter where you work as a design manager, your responsibilities involve overseeing the design of a building project and abiding by the regulations of the building design.
Successful design strategies are developed and put into practice by design managers, who also specify how the design team will produce deliverables and use them on the project. They often oversee a group of designers, assessing each designer’s output and the team’s performance as a whole. They also encourage team members throughout a project and provide critical criticism when necessary. Design managers present upper management with their created design concepts. Design managers mention particular figures and anticipated results while presenting.
Design managers monitor and assess input once a design has been completed and put into use. This typically entails sorting through user surveys and focus group responses to get a broad sense of how well the design worked. Design managers are skilled and creative individuals who are knowledgeable about design quality and the techniques used to produce quality designs. Design managers with master’s degrees in graphic design, the visual arts, or other related subjects are preferred by employers. The preferred prospects have three years of design management experience and at least seven years of design experience. A master’s degree in graphic design, the visual arts, or another similar discipline is typically required of successful design managers. These degrees concentrate on subjects like user experience, design concepts, and instruction in design tools.
Design Manager Job Description
Below are the design manager job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of design managers include the following:
- Motivate, encourage and support internal and external design teams.
- Aim for timely, high-quality, and understandable production of structural drawings and designs.
- Utilize your technical knowledge to oversee the design process.
- Ensure that the clients’ expectations are met by working with them.
- Examine designs with safety and health in mind.
- Avoid mistakes while lowering the financial risk involved in construction.
- Participate in design meetings and offer ongoing suggestions to improve designs and cut down on pointless work.
- Assist in creating the design delivery schedule together with the client, project manager, design managers, and consultants.
- Create a thorough list of deliverables for the contract’s scope of work and each related discipline.
- Discuss the project’s scope, deliverables, and cost with consulting companies.
- Help the project manager include all internal and external design and cost issues in the D&C running sheet.
- Manage the team’s workload distribution and production.
- Identify the requirement for using external studios or vendors in collaboration with the director of DCE.
- Work together as a team on brand-new design challenges and research initiatives.
- Make sure all projects and final graphics are precise and accurate.
- Manage and keep track of all projects’ records and original artwork files.
- Supervise an established design team effectively to encourage increased inventiveness.
- Assess designers’ progress and inspire them to develop innovative design solutions.
- Participate in the strategic planning of your department.
- Assist both internal and external customers technically.
- Make sure designs are accessible to those who require them at the right time.
- Keep thorough records of the design process.
- Create a design brief based on the client’s needs and desired outcome.
- Verify that designs adhere to customer requirements, industry standards, and legal criteria.
- Control other designers to make sure that projects are finished on schedule.
- Maintain client relationships and act as a point of contact between clients and designers.
- Give comments on design concepts to make them better or point out issues that need to be fixed.
- Act as the primary point of contact for all design projects, regardless of their size
- Identify project needs, timeframes, and deliverables in collaboration with clients.
- Make thorough project proposals and approval schedules.
- Assemble and oversee teams of illustrators, copywriters, designers, and other creatives as necessary.
- Oversee all areas of design projects from beginning to end, making sure they are finished on schedule, within budget, and to the satisfaction of the customer.
- Make sure that all designs adhere to the brand and quality standards of the organization.
- keep up with current design trends and best practices
- Follow the development of new software and technologies.
- Mentor and educate aspiring designers
- Manage several tasks at once while paying close attention to every detail.
- Control as necessary outside contractors and vendors
- Act as a point of contact between the design team and other corporate divisions
- Assign assignments to designers according to their skill sets, and make sure they are satisfactorily performed.
- Control the manufacturing of actual prototypes or mockups of goods or services
- Establish and uphold design guidelines for the organization.
- Examine designs for precision and suitability, pointing out any issues and recommending adjustments.
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of evolving building regulations and design-related codes of practice.
- A bachelor’s degree in graphic design, fine arts, advertising, or any related discipline.
- At least 4 years of managerial or senior-level design experience.
- Excellent creativity skills.
- Thorough knowledge of graphic design and CAD tools.
- Outstanding leadership, organizational, and analytical skills.
- Excellent collaboration and communication skills.
- Outstanding time management and multi-tasking skills.
- Must be able to come up with solutions to complex design and communication issues.
- Communication skills: This is an essential skill because you will have to communicate with clients, other designers, and engineers as a design manager. You will share your ideas and make sure that everyone understands your message by using effective communication skills. It is recommended to use communication channels like email, instant messaging, or video conferencing that your audience is accustomed to.
- Organizational skills: The capacity to manage various tasks and deadlines is known as organizational skills. You might handle many projects simultaneously as a design manager, each with its own set of aims and purposes. You may efficiently manage your time and make sure that all project requirements are accomplished on schedule by having strong organizational skills. By giving team members tasks they can finish before the deadline, the organization also enables you to properly allocate responsibility to them.
- Graphic design skills: A design manager must possess graphic design skills to develop and implement successful marketing strategies. When developing presentations or other documents that require visual components, graphic design skills may be employed. This skill set also includes the capacity to produce images such as posters, ads, poster, illustrations, and logos.
- Project management: A design manager’s skill set may include project management expertise. As a manager, your duties can include managing the team of designers and other staff members that are working on the project as well as overseeing its completion. To make sure that the project stays on track and under budget, you might use your project management skills.
- Creativity: The capacity to come up with distinctively new ideas and solutions is creativity. You can use your creative skills as a design manager to assist your team in producing innovative products and services. As a team, you can employ creativity to come up with innovative ideas on how to enhance existing items.
- Adobe creative suite expertise: Design managers should be proficient in Adobe Creative Suite, which is the program that enables them to produce and edit images for the products of their company. Understanding how to use the several tools in this suite, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, is part of this. Design managers must also be able to train other staff members to use these applications effectively if they are to complete projects quickly.
- Decision-making skills: Design managers need to have the ability to decide on the projects they are in charge of. They may have to choose which design features are most relevant, what materials to deploy, and how to handle issues that surface during a project. You may effectively manage your staff and make sure that your business generates high-quality work if you have strong decision-making skills.
- Problem-solving skills: The task of resolving problems that develop during the design process is yours to handle as a design manager. Your ability to solve problems will enable you to discover the problem’s root cause and come up with a workable solution.
- Leadership skills: Your ability to lead is also essential as a design manager. To inspire your team, foster a great work environment, and support timely project completion, you will use your leadership skills. You can employ your leadership skills to encourage your team to come up with creative solutions to problems.
How to Become a Design Manager
Step 1. Obtain relevant education
Design managers often require a bachelor’s degree or higher in one of the following fields: architecture, engineering, fine arts, computer graphics, graphic design, interior design, or construction management. This will assist in acquiring the knowledge and abilities necessary to be successful in this position. Some hiring managers prefer applicants with a master’s degree in design or a closely related field. Some design managers also have a background experience in fine arts, such as painting or sculpture. This background enables them to understand creative strategies and how to employ them in the design industry.
Step 2. Acquire work experience
You need to get experience in the industry before seeking a job as a design manager. Interior designers, graphic designers, and landscape architects all hold entry-level employment. You can enhance your skills and industry expertise in these roles. You might also pursue volunteer opportunities or internships that provide you with hands-on experience working on different design projects. If you’re interested in a job in graphic design, where you’ll need to be comfortable with software tools like Adobe CreativeCloud, this experience is very essential. A lot of design managers started as designers. They may work in a range of fields, including product design, graphic design, architecture, and interior design. Additionally, they might work as a graphic designer, an art director, or a web designer, among other positions. Design managers undergo on-the-job training after being employed to become familiar with the company’s products or services, design style, and design process. They also get knowledge of the company’s process and team management techniques.
Step 3. Acquire certifications
Certifications can demonstrate a professional’s competence to potential employers. Design managers can obtain certifications to enhance their understanding of the practical aspects of their daily tasks, assess their professional abilities, and progress in their careers.
Step 4. Join professional organizations
Become a member of professional organizations like the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The ASID is a professional organisation that provides its members with networking opportunities and access to resources. You may grow your network, communicate with other interior designers, and remain current on industry standards by joining ASID. You must finish an internship and pass the certification test given by ASID to become a certified interior designer (CID). Your ability to work as an interior designer is demonstrated to companies by your CID designation.
Where to Work as a Design Manager
Design managers are employed in design and construction companies. Most of them are self-employed contractors. They typically work in an office environment and may need to travel to meet with clients or attend conferences. They typically work standard business hours, although they may be required to overtime sometimes to meet deadlines.
Design Manager Salary Scale
Design managers’ salaries vary widely depending on some factors such as level of education, years of experience, additional qualifications, skill set, and the size and location of the company. They may also earn extra compensation in the form of allowances, bonuses, or commissions. The base salary for Design Managers in the UK ranges from £46,444 to £74,479 with an average base salary of £57,852 per year. The average salary of a Design Manager salary in Canada is $98,842 annually, ranging from $72,314 to $135,000 per year. The salaries of Design Managers in the US range from $18,310 to $532,591, with a median salary of $100,669 per year. A person working as a Design Manager in Nigeria typically earns around 6,850,000 NGN per year. The salary ranges from 3,455,000 NGN to 9,140,000 NGN per year.