A program manager is responsible for monitoring the project's progress, improving and developing new strategies, and coordinate various projects across the organization to ensure the success of the business objective. Program managers also manage the program's expenses, ensuring that the projects adhere to the budget goals without compromising the quality and accuracy of the result. A program manager should regularly connect with the different teams of every project under the program to keep track of the processes and procedures for the timely delivery of the product.

Program Manager Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real program manager resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead managed services provider engagement of onshore and offshore interactive development and QA for pharmaceutical marketing department.
  • Lead multiple team workshops and initiate RFP proposals.
  • Manage content updates for all salesforce marketing materials, print and digital.
  • Lead development of custom product for the largest OEM in Europe for design win.
  • Project manage and drive cross-team launch, development and release activities for OEM programs (Siemens/Philips/Alcatel/Ericsson/Nokia).
  • Train capture management, business development personnel and manage CRM pipeline through proposal team management, production, and submission.
  • Develop methodology for evaluation of special projects and instill PMI project management standards for large complex projects.
  • Define project management best practices, launch new PMO reporting processes and delivery procedures> evangelize across enterprise.
  • Create and implement design procedures that increase efficiency, accelerate customer satisfaction and slash error rate with better risk management.
  • Work closely with senior management, government officials and suppliers, ensuring robust logistics and infrastructure planning efforts among diverse stakeholders.
Program Manager Traits
Managerial skills directly correlate with a person's ability to communicate and lead others while being able to solve problems..
Business skills describe how individuals are able to understand consumer behaviors and use it in a way that leads to success.
Problem-solving skills is the way that one is able to effectively solve a problem in a timely manner.

Program Manager Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a program manager is "should I become a program manager?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, program manager careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 13% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a program manager by 2028 is 21,900.

On average, the program manager annual salary is $93,374 per year, which translates to $44.89 an hour. Generally speaking, program managers earn anywhere from $64,000 to $134,000 a year, which means that the top-earning program managers make $70,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a program manager, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a manager, project management, consultant/project manager, operations project manager, and associate project manager.

Program Manager Jobs You Might Like

Program Manager Resume Examples

Program Manager Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 25% of Program Managers are proficient in Project Management, Procedures, and Customer Service. They’re also known for soft skills such as Managerial skills, Business skills, and Problem-solving skills.

We break down the percentage of Program Managers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Project Management, 25%

    Project management position overseeing residential and non-residential services to individuals that assisted themselves and their families in community and family engagement.

  • Procedures, 10%

    Created institutional relations procedures including writing marketing email templates, writing new recruitment and application procedures for student and group participation.

  • Customer Service, 5%

    Develop and maintain customer relationships/manage related customer service responsibilities

  • Oversight, 5%

    Provided government oversight for engineering and design solutions for the Medical Community of Interest wide area network and security suite architecture.

  • Infrastructure, 3%

    Designed and managed Chemical Plant site construction, Infrastructure design and construction, including off-site vendor fabrication and on-site equipment assembly.

  • Risk Management, 2%

    Improved existing SOS mentor and volunteer training systems by incorporating risk management, experiential education, and youth development best practices

Most program managers list "project management," "procedures," and "customer service" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important program manager responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a program manager to have happens to be managerial skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "social and community service managers spend much of their time administering budgets and responding to a wide variety of issues." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that program managers can use managerial skills to "created an effective strategic, managerial and operational design for the new hr delivery model. "
  • Problem-solving skills is also an important skill for program managers to have. This example of how program managers use this skill comes from a program manager resume, "social and community service managers must be able to address client, staff, and agency-related issues as they occur." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "researched, evaluated and selected an erp solution that increased productivity by 30% (roic 12 to 18 months). "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "time-management skills" is important to completing program manager responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way program managers use this skill: "social and community service managers must prioritize and handle numerous tasks for multiple customers, often in a short timeframe." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical program manager tasks: "implemented the pm module in our erp system, including cost reports to better manage projects on time and on budget. "
  • Another common skill for a program manager to be able to utilize is "analytical skills." Social and community service managers need to understand and evaluate data in order to provide strategic guidance to their organization a program manager demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "analyzed, designed, developed and deployed erp website providing cradle-to-grave supply chain/logistics processes. "
  • Lastly, this career requires you to be skillful in "communication skills." According to program manager resumes, "social and community service managers must be able to speak and write clearly so that others can understand them." This resume example highlights how program manager responsibilities rely on this skill: "led the launching of new projects by facilitating communication between information technology teams and third party technology. "
  • See the full list of program manager skills.

    Before becoming a program manager, 66.5% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 19.5% program managers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most program managers have a college degree. But about one out of every nine program managers didn't attend college at all.

    Those program managers who do attend college, typically earn either business degrees or psychology degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for program managers include computer science degrees or electrical engineering degrees.

    When you're ready to become a program manager, you might wonder which companies hire program managers. According to our research through program manager resumes, program managers are mostly hired by Microsoft, Facebook, and General Dynamics. Now is a good time to apply as Microsoft has 384 program managers job openings, and there are 282 at Facebook and 197 at General Dynamics.

    If you're interested in companies where program managers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at McKinsey & Company, First Republic Bank, and Susser Holdings. We found that at McKinsey & Company, the average program manager salary is $149,157. Whereas at First Republic Bank, program managers earn roughly $147,603. And at Susser Holdings, they make an average salary of $147,110.

    View more details on program manager salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a program manager include Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco Systems. These three companies were found to hire the most program managers from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious program managers are:

      What Manager, Project Managements Do

      The role of a project management manager involves the planning, execution, monitoring, control, and closure of projects. Project managers oversee the scope of the entire project, the team, success or failure, and its resources. They facilitate productivity and commitment, remove obstacles, and motivate their team members. Their skills should include leadership, critical thinking, communication, negotiating, and risk management. They should also know about cost management, scheduling, and task management.

      We looked at the average program manager annual salary and compared it with the average of a manager, project management. Generally speaking, managers, project management receive $7,837 higher pay than program managers per year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both program managers and managers, project management positions are skilled in project management, procedures, and customer service.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A program manager responsibility is more likely to require skills like "oversight," "logistics," "dod," and "data analysis." Whereas a manager, project management requires skills like "portfolio," "on-time delivery," "sox," and "continuous improvement." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      On average, managers, project management reach similar levels of education than program managers. Managers, project management are 0.5% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 1.3% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Consultant/Project Manager?

      Consultants/project managers act as planners, leaders, and advisors in business enterprises. These professionals facilitate meetings and establish positive relationships with vendors, management, and clients. They make customer visits, maintain industry knowledge, procure third-party software and hardware, and deliver projects. It is also part of their duty to manage complex initiatives in an individual business unit or organization. Their skills include analytical, time and cost management, problem-solving, interpersonal skills, and proficiency in project management software.

      Next up, we have the consultant/project manager profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a program manager annual salary. In fact, consultant/project managers salary difference is $8,728 higher than the salary of program managers per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of program managers and consultant/project managers are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "project management," "procedures," and "customer service. "

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that program manager responsibilities requires skills like "oversight," "logistics," "ensure compliance," and "product development." But a consultant/project manager might use skills, such as, "successful implementation," "crm," "project milestones," and "peoplesoft."

      On the topic of education, consultant/project managers earn similar levels of education than program managers. In general, they're 2.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Program Managers in the next 3-5 years?

      Michael Baker

      Founder & Partner, m3 Development

      The non-profit sector, like every sector, has been impacted greatly by technology. I believe innovation and disruption from technology is a key tool for making non-profits more efficient and effective. AI is already being used by the big non-profits and will become more common throughout our sector in mid-sized and small non-profit organizations when it is more cost-effective. The current, future and recent graduates are mostly Generation Z. This is the generation that was born into and has grown up with the internet and technology. The most important technology is and will continue to be online and mobile. Non-profits need to continue developing and investing in technology, tools, and support systems to meet the needs of their mission. Technology has brought us the internet, social media, the cloud, cashless forms of payments, automating work, evaluation tools creating dashboards that automatically monitor performance, electronic health records, and will continue to evolve. I believe machine-based learning and artificial intelligence are technology now and for the future. Technology that supports transparency, engagement, impact, and data analytics will be what is important in the next 3 to 5 years for non-profit organizations.Show more

      How an Operations Project Manager Compares

      An operations project manager is responsible for monitoring the performance of the project team, ensuring that the operations meet the clients' standards and internal regulations with maximum productivity and efficiency. Operations project managers manage the department's budget and allocate materials and resources accurately, maintaining a record of expenses and costs forecasting. They coordinate with the clients, discussing project adjustments or additional tasks as needed, and lead project execution and deliverables by determining the team's needs and concerns, and enforcing strategic procedures.

      Let's now take a look at the operations project manager profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than program managers with a $5,185 difference per year.

      Using program managers and operations project managers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "project management," "procedures," and "customer service," but the other skills required are very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a program manager is likely to be skilled in "infrastructure," "hr," "data analysis," and "software development," while a typical operations project manager is skilled in "business operations," "operations project," "project completion," and "facility."

      Operations project managers are known to earn lower educational levels when compared to program managers. Additionally, they're 10.9% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 1.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Associate Project Manager

      An Associate Project Manager helps the project manager in the successful implementation of the project. They ensure that projects are effectively planned and well-organized.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than program managers. On average, associate project managers earn a difference of $11,810 lower per year.

      While their salaries may vary, program managers and associate project managers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "project management," "customer service," and "risk management. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "procedures," "oversight," "infrastructure," and "logistics" are skills that have shown up on program managers resumes. Additionally, associate project manager uses skills like project requirements, project goals, scheduling meetings, and project meetings on their resumes.

      Associate project managers reach lower levels of education when compared to program managers. The difference is that they're 7.6% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.6% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.